The Washington baseball team is on a tear. Dating back to February 28, the Huskies (16-5-1, 5-1 Pac-12) have gone 13-1 including sweeps of UC Davis and Arizona. The Huskies’ lone loss in March came in the conference opener against Arizona State in Tempe, they went on to take the series. Since the March 14 loss, the Huskies have won six straight with three consecutive nail-biting one-run victories.
Washington opened the 2014 season in nearby Tacoma, Wash., playing in Cheney Stadium, the home of the AAA Tacoma Rainiers. The grand opening of Husky Stadium coincided with their conference opener, hosting the Arizona Wildcats last weekend. Amidst the pomp and circumstance of the unveiling of the $15 million ‘Diamond on Montlake,’ the Husky ballplayers dazzled as brightly as the stadium.
Sophomore catcher Austin Rei shined the brightest on opening night going 2-for-3 with 4 RBI including a double in the sixth inning that would put the Huskies up for good.
The Wildcats jumped all over Huskies starting pitcher Jared Fisher, scoring four runs in the first inning. Washington responded in the second inning with five hits including second baseman Andrew Ely’s two-out triple to right field to put the Huskies up 5-4. The Wildcats would score three more in the fourth inning to chase Fisher after 3.2 innings but would score no more. Brandon Choate pitched 2.1 innings of perfect baseball including three strikeouts to earn his first win of the season. Troy Rallings pitched the ninth inning to earn his second save.
Saturday’s game was a much lower scoring affair with Washington junior pitcher Tyler Davis hurling a gem of a game allowing only three hits and one run in seven complete innings. Huskies’ right fielder Brian Wolfe had a great night at the plate hitting 3-of-4 with a run scored while Rei went 2-for-3 with a double in the fourth and an RBI-single in the sixth.
Arizona would tack on a run in the eighth, but that wouldn’t be enough as Fisher earned his fourth win on the season and Rallings gained his third save.
Wolfe, the senior from Snohomish, Wash., came up big again on Sunday, hitting the first home run in the new Husky Ballpark on a three-run shot in the fifth to chase Wildcats’ pitcher Xavier Borde. Borde replaced starting pitcher Austin Schnabel (0-3) who gave up two straight hits to start the fifth. Borde hit the first batter he faced then gave up a 2-RBI double and the 3-run shot from Wolfe. Tyler Parmenter relieved Borde and escaped the inning with no further damage.
Wolfe was named Pac-12 Player of the Week for his dominant performance at home. Over four games, Wolfe hit 9-of-16 with four RBI and five runs scored. Wolfe marks the second Husky player to win the honor and Washington is the first team this season to win back-to-back honors.