Cougar baseball drops season opener

Chris Shaw | Evergreen Baseball reporter

                An onslaught of offense and dominant pitching from the Cal State Fullerton Titans subdued the WSU Cougars in their first game of the 2014 season. 

                Thomas Eshelman, the sophomore ace of the Titans pitching staff, threw seven innings in the first game of the three game series, striking out eight Cougar hitters and walking none. Eshelman allowed three hits as he threw a strike on the first pitch to 20 of the 23 batters he faced. 

                Meanwhile, WSU starter Scott Simon, a redshirt junior, lasted just two innings as the No. 1 team in the country scored early and often en route to a 12-0 win in Fullerton. The Titans scored twice in the first inning and added four runs in the second, making Simon throw 52 total pitches. 

                Cal State Fullerton didn’t stop there, though. In the fourth inning, designated hitter Greg Velazquez hit a three-run home run to extend the lead to 9-0. Velazquez had four RBIs on the night, which led the team. Second baseman Jake Jefferies and first baseman Tanner Pinkston each added two RBIs. 

                Two players for the Cougars managed to have some success against the Titans on a night that not much else went well. Centerfielder and leadoff hitter Trek Stemp went 2 for 4, and reliever Sean Hartnett stymied the Titans for 2 1/3 innings, striking out four hitters and allowing zero runs. 

                The two teams play again on today at 2:00 p.m.