College baseball notes: Pac-12 singles out Cougs’ Joe Pistorese

PULLMAN – Joe Pistorese’s dominant pitching stretch came to an end last week when then No. 10 Oregon dinged him for eight runs over four innings. However, the pitcher earned just four of those runs thanks to a pair of errors as the stellar defense that had previously given him the advantage failed.

The off-color outing diminished but could not foil what has been a remarkable April for the lefty. He was named the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week last week for his complete game effort in WSU’s 4-1 win over No. 5 Oregon State, in which he allowed the Beavers just four hits in nine innings.

The feat against the powerful lineup was remarkable, but not historic, like his complete game shutout – WSU’s first since 1995 – the week before in a 3-0 win over Cal.

“He’s unreal when he’s on the mound,” outfielder Yale Rosen said. “Just the tempo he brings. He always can pound the zone and so I’m confident every time Joe’s on the mound.”

Rosen earned Pac-12 Player of the Week honors seven days prior to Pistorese, making it the first time since 1996 Cougars won the weekly awards back-to-back.

In those outings he was the beneficiary of some stellar defense. WSU committed no errors in either game and he received some big plays in the field, such as a diving catch by Rosen in left field to avoid a sure double.

Coaches and teammates claim that Pistorese’s quick pace on the mound helps the defense by keeping the team’s energy high. His win over Cal was done in just over two hours.

“It’s easy to play defense behind a guy who is so fast-paced because there isn’t much waiting around,” said infielder/outfielder Trek Stemp.

Pistorese can’t take all the credit for his early-April success, however. Catcher P.J. Jones calls the shots.

“P.J. and my relationship is phenomenal,” Pistorese said. “He’s calling the game for the most part; until runners are in scor- ing position he’s in control of the game. As you can see he’s been doing a damn good job of it.”

Marbut update

WSU baseball coach Donnie Marbut is currently serving a six-game suspension, imposed by the Pac-12 after Marbut was ejected from Friday’s game at Oregon. Marbut was the fourth consecutive visiting coach ejected from UO’s PK Park.

GU needed sweep

Gonzaga picked up a badly-needed sweep over the hapless Portland Pilots (8-33, 2-16) last week to regain a seeded position in the West Coast Conference standings. The Bulldogs (15-23, 11-7) are tied for third with San Diego after winning both games of a doubleheader on Friday and another on Saturday.

“I’ve said it all along, we’re not going to quit we’ll keep working at it and we had a huge weekend,” coach Mark Machtolf said.

The wins mean GU is once again in position to participate in the four-team WCC double-elimination tournament to decide the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

Payden Lamb hit .667 (8 of 12) in the series and drove in four runs, while Cory LeBrun hit .400 (4 of 10) and had three RBIs.

“We bunched hits together, which we haven’t done a lot this year,” Machtolf said. “So we did a better job with runners in scoring position.”

After scoring just five runs in their previous three games GU averaged 6.33 in the sweep.

Oregon St.11-428-8
San Diego11-727-14
Santa Clara8-717-23
San Fran.7-1119-20
Saint Mary’s5-1013-26

Click here to comment on this story »


Complete interview with Gabe Marks

Our most recent story about prolific Washington State wide receiver Gabe Marks tells the story of a particularly insightful interview we had last spring. That story, "Gabe Marks is a ...

Weekend Wild Card — 7.23-24. 16

I'm facing another weekend of fence-building with my neighbor. Once we get the back fence built, I have one last honey-do item on the agenda and then it's kick back ...

You have 50 choices

S-R intern Tyson Bird brought cookies to work on his last day with us. It has been a pleasure to have him here. I first printed a column submission from ...

Saving for the future

sponsored According to two 2015 surveys, 62 percent of Americans do not have enough savings to handle an unexpected emergency, much less any long-term plans.



Contact the Spokesman

Main switchboard:
(509) 459-5000
Customer service:
(800) 338-8801
(509) 459-5400
(800) 789-0029
Back to Spokesman Mobile