Cougar Baseball Blanks Long Beach State in Series Opener

March 13, 2009

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LONG BEACH, Calif. - Matt Way tossed eight shutout innings and fellow senior Alex Burg homered twice and drove in four runs as Washington State defeated Long Beach State 9-0 in the opener of a three-game nonconference series at Blair Field, Friday.

Way (1-2) blanked the 49ers (4-8) on four hits and struck out a season-high eight. He has not given up an earned run in his last 16 and one-third innings. He allowed a lone infield single after the third inning and threw 80 of his 109 pitches for strikes.

'Matt Way was as good as advertised tonight,' Cougar Head Coach Donnie Marbut said. 'He has matured a lot throughout his career and it feels really good to be able to send a guy like him to the mound on Friday night. Offensively, we were really aggressive to the fastball and strung some hits together.'

Burg staked Washington State (4-8) to a 1-0 lead when he led off the top of the second with a home run, his second of the season, to center field.

The Cougars extended their lead to 5-0 with four runs in the fourth. Sophomore Shea Vucinich led off with a single and moved to second one out later on a single by senior Greg Lagreid. Junior Michael Weber followed with a run-scoring single to center. Burg then drilled his second round-tripper of the game to cap the rally.

Washington State put the game away with three runs in the fifth. Freshman Patrick Claussen singled with one out and moved to second on a walk to Vucinich. Freshman Derek Jones delivered a run with a single and Lagreid knocked in two more with a double to left that increased the Cougars' lead to 8-0. Jones capped the scoring with a two-out, RBI-single in the ninth inning.

The series continues, Saturday at 2 p.m.

Senior Alex Burg's home run in the second inning extended his hitting streak to six games...first time in his career he homered twice in the same game...freshman Patrick Claussen has hit safely in each of his first-eight games, the longest streak by a Cougar to begin his collegiate career since Stefan Bailie in 2000 (14 games)...WSU recorded its first shutout since March 13, 2007 (11-0 against Rider)...first shutout on the road since a 7-0 victory at Portland, May 13, 1999...first win in a Friday the 13th game since an 8-4 win against Arkansas in Seattle, March 13, 1992.

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