Feb. 22, 2010
The Washington baseball team posted two wins and a loss in the first weekend of the 2010 season. The Dawgs opened the season last Friday with a well-played, 4-2 win over New Mexico State, a team known for its explosive offense (the Aggies hit .353 as a team last season). Saturday, the Dawgs led much of the way, but late-innings burst by Missouri led to a 17-6 Husky loss to the Tigers.
Finally, on Sunday, the Huskies came home happy from Arizona after a thrilling 10-9 win over reigning WCC champion Gonzaga. Washington trailed 4-0 before tying the score at 4-4. Then the Bulldogs scored five runs in the fourth to take a 9-4 lead. However, Washington scored two in the seventh, one in the eighth and three in the bottom of the ninth to win.
Sophomore center fielder Caleb Brown was the Huskies' offensive star in that win over Gonzaga, going 3-for-5 with two triples, a home run and four runs batted in. He got the ninth-inning rally started by leading off with a triple. GoHuskies.com caught up with him Sunday evening in the Tucson airport as the team returned to Seattle. Here's what he had to say:
GoHuskies.com: How do you think the weekend went?
Brown: I think it went well. I thought we definitely competed in every game. Even in the Missouri game we were basically ahead until the seventh inning. That's when things kind of got away. But we were in control- or we were competing - in every game until the end of that Missouri game. Altogether we did pretty well.
GoHuskies.com: How much difference will winning a game like Sunday's win over Gonzaga early in the season make?
Brown: I think it helps because we know we're not really ever out of a game, so we know if things start going bad it's not like we can't stop the bleeding and we can get back into a game. Today we were down by a few and it was just chipping back, chipping back. It wasn't getting everything at once. It was just chipping away, and then finally in the ninth inning getting it done. So I think it helps confidence-wise that we're always in a game, never out of it.
GoHuskies.com: Have you ever hit two triples in a game before?
Brown: Actually yeah, I did it in summer ball once when I was playing for the Bankers in Pullman for a series.
GoHuskies.com: What was your thought as you got up to the plate in the ninth inning?
Brown: I was just trying to get on base. I'd seen their pitcher a couple times during summer ball and I knew kind of what he was going to try and do. Once I got two strikes on me, I was making sure he wasn't going to spike anything in the dirt or anything like that that I was going to swing at.
GoHuskies.com: How big of a difference is it going home 2-1 instead of 1-2?
Brown: Big confidence thing. Our mood right now is a lot better. We're all relaxed and happy, that kind of thing. It would be a completely different story if we'd lost two in a row. I think the bigger thing is coming back from Saturday's game, how it got out of hand. It was a big downer, but today coming back and doing something like this was a big uplift from the game before.