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Pilots Top UW 5-4 in Rain-Shortened Game

April 18, 2007

PORTLAND, Ore. --- Down one run with ominous clouds looming in the bottom of the sixth inning, Portland's Danny Meier smacked a clutch two-run double to left field that propelled the Pilots past the Washington Huskies 5-4 in a non-conference baseball game shortened to six innings due to rain. Meier's double came just before a rain delay that lasted an hour and twenty minutes at Joe Etzel Field.

After the tarp was finally pulled, Washington (19-16) reliever Harrison Bishop induced an inning-ending foul out from Rocky Gale on two pitches. The skies then opened once again, causing the umpires to officially call the game a final.

Portland (15-20) used five pitchers during the game, with junior reliever Brian Yoakum (2-0) picking up the win. Yoakum allowed one run on two hits, while striking out one in an inning of work.

UW's Brandon McKerney (2-1) was saddled with the loss after giving up two hits, including Meier's double, and two runs in two-thirds of an inning.

The Huskies plated one run in the first, another in the third and one more in the fifth to take a 3-0 lead. Washington's lead-off hitter Michael Burgher smacked the first pitch of the game over the left field wall for an early 1-0 lead.

With the Pilots trailing by three in the fifth and only two hits to that point, senior outfielder Justin Pierce tied the game with a three-run homer off of Washington starter Jason Erickson. Junior infielder Jesse Rodgers and freshman second baseman Charlie Herche, who had both reached base with singles, were on-board when Pierce drilled his fifth home run of the season over the left field fence with two outs.

Washington re-claimed the lead in the top of the sixth when Burgher knocked in his third run of the game with a single to center field off of Yoakum. Then with the bases loaded and two outs, Yoakum got Matt Hague to fly out to center, ending the threat.

In the bottom of the sixth, sophomore Chase Powell drew a lead off walk from McKerney, who had relieved Erickson to begin the inning. After pinch hitter Adam Kerr singled to left, freshman Clayton Shaw advanced the runners with a sacrifice bunt. Meier followed with his line-drive double to left. Rodgers then ground out to second before the rain delay.

UP starter Sean Sargent gave up a run on two hits in 2.0 innings pitched. He also struck out one. Senior Brian Cox and freshmen Ed Wakefield and Ben Panther each pitched an inning of relief. Wakefield struck out two of the four batters he faced.

Each team finished with seven hits and no errors. The win ends a six-game skid for the Pilots.

Portland next hosts the San Francisco Dons for a three-game West Coast Conference series at Joe Etzel Field this weekend. The Pilots and Dons are scheduled to play at 3:00 p.m. on Friday and at 1:00 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.