Feb. 9, 2003
MALIBU, Calif. - The Washington baseball team, behind strong starting pitching from righty Clay Johnson, capped its season-opening weekend with a 4-1 win over 11th-ranked Houston on the final day of the Battle at the Beach tournament at Pepperdine.
The Huskies (2-1) would win the tournament title if UC Santa Barbara defeats Pepperdine in the tournament's final game Sunday. Houston, ranked No. 11 by Baseball America and No. 10 in both of the other major polls, fell to 1-2 on the season.
Washington got its offense started early when cleanup hitter Kyle Larsen, who sparked Saturday's ninth-inning rally vs. UCSB with a leadoff home run, belted a two-run homer in the bottom of the first inning.
Johnson, a junior from Elma, gave up a double to Stuart Musslewhite, the Cougars' No. 2 hitter, in the first inning, but then settled down to retire 11 straight before allowing a two-out bloop single to Hyung Cho in the fourth. Houston DH Thanos Papavasiliou followed with a double to the gap in right-center field and Cho scored from first to cut the Husky lead to 2-1. Husky catcher Aaron Hathaway ended the threat by picking Papavasiliou off of second, Hathaway's third pickoff of the weekend.
Johnson, who picked up the victory, finished the day having allowed a run on four hits and one walk while striking out six in six innings of work. Houston starter Garrett Mock, one of the nation's top junior college pitchers a year ago, threw six innings in the loss, allowing two runs on five hits and six strikeouts.
Washington added insurance runs in the seventh. Hathaway singled and second baseman Greg Isaacson doubled to put runners at second and third with two outs. Junior Justin Drake, who had three hits Saturday, singled up the middle for his third hit Sunday to drive in both runners and increase the UW lead to 4-1.
Drake finished 3-for-3 on the day and 6-for-8 for the tournament. He was the only Husky hitter with more than one hit in the game. Travis Tully led Houston with two hits, including a double, in four at bats. Cho finished 2-for-4 with a pair of singles.
Next weekend, the Huskies return to the Los Angeles area for a three-game series at Loyola Marymount.
LINESCORE Battle at the Beach, Malibu, Calif. Washington 4, #11 Houston 1 Houston 000 100 000 -- 1 6 0 Washington 200 000 20x -- 4 9 0 Garrett Mock, Brian Martin (7), Kevin Roberts (7), Brian Henderson (7) and Brett Logan, Nick Bott (8). Clay Johnson, Scott Robertson (7), Trent Baysinger (8) and Aaron Hathaway. W - Johnson (1-0). L - Mock (0-1). Sv - Baysinger (1). 2B - UH, Stuart Musslewhite, Thanos Papavasiliou, Travis Tully; UW, Greg Isaacson. HR - UW, Kyle Larsen (2). T - 2:40. A - 217.