Scott Simon hadn’t started a game in more than seven weeks, so he didn’t have time to warn his family when his chance arrived Tuesday night.
Simon, a Central Valley High graduate, pitched five innings and picked up his first win of the season as Washington State defeated Gonzaga 5-1 in nonconference baseball at Patterson Complex.
Simon (1-2), a redshirt junior making his third start of the season, brushed off a shaky first inning and retired 10 consecutive batters until a leadoff single in the fifth. He coaxed the next batter into a double play and ended his night with a flyout to center field.
“I didn’t really talk to my parents before the game,” said Simon, whose previous appearances at Gonzaga were in relief.
“I didn’t know I was starting coming in. … I’m assuming my parents (attended the game), but I don’t have any idea.”
Yale Rosen’s three-run homer to right-center in the third off Kenny Smith (0-4) gave Simon a 3-1 cushion.
Simon started WSU’s season opener against Cal State Fullerton on Feb. 14 and returned for a Feb. 21 start against Western Carolina.
He lost both games, allowing a combined 13 hits and nine earned runs in six innings, and went to the Cougars’ bullpen.
“I haven’t had the success that I wanted,” Simon said. “I was predominantly the Friday night guy at first, but things didn’t work out and … I’ve been doing everything I can just to give my team a chance to win from here on.”
Simon had a solid sophomore season, making 15 starts and finishing No. 2 on the team in innings pitched (84 1/3) and strikeouts (47).
WSU (17-16) and Gonzaga (12-23) will also meet Tuesday in Pullman and May 13 at GU.
The Bulldogs swept three games from WSU last year. GU is 4-16 in nonconference play this season and 0-6 against teams from the Pac-12.