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Conference-leading Huskies to host Cougars

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Fisher -

Junior righthander Jared Fisher will start Friday night against Washington State. In his last two starts, Fisher has allowed just eight hits and one earned run in 12 1-3 innings.

Photo by Joshua Bessex

Seattle University delivered a wakeup call to the Washington baseball team (27-9-1, 14-4 Pac-12) on Tuesday, and perhaps just in time. The UW still sits alone atop the Pac-12 standings after a nonconference 1-0 defeat at the hands of crosstown rival Seattle U, but was reminded that even the best teams can be undone.

“Baseball is pretty humbling,” designated hitter Robert Pehl said. “As soon as you think you got it figured out, it’ll bring you down to earth pretty fast.”

The Huskies have seen two other shutouts this season, but Tuesday’s game was the first time they were on the receiving end.

“Our lack of hitting is what cost us the game,” Pehl said. “We just took awful at bats [Tuesday]. It was very frustrating.”

The Huskies will need to find their swing in a hurry, as they prepare to host rival Washington State (17-20, 7-8 Pac-12) this weekend.

“The Cougars are a good team,” Pehl said. “They’re talented … We’ll have our hands full this weekend.”

WSU leads the all-time series 234-188, but the UW appears to have the advantage this time around.

The Huskies are 13-2 at home this season while the Cougars are only 8-12 on the road.

On top of their poor road record, the Cougars trail the Huskies in virtually every statistical measure this season, except in stolen bases.

While centerfielder Braden Bishop leads the charge for the UW with more than half of the team’s stolen bases, nearly every Cougar has been aggressive on the base paths. They currently rank third in the conference with 39 swiped bags compared to the UW’s 27.

Besides all-around speed, WSU has a couple guys in the heart of their lineup that can really hit.

Outfielder Yale Rosen has made a name for himself recently, earning Pac-12 Player of the Week honors three weeks ago. He ranks among the top-10 in the conference in batting average, on base percentage, slugging, hits, doubles, home runs, and total bases.

Third baseman Nick Tanielu isn’t quite as dynamic as Rosen, but he owns a respectable .429 slugging percentage, and has been one of WSU’s top run producers with 22 RBIs on the season.

The UW’s starter for Friday, Jared Fisher, has looked good in his last two starts, and will look to build on his last start against California, when he went 6 1/3 strong innings while only surrendering one run on four hits.

The three-game series will kick off Friday night at 7 p.m., followed by another night game Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and ending with a day game at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Reach reporter Nick Bragg at sports@dailyuw.com. Twitter: @SeattleBragg

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