Daman Leads WSU Past Portland 5-1

Feb. 20, 2005

PASCO, Wash. -- - Washington State pitcher Wayne Daman Jr. handcuffed the Portland Pilots on one hit through eight innings as WSU captured a 5-1 non-conference baseball win over Portland Sunday at Dust Devil Stadium. The win earned the Cougars a split in the four-game weekend series.

Daman (1-0) took a no-hitter into the eighth before giving up a double to center field by Justin Ehlers. Cougar centerfielder Jason Freeman made a long run and dove at the short line drive, trying to preserve Daman's no-hitter, but the ball landed in front of him and then skipped past the prone Freeman, allowing Ehlers to advance to second base.

The Cougar right hander struck out seven, walked just two and threw 109 pitches in picking up his first WSU (5-5) win of the season. Brett Sommer and Nick Cebula finished up for WSU, allowing the only Pilot run.

Portland (3-4) starter Ari Ronick (1-1) took the loss, throwing seven innings while allowing all five runs and seven hits. He struck out one and walked three. Chris Siegfried and Stephen Ball finished up on the mound for Portland.

'I was aware of it (the no-hitter), but I just tried to keep focused,' said Daman, who had not come close to a no-hitter since throwing one in high school. 'I was just throwing strikes and the defense was making the plays,' he added.

'Daman had good command of all three pitches and he was throwing them for strikes,' acknowledged Donnie Marbut, the WSU head coach. 'His performance came right when we needed a strong outing,' he added.

Zach McAngus staked WSU to an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, scoring Kaeo Rubin with a sacrifice fly to centerfield. Rubin opened the inning with a single, moved to second on Freeman's bunt and to third on Jay Miller's single.

The Cougars tacked on three more runs in the third, two of them on McAngus' double to right center that scored Rubin and Jay Miller. McAngus then raced home on Brady Everett's single to center. Everett accounted for WSU's final run with a double down the left field line in the fifth, scoring Freeman.

Meanwhile Daman was setting down the first seven Pilot batters. In the third a fielding error put the first Pilot on base, but Joe Watson was erased trying to steal second base. Daman then walked Jesse Rodgers before forcing Gustaf Little to pup up to second base.

Following the walk, Daman retired seven more Pilots before walking Watson to lead off the sixth. He then retired the side and three of four batters faced in the seventh. Ehlers then delivered his leadoff double in the eighth to break up the no-hitter, but Daman retired the next three batters to finish his day on the mound.

Portland's only run came in the ninth, with Nik Kosach scoring from third bases on a bases-loaded double play off Sommer. Cebula recorded the final out of the game, striking out Danny Meier.

WSU returns to action later this week with a four-game series at Hawaii, beginning Thursday.

Portland 000 000 001 - 1 3 1
WSU 103 010 00x - 5 8 1
Ari Ronick, Chris Siegfried (7), Stephen Ball (8) and Joe Watson, Riley Snell (8).
Wayne Daman Jr., Brett Sommer (9), Nick Cebula (9) and Brady Everett.
W - Daman (1-0). L - Ronick (1-1). Save - None. HR - None.
T - 2:21. A - 173.
Portland Hits - Kosach, Wrisley, Ehlers.
WSU Hits - Rubin, Miller, McAngus 2, Everett 2, Kosturos, Franklin.
E -Ronick, Hall. 2B - Ehlers, McAngus, Everett, Franklin. 3B - None.

-- www.wsucougars.com --
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