Cougars Drop Series Finale Against California, 6-4
April 16, 2006
PULLMAN, Wash. - Garrett Bussiere drove in three runs for the Golden Bears and a late Cougar rally came up short as California defeated Washington State 6-4 in the Pacific-10 Conference series finale Sunday afternoon at Bailey-Brayton Field.
With the loss the Cougars fall to 23-14 overall, 5-7 in Pac-10 play. Cal takes two of three in the series and moves to 18-17, 6-6 in conference action.
Trailing 6-4 entering the bottom of the ninth, WSU put the tying runs on base with leading hitter Jay Miller at the plate. After fouling off three, two-strike pitches, Miller grounded out to short to end the game.
For the second time in as many days, weather played havoc with the series. After snow and rain pushed Saturday's game back to today, the snow returned to Pullman, causing a one hour, 53-minute delay at the start of the fourth inning.
Aggressive base running led to the Cougars first run. After a one-out hit by Travis Coulter in the bottom of the first, Coulter stole second and third. One out later, Jared Prince stole second and Bussiere's throw went into center field, allowing Coulter to score with the game's first run.
Cal took a 2-1 lead in the second as with two outs and Chris Errecart on first, Bussiere lined a 2-2 pitch over the wall in left for his second home run of the series. Taylor Grigsby's RBI single pushed the lead to 3-1 in the fifth. That ended the day of Cougar starter Wayne Daman Jr., who went four and 1/3 innings, allowing only two hits and three runs with four strikeouts.
Jim Murphy led off the Cougar fifth with a double to center then scored one out later on a Matt Gorgen wild pitch, cutting the Cal lead to 3-2.
Mike Van Winden had a two-run single and Bussiere added an RBI single in the eighth to extend Cal's lead to 6-2. In the bottom of the inning the Cougars answered with two runs, courtesy of Paul Gran's RBI double to left that brought home Coulter. On the play Prince came all the way around from first when Errecart had trouble fielding the ball.
When Daman departed in the fifth, Jayson Miller came on for the next two and 2/3 innings of no-hit relief. In all six Cougar pitchers went to the mound with Daman suffering the loss to fall to 5-3 this season.
At the plate Murphy and Coulter each had to hits to lead a 10-hit Cougar attack.
Cal had seven hits on the day with Bussiere the only player with more than one. Following the snow delay, Gorgen came on for starter Michael Cooper and went one a 2/3 innings as he picked up the win to improve to 2-3. Jeremy Burchett earned his third save with one a 2/3 innings of hitless relief.
The Cougars return to the diamond Tuesday when they host Gonzaga at Bailey-Brayton Field. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.