Derek Bruce Leads WSU Past LCSC 7-2

April 23, 2002

LEWISTON, Idaho - Washington State freshman Derek Bruce, who a year ago was playing high school ball for nearby Lewiston High, hit for the cycle and Brandon Hundt and Garrett Alwert combined to shut down the host Lewis-Clark State Warriors in WSU's 7-2 win Tuesday at Harris Field.

Hundt (5-4) pitched five innings of four-hit, five-strikeout ball, allowing no runs and no walks. Alwert pitched four innings in relief to notch his second save of the season for the Cougars (15-23). Kevin Welch (3-1) received his first loss of the season for LCSC (29-12).

'The difference today with pitching was location,' WSU head coach Tim Mooney said. 'Hundt and Alwert did a good job pitching to zones. They threw it where we wanted it.'

Bruce, 4-for-4 on the day, singled in the third, homered in the fourth, tripled in the sixth and completed the cycle with a double in the eighth. Not to be outdone by Bruce was center fielder Evan Hecker, who went 3-for-5 and drove in two RBI. The duo combined for seven of the Cougars' 12 hits.

'I'm taking better pitches,' Bruce said. 'Early in the year I was swinging wildly. Today I just saw the ball better.'

WSU got the jump on the Warriors in the top of the fourth inning. Wes Falkenborg hit his fourth home run of the season, a solo shot over the left field wall to give WSU a 1-0 lead. Four batters later, Bruce hit his team-leading seventh homer of the season - a two-run blast that scored Jeff LaRue to give WSU a 3-0 lead.

The Cougars added to their lead the next inning when Hecker scored from third base on a throwing error by LCSC catcher Gabe Stajduhar, extending the Cougar lead to 4-0.

LCSC answered with a run in the bottom of the sixth on Mike Madrid's solo homer off Alwert, but WSU responded with a three-run eighth to take a 7-1 lead.

Tyson Boston's RBI single plated Chris Todd. Bruce followed with a double to right field that completed his cycle. Jon Baeder then singled to right and advanced to second on the throw home. Hecker followed with a double to left center field to score Bruce and Baeder to give WSU a 7-1 lead.

Alwert surrendered a solo home run to Tory Haven in the bottom of the ninth, but settled down to retire the side and record the save.

The Cougars' next action will be a three-game Pacific-10 Conference series, beginning Friday at 6 p.m. against UCLA.

WSU 000 310 030 - 7 12 2
LCSC 000 001 001 - 2 8 3
Brandon Hundt, Garrett Alwert (6) and Brandon Reddinger, Jon Baeder (6).
Kevin Welch, Junior Avina (6), Kyle Correa (6), Patrick Bailes (9) and Gabe Stajduhar.
W - Hundt (5-4). L - Welch (3-1). Save - Alwert (2). HR - Falkenborg (4), Bruce (7), Madrid (7), Haven (15).
E - Bruce, LaRue, Stajduhar, Ryan, Morgan. 2B - Hecker 2, Bruce, Gallagher. 3B - Bruce.
A - 323. T - 2:37.
WSU Hits - Hecker 3, Bruce 4, Falkenborg, LaRue 2, Boston, Baeder.
LCSC Hits - Zinsman, Gallagher, Ryan 3, Morgan, Madrid, Haven.

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