SURPRISE, Ariz. – Jeff Brigham threw seven strong innings and the Washington offense supplied early offense to back him as the Huskies beat Michigan State, 4-1, Sunday in the final game of the Pac-12/Big Ten Tournament at Surprise Stadium.
The win moved the Huskies to 3-3-1 on the season, while Michigan State dropped to 4-2. UW ended up 1-2 in the tournament, while the Spartans went 2-1.
Brigham (2-0) picked up the UW pitching staff that saw its starters battered in the first two games of the tournament. He allowed two hits, gave up just one earned run and retired the Spartans in order five times in earning his second win of the season. It marked Brigham’s longest outing since he threw 7.0 innings on April 19, 2011 vs. Seattle U and tied for the second-most innings he’s pitched in his career.
Robert Pehl gave Washington its first lead of the Pac-12/Big Ten Tournament in the first inning with a 385-foot blast over the left field wall that landed on the grassy berm. It was the second home run this season for Pehl and the Huskies’ Pac-12 leading sixth bomb of the early season.
The Huskies played add on in the second inning with three unearned runs. Trevor Mitsui reached with one out after being hit by a pitch from Michigan State starter Chase Rihtarchik (0-1). Ryan Wiggins followed with a single, setting up the big play of the inning. Jack Meggs hit a ground ball to first baseman Ryan Krill, who tried to get a force out at second base but threw the ball into left field allowing Mitsui to score and Wiggins to move down to third base. Erik Forgione lined out to shortstop for the second out, followed by Braden Bishop reaching after being hit by a pitch. Andrew Ely capped the inning with a two-run single to make it 4-0.
Michigan State got one run back in the fourth, but Brigham used nifty pitching to avoid more damage. The junior righty loaded the bases with no one out but induced Krill to roll into a 4-6-3 double play that scored a run. He then escaped the jam with a 4-1 lead when he got the next batter to harmlessly fly out to right field.
Trevor Dunlap pitched the final two innings to earn his first save of the season.
Pehl and Mitsui led the Huskies' offense with two hits apiece.
Washington will stay in the desert for one more game Monday when they play Oregon State at 10:00 a.m. PT in a non-conference contest.
Washington 4, Michigan State 1
MSU 000 100 000 –- 1 4 1
UW 130 000 00x –- 4 8 0
Chase Rihtarchik, Cam Vieaux (6), Walter Borkovich (7), Josh Buchalski (7), Jake Lowery (8) and Joel Fisher. Jeff Brigham, Trevor Dunlap (8) and Ryan Wiggins, Parker Guinn (9). W – Brigham (1-0). L – Rihtarchik (0-1). Sv – Dunlap (1). HR – UW, Robert Pehl (2). 2B - UW – Pehl. Time – 2:34. Attendance – 650.