Huskies Fall To Rice After Dramatic Garthwaite Homer

June 2, 2002

HOUSTON - A two-out, three-run homer by Washington center fielder Jay Garthwaite beat Rice, 7-6, toforce a second championship game Sunday in an NCAA Regional at Reckling Park, but theNo. 2-ranked Owls came back to blow out the UW in game two, 14-2. Rice won theregional championship and will advance to the NCAA Super Regionals next weekendagainst either Louisiana State or Louisiana-Lafayette.

Washington, which reached a winner-take-all regional final for the third time in the lasteight years, finishes the 2002 season with a 33-27-1 record while Rice, the No. 4 overallseed in the NCAA tournament, won its 50th game in the nightcap to improve to 50-12.

Garthwaite's dramatic homer came after the Huskies' season had been down to its laststrike twice. Freshman Kyle Larsen (Redmond/Eastlake) singled on a full-count pitch fromRice reliever Philip Tribe and Tribe hit DH John Otness (Tacoma/Wilson) with a two-strikepitch.

He started Garthwaite, a junior from Kent (Kent-Meridian), with three balls beforethrowing a strike that was taken. Garthwaite then belted a high breaking pitch so far overthe fence in left that the Rice left fielder didn't even turn to watch it go out.

The homer was a reminder of the Huskies' 1994 NCAA Regional in Wichita, Kan., whenBrian Loucks belted a three-run homer in the bottom of the 14th to beat Georgia Tech in thefirst game of a two-game championship, forcing a second.

The Owls led the whole way, scoring a run in the first and taking a 4-1 lead with three runsin the fourth and, after the Huskies had drawn back to 4-3, Rice got a two-run homer fromEnrique Cruz to stretch its lead to 6-3. An RBI single from Otness in the eighth gave cut thelead to 6-4, setting up Garthwaite's ninth-inning stunner.

Freshman reliever Will Fenton (Kingston/North Kitsap) got the game one win, holding theOwls without a run or a hit over three and one-third innings. Fenton upped his record to 3-3 on the year. Tribe took the loss to fall to 4-4.

The Huskies ran out of gas in the second game as the Owls compiled a 14-0 lead before theUW scored its first run in the sixth inning. Freshman starter Jeff Niemann (5-1) threw fiveand one-third innings, allowing only four hits, for the win. Husky sophomoreJeff Petersen (Covington/Kentwood) suffered the game-two loss, falling to 1-3 on theseason after allowing five earned runs over three innings.

Rice left fielder Chris Kolkhorst had five hits, three runs and reached base six times to leadthe Owls offense. A.J. Porfirio added a pair of doubles and a single in five at bats. Ricescored at least a run in every inning from the second through the sixth, posting five each inthe third and the fifth.

LINESCORESNCAA Regional, Houston, TexasGame One: Washington 7, #2 Rice 6Rice           100 302 000 -- 6  7 1Washington     001 020 103 -- 7 12 2Philip Humber, Philip Tribe (8) and Jeff Blackinton. Zack Daniels, Will Fenton (6) andAaron Hathaway. W - Fenton (3-3). L - Tribe (4-4). 2B - Rice, Chris Kolkhorst, HunterBrown; UW, Tila Reynolds. HR - Rice, Vincent Sinisi (11), Enrique Cruz (16); UW,Jay Garthwaite (16). T - 2:54. A - 3,044.

Game Two: #2 Rice 14, Washington 2Rice 015 152 000 -- 14 17 1Washington 000 001 100 -- 2 9 3Jeff Niemann, Wade Townsend (6) and Justin Ruchti. Jeff Petersen, David Dowling (4),Trevor Gibson (4), Brian Carter (5), Greg Colburn (7) and Aaron Hathaway, Ben Johnson(6). W - Niemann (5-1). L - Petersen (1-3). 2B - Rice, Dane Bubela, A.J. Porfirio 2,Ruchti, Enrique Cruz, Chris Kolkhorst; UW, Tyler Davidson, Greg Isaacson. T - 3:12. A - 2,412.

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