Baseball Opens Season With 6-5 Win

Feb. 22, 2001

TUCSON, Ariz. - Catcher Jefferson Thiel drove in the winning run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth tolead the Washington baseball team to a season-opening 6-5 win over Brigham YoungThursday at Tucson Electric Park. The game was the Huskies' first of three in thisweekend's Illini Desert Classic.

The Huskies had trailed by as many as four runs in the game, but scored three in theseventh and two in the bottom of the ninth to pull out the win. In the ninth, with Ben Millerat third and two outs, BYU (7-7) brought in James Ray, its second reliever of the inning.Ray walked Duggan Moran, who was lifted for pinch runner Justin Drake. Third basemanMichael Done then singled down the left field line to send home Miller with the tying runbefore Drake scored from second base on Thiel's single up the middle.

The Huskies (1-0) took a while to get the offense going, thanks in large part to BYU aceNate Fernley, who worked eight innings, but got no decision. Fernley, a seniorrighthander, entered the game with a 5-0 record, a 1.71 earned run average, 52 strikeoutsand only five walks in 42 innings. He has been named the Mountain West Conferencepitcher of the week three weeks running. Against the UW, he allowed eight hits, threeearned runs and fanned nine.

Washington starter Tyler Shepple also earned no decision despite a strong opening outing.Shepple, a sophomore making his first career start after 13 relief outings as a freshman,allowed only two runs on four hits over six innings. He struck out five and didn't walk abatter. Sophomore reliever Scott Robertson, who pitched a scoreless top of the ninthinning, picked up his first career victory.

The Cougars opened the scoring in the first inning. Leadoff man Shane Belliston reachedon a single and then, one out later, Matt Carson belted his sixth home run of the season toleft-center field to stake BYU to a 2-0 lead. Washington finally broke into the scoringcolumn in the sixth. Done singled, stole second and move to third on an errant throw. Hescored on a groundout from center fielder Andre Marshall.

The Cougars posted three more runs in the seventh to take a 5-1 lead before the Huskiesclosed the gap in the seventh, scoring three runs. After a double from Tila Reynolds and awalk to Bryan Johnson, Jay Garthwaite doubled to center to score two runs. Garthwaitewould come around on a single from Moran to cut the Cougars' lead to 5-4.

Garthwaite and Done eached finished the day with three hits in four at bats. Thiel, asophomore from Bothell, finished 2-for-4. Belliston, Michael Wirrick and Tyler Perry eachhad two hits for BYU.

Friday at 2:00 p.m. (Pacific time), the Huskies take on Kentucky in the second of threegames this weekend.

LINESCOREat Tucson Electric ParkWashington 6, Brigham Young 5BYU            200 000 300 -- 5 10 1Washington     000 001 302 -- 6 12 1Nate Fernley, Justin Su'a (9), James Ray (9) and Michael Davies. Tyler Shepple, TaylorGrant (7), Shawn Kohn (7), Mike Bomar (8), Scott Robertson (9) and Jefferson Thiel. W- Robertson (1-0). L - Ray (0-2). 2B - UW, Tila Reynolds, Jay Garthwaite. 3B - UW,Andre Marshall. HR - BYU, Matt Carson (6). T - 2:42. A - 150.
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