Weber's Late Heroics Lift Cougar Baseball Past Sun Devils
April 12, 2009
TEMPE, Ariz. - Junior Michael Weber's eighth inning home run broke a 4-4 tie and Washington State added five runs in the ninth to defeat No. 1 Arizona State 10-4 in Pacific-10 Conference baseball, Sunday.
With the victory, the Cougars (15-15, 5-4 Pac-10) broke at 13-game losing streak in Tempe against the Sun Devils (25-8, 10-2 Pac-10) dating back to the 2001 season.
'David Stilley was great pitching on the road against the No. 1 team in his first-collegiate start and Jeremy Johnson was solid in relief,' WSU Head Coach Donnie Marbut said. 'It was important for us to score first and not dig a hole today. Michael Weber came up with a big home run for us late and we were able to get some big hits in the ninth inning to add some runs.'
The Cougars scored first with four runs in the top of the fifth inning. Sophomore Garry Kuykendall singled and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by redshirt-sophomore Cody Bartlett. With sophomore Shea Vucinich batting, Kuykendall broke for third and appeared to be picked off when Sun Devils' pitcher Seth Blair stepped off and threw to second baseman Zack MacPhee. However, Kuykendall beat the MacPhee's throw to third and scored when it bounced past third baseman Raoul Torrez.
Vucinich followed with a double, but was cut down at third on senior Alex Burg's ground ball for the second out of the inning. Freshman Derek Jones then hammered his ninth home run of the season to right field and WSU led 3-0. Senior Greg Lagreid beat out a bunt single, took second on a wild pitch and came around to score on senior Jared Prince's single.
The Sun Devils picked up a couple of runs in the fifth off Stilley and two more in the sixth against Johnson to tie the game 4-4.
It stayed that way until the eighth when Weber hit the first pitch he saw from reliever Mitchell Lambson (5-2) over the right field wall for his third home run of the season to put the Cougars ahead 5-4.
In the ninth, Bartlett reached on an error to open the inning and Vucinich sacrificed him to second. After Burg grounded out, Jones was intentionally walked. Lagreid followed with a RBI-single and Prince walked to load the bases. Weber came up big again when he drilled a three-run double to right and increased the Cougars' lead to 9-4. Sophomore Matt Argyropoulos capped the rally with a run-scoring single.
Washington State returns to nonconference action with a 6:30 p.m. game at Gonzaga, Tuesday.
Washington State's victory was the first by a Cougar team over an opponent ranked No. 1 nationally since WSU volleyball defeated Stanford at home in 2002...Cougars are above .500 through three Pac-10 series since the conference's reunification in 1999.