A GRIP ON SPORTS
The best thing about baseball? There is no clock. You never know when a game will end. The worst thing about baseball, at least last night? There is no clock, and I just couldn't hold out until the end. Read on.
• I fought the good fight. Stayed up through 12 innings. Rooted for my childhood team, the Dodgers, until my old man eyes just couldn't remain open anymore. At least that allowed me to avoid the 3-2 defeat the Cardinals – the Cardinals – pinned on them in 13. At least it was just the first game of a best-of-seven series. The Dodgers have a chance to bounce back. The season is not over. Which brings us to today's college football slate. OK, it's kind of a reach, but it's the best I can do. Remember, I was up well past my usual bedtime last night – and will be again tonight. That's because I will be in Pullman as the Cougars host Oregon State in another Late-Night-in-the-Pac-12 extravaganza. Both teams come into the contest with four wins, just two away from bowl eligibility. The difference is, the Beavers have been to a few bowls recently. The Cougars? Not in a long time. Sure, a loss tonight wouldn't end either team's season. WSU will still have five games left and would be favored or at least within a field goal in two of them (Utah and at Arizona). The Beavers would have half the season remaining and should be able to find a way to win a couple more. But tonight's game has a bit of an elimination-game feel to it, especially for the Pullman guys. A 5-2 mark headed into the stretch run would, rightfully so, raise expectations – and make a bowl berth that much easier. Washington State has just two home games remaining after tonight, Arizona State on Halloween and Utah in November. The matchups with No. 2 Oregon and Arizona, along with the Apple Cup, are all on the road, a tough place to win in this conference no matter the opponent. Which should give the Cougars an extra dose of urgency this evening. Add it up and the result should be a Washington State win, say 31-30 on a last-second Andrew Furney (pictured) field goal from about, say, Colfax. I hope I'm still awake.
• WSU: If you want to read about tonight's game, I recommend you start here, with Jacob Thorpe's report. His advance covers how important tonight's game is for the Cougars. He also has some keys to the game, a quick look at the matchup and a morning post with links. ...It was a busy Friday for Jacob as he also covered the kickoff event for the men's and women's basketball teams that occurred after WSU upset No. 16 Arizona State in volleyball. The men's team was missing one of its key recruits, junior college point guard Danny Lawhorn (pictured), who has left the team. Jacob has this short story and blog post on that defection. ... We chip in with our usual Saturday morning link, that is to ESPN.com's mailbag. ... The Cougar women's soccer team rolled to a Pac-12 win.
• Whitworth: The Pirates' losing streak reached four games with a 50-21 loss at Willamette last night.
• Preps: There were a couple of big games in the Greater Spokane League last night, one because of its effect on the standings – that would be Ferris' 24-14 win over Mt. Spokane – and one because it is an intra-district rivalry – that would be Central Valley's 42-21 win over U-Hi. Greg Lee has the story and Jesse Tinsley has the photographs from the former while Mike Vlahovich and Tyler Tjomsland covered the latter. The other GSL game was 44-9 win by Lewis and Clark over Rogers. ... Thomas Clouse has the story of East Valley's easy 30-0 Great Northern League win over visiting Cheney. ... Freeman stayed hot and rolled over Lakeside, 50-14. Steve Christilaw has the story. ... Our roundup of football action leads with Colville's comeback win. We also have a scorelist and box scores to pass along. ... Shadle Park snapped a long losing streak to Mead in volleyball action covered by Chris Derrick.
• Seahawks: One of the names that showed up on the Hawks' injury list yesterday was Marshawn Lynch. But Pete Carroll was adamant Lynch would play Sunday vs. Tennessee. Let's take him at his word, OK, and not panic. And, remember, center Max Unger will be back. ... Third down is one area in which the Hawks could improve.
• Mariners: So maybe the M's pursuit of Lou Pinella wasn't a "full-court press" as was reported. Still, the team did pursue him.
• Sounders: Though coach Sigi Schmid won't say if he's made up his mind to make a change in goal, there is a chance it could happen soon. Maybe even Sunday. ... With Brad Evans playing the entire game, the U.S. wrapped up the top spot in World Cup qualifying. ... The Sounders have a preseason tournament scheduled for next year.
• As I said, I'll be down in Pullman tonight and will be hosting the post-game call-in show with my friend, Dennis Patchin. You can listen in if you live on the east side of the Cascades or if have the TuneIn Radio app on your phone, tablet or computer. Until then ...