From the S-R's Jim Meehan:

In the fall of 1983, Bobo Brayton brought his Washington State Cougars to Spokane on a Saturday for a pair against Gonzaga at cozy Pecarovich Field, where the basketball shrine now sits. In the bottom of the first inning, a beefy Bulldog freshman named Jeff Hainline stepped into the box and sent a rocket in the direction of the old post office annex on Trent.

Next time up, another bomb. Then a third.

Brayton, making his way to the third-base coaching box between innings, looked into the Gonzaga dugout and growled at coach Steve Hertz, “I’ve got to put up with that for four years?”

“And then Jeff hits another one,” Hertz recalled. “Our place was kind of a launching pad, but these weren’t cheapies. The regular season hadn’t started and I’m thinking, ‘He’s Babe Ruth.’ ”

The stories seem almost Ruthian for sure, about Gonzaga’s all-time home run leader who found his way into the record books of the old Pac-10 – Gonzaga’s baseball home in those days – right next to Mark McGwire.

But there were tears between the toasts over the weekend.

Jeff Hainline died on Thursday at age 56, some long-standing health issues complicated when he was infected with COVID-19 in the past two weeks.

For the Hainline and Schurger families, the blow wasn’t just devastating, but doubly so. Jeff’s wife Delena also contracted the virus and died two days earlier.