Huskies end season, but a new era is born


Baseball -

Despite jumping out to a 2-1 lead, the Huskies were unable to hold on against Ole Miss on Monday, ending their season with a 41-17-1 record

Photo by Joshua Bessex

A renaissance season for the Washington baseball team came to a close on Monday night as host Mississippi pulled off a 3-2 win in extra innings to earn a spot in the NCAA Super Regionals.

The Huskies battled hard with a piecemeal pitching staff after Tyler Davis, Jeff Brigham, and Jared Fisher had pitched earlier in the tournament. Sophomore Will Ballowe led the charge and allowed only one run in 4 2-3 innings of work.

The UW ultimately fell when Ole Miss first baseman Sikes Orvis sent a triple screaming down the right field line to score the go-ahead run in the 10th.

Freshman Jack Meggs entered in the 10th to pinch hit with one out, and drew a walk to keep the UW alive, but the next two batters weren’t as fortunate. The score would remain 3-2, making Mississippi the team from the Oxford regional to advance to the next round of the playoffs.

“I’m really proud of my team,” head coach Lindsay Meggs told GoHuskies.com. “We’ve come a long way in a short amount of time. Like I told my team when we talked, it’s about life lessons. … It hurts, but we’ve learned to count on each other. And we came here and represented ourselves as fine young men and representatives of our great university. I don’t think you will ever see anyone play harder.”

Ole Miss struck first, scoring one run in the second inning on a solo home run by designated hitter Colby Bortles, but UW first baseman Branden Berry responded with an RBI single in the next inning to even the score at one.

The Huskies pulled ahead 2-1 in the fifth with a sac fly by right fielder Brian Wolfe, but the lead wouldn’t hold.

Bortles doubled to right center to score the tying run from second, and it was a new ball game.

Tensions were running high, but Mother Nature dampened the mood, sending the game into a rain delay that lasted nearly two hours.

Play resumed, but Mississippi reliever Scott Weathersby came back with a vengeance, allowing only two hits over the final four frames to earn the win.

The playoffs may be over for the Huskies, but the team and coaching staff shouldn’t hang their heads.

After a nine-year playoff drought, the UW baseball program has remade itself under the leadership of Meggs and the heart of the roster.

Meggs earned Pac-12 Coach of the Year honors, leading the UW to a 41-17-1 record, notching the UW’s fifth season with 40 or more wins.

Starting pitcher Tyler Davis, who had thrown a complete-game shutout in the first game of the Oxford regionals, was named a Second-Team All-American, and is still on the watch list for a handful of additional awards after winning 11 games and posting a stellar 1.60 ERA.

What the Huskies did this year was, in a word, special, and it won’t likely end here. The season may be over for the UW, but a new era in Husky baseball has just begun.

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

Please read our Comment policy.