WSU Drops Pac-10 Opener To California 8-3

March 21, 2003

The California Bears broke a 3-3 tie by scoring five times in the eighth inning to out gun visiting the Washington State Cougars 8-3 in the Pacific-10 Conference baseball opener for both clubs Friday at Evans Diamond.

Cougar starter Tony Banaszak (0-6) took the loss, despite pitching well for seven innings. Aaron MacKenzie and Brett Beetham finished up for the Cougars (5-17 overall, 0-1 in conference play) in the eighth inning.

California (14-10, 1-0) starter Matt Brown (2-2) threw eight innings and allowed six hits while picking up the win. Jesse Ingram held WSU scoreless in the top of the ninth to preserve the Bear win.

The Cougars overcame the Bears' early 2-0 lead by scoring three times in the third inning, thanks to freshman Jay Miller's two-run double to right center that scored Zapper McGrath and Justin Hart. Miller then came home on Derek Bruce's double to end WSU's scoring.

Meanwhile, after Conor Jackson's two-run home run in the first inning, the Bears answered WSU's third inning total with a single tally in the bottom of the inning, thanks to a bases loaded walk to Ben Conley.

In the deciding eighth inning, California combined one Cougar error with four hits and two walks to score five times. Chris Grossman and James Holder each had two-run doubles and Jeff Dragicevich also had a double in the inning. Four of the five runs the Bears scored were charged to MacKenzie, although only one run was earned.

Cougar pitchers did not have a strikeout, but did issue six walks, plus one hit-batter. The Bears, on the other hand, did not issue a walk and struck out six WSU batters.

The two teams resume their three-game series Saturday with a 1:00 p.m., while Sunday's finale has been moved to a noon start.

WSU 003 000 000 - 3 7 1
California 201 000 05X - 8 12 1
Tony Banaszak, Aaron MacKenzie (8), Brett Beetham (8) and Jon Baeder, Brandon Reddinger (8).
Matt Brown, Jesse Ingram (9) and Chris Grossman.
W - Brown (2-2). L - Banaszak (0-6). Save - None. HR - Jackson.
T - 2:45. A - 269.
WSU Hits - Mortimer, Hart 2, Miller, Bruce, LaRue, Baeder.
California Hits - Craig 2, Nicholson 3, Jackson 2, Grossman, Holder, Medrano, Dragicevich 2.

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