Rankin's Homer Snaps Streak; Beat Pilots, 5-2

March 21, 2009

PORTLAND, Ore. - Sophomore Pierce Rankin hit his third home run of the weekend, breaking a 2-2 tie in the eighth, to lead the Washington baseball team to a 5-2 win over Portland Saturday night at the Rose City Invitational.

Washington (7-11) broke a five-game losing streak while also snapping Portland's five-game win streak. The Pilots fell to 13-8 on the year.

Rankin, from Shorecrest High, stretched his hitting streak to 17 games with the homer, his fifth of the year.

UW freshman reliever Andrew Kittredge (1-1), who entered the game with a 2-2 tie in the sixth, got the win, holding the Pilots scoreless on two hits over three innings. Starter Brian Pearl worked six innings, allowing two runs on six hits, but didn't figure in the decision.

Pilots starter Kyle Kraus (2-2) took the loss. He worked seven-plus innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on 10 hits.

In the top of the second, Husky right fielder Kyle Conley led off with a double. After a flyout moved him to third, a Brett Wilcox groundout sent him home, giving Washington a 1-0 lead.

In the third, Andy Bethel singled, moved to third on a hit-and-run single from Brendan Gardner-Young and scored on a Pierce Rankin sacrifice fly, making it 2-0.

After having gone down in order in their first three innings, the Pilots broke through for a run in the fourth. Kris Kauppila singled, moved to second on a bunt and then scored on a double from Beau Fraser, cutting the UW lead to 2-1.

In the sixth, Kauppila again singled to lead off. After an infield single and a bunt moved him to third, he scored on a sacrifice fly from Bryant Kraus, tying the score at 2-2.

However, in the eighth, Rankin led off the inning with his fifth homer of the year to break the tie. Later in the inning, Troy Scott scored from second when an infield single was misplayed by second baseman Riley Henricks, making it a 4-2 UW lead.

Conley added a sacrifice fly in the ninth to add the Huskies' fifth run.

The Huskies will play Oregon in the third/fourth-place game Sunday at 12:00 p.m. PT. Live audio will air on gohuskies.com.

LINESCORERose City Invitational, Portland, Ore.Washington 5, Portland 2Washington    011 000 021 -- 5 13 1Portland      000 101 000 -- 2  6 2Kyle Kraus, Brent Miller (8), Keeler Brynteson (8), MatthewLange (9) and Beau Fraser. Brian Pearl, Andrew Kittredge(7) and Brett Wilcox, Pierce Rankin (8). W - Kittredge (1-1). L - Kraus (2-2). 2B - UW, Kyle Conley, Aaron Russell;UP, Fraser, Austin Pearce. HR - UW, Rankin (5). T - 2:27. A- 2,083.
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