Rain Hampers Cougs In 5-4 Loss At OSU

March 16, 2002

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Brandon Hundt and Lanakila Niles held Oregon State to seven hits, but the Cougar bats were no more effective as the host Beavers pulled out a 5-4 win over the Cougars Saturday in a rain-delayed non-conference baseball game at Goss Stadium.

Brandon Hundt started for the Cougars (10-9) and worked four innings, giving up four runs and five hits. Lanakila Niles (1-1), threw the final four innings for WSU, allowing just two hits and one unearned run, which proved to be the game winner. The loss was WSU's third straight and second against OSU.

OSU (12-7) starter Stephen Copeland (2-0) went seven innings to pick up the win, while Jake Postlewait, Dan Stykel and Jared Sanders worked the final two innings. Sanders notched his fifth save of the year.

Hundt sailed through the first three innings, facing just 10 batters. Meanwhile his teammates picked up a run in the third on Justin Hart's run-scoring single, then added two more runs in the top of the fourth for a 3-0 lead. Collin Henderson sent the first run home in the fourth and later scored on Jon Baeder's fly out to center.

The two teams then sat in the dugout for 23 minutes while the field was tarped during a rainstorm. When action began in the bottom of the fourth, Hundt took the mound, but was obviously not as sharp as he had been before the rain delay.

OSU promptly greeted the Cougar pitcher with four runs on a pair of two-run home runs by Brian Barden and Andy Jarvis, putting the Beavers in the lead 4-3.

'Brandon was outstanding for the first three inning,' said Tim Mooney, the WSU head coach. 'We had a huge rain delay and Brandon wasn't quite as sharp after the delay. But I was pleased with our effort and if we keep playing like that we'll win some games.'

Rain again sent the teams to the dugout at the end of the fourth inning, this time for 36 minutes. Counting a 77-minute rain delay before the contest ever saw the first pitch, the two teams waited for two hours, 16 minutes before the final five innings were played.

In the sixth inning, WSU pulled even with Oregon State on the strength of Wes Falkenborg's second home run of the season, a solo blast over the left field fence.

WSU's only error in the two games against OSU then came back to haunt the Cougs. Chris Biles reached base in the bottom of the sixth on a fielding error by Jeff LaRue and later came home to score the winning run on a sacrifice fly to right field by Paul Richie.

Hundt finished his outing with seven strikeouts and just one walk in four innings, while Niles had a strikeout and a walk.

The Cougars played the Saturday game without senior second baseman Bookie Gates, who had x-rays after fouling two pitches off his shin before the game. Mooney said the x-rays showed only an ankle bruise, but WSU's leading hitter is out indefinitely.

The two teams conclude their three-game series with a 1:00 p.m. game. The starting time is now one hour later than the original noon start. Monday WSU plays meets the Portland Pilots in Portland before returning home.

WSU 001 201 000 - 4 6 1
OSU 000 401 00x - 5 7 1
Brandon Hundt, Lanakila Niles (5) and Jon Baeser.
Stephen Copeland, Jake Postlewait (8), Don Stykel (8), Jared Sanders (9) and Paul Richie.
W - Copeland (2-0). L - Niles (1-1). Save - Sanders (5). HR - Falkenborg, Barden.
T - 3:06. A - 215.
WSU Hits - Hecker, Hart, Falkenborg, LaRue, Henderson, Mortimer.
OSU Hits - Creighton 2, Barden 2, Biles, Jarvis, Richie.
E - LaRue, Biles. 2B - LaRue, Creighton, Barden, Biles. 3B -None.

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