Ninth Inning Rally Lifts Cougars Past Stanford
May 16, 2010
STANFORD, Calif. - Shea Vucinich delivered a two-run, go-ahead triple and Michael Weber belted a grand slam to cap a seven-run ninth inning as Washington State defeated No. 25 Stanford 9-3, Sunday in Pacific-10 Conference baseball.
With the victory, the Cougars (28-18, 11-10 Pac-10) took two of three games in the series with the Cardinal (27-20, 11-10 Pac-10) and moved into a three-way tie for third place in the conference with Stanford and California.
Washington State trailed 3-2 entering the ninth and was facing Alex Pracher (6-4), who was seeking a three-inning save. Matt Fanelli led off with a single and moved to third when a potential double-play ball off the bat of Derek Jones was misplayed for error. Vucinich then sent a rocket into the right-center field gap for a three-base hit that put the Cougars on top 4-3.
A second error by Stanford allowed Kyle Johnson to reach first and Matt Argyropoulos followed with a single to plate Vucinich with an insurance run. Jay Ponciano moved both runners up with a sacrifice bunt and Garry Kuykendall was intentionally walked to load the bases. Pracher retired Bartlett on a foul pop for the second out of the inning, but Weber blasted a ball over the center field wall for his second home run of the game.
'I am so proud of the way our guys battled all weekend long,' WSU Head Coach Donnie Marbut said. 'We got a solid start from Adam Conley, clutch hitting in the ninth, and grinded out a big conference series win.'
Conley received a no decision after giving up three runs, two earned, on eight hits in seven innings. Stanford tallied an unearned run in the first and Conley gave up a solo home run in the fourth and another in the fifth as the Cardinal built a 3-0 lead.
Washington State scored twice in the sixth on a two-out walk to Bartlett and Weber's fifth home run of the season. Connor Lambert (4-1) pitched two perfect innings of relief to earn the victory.
The Cougars travel to Gonzaga, Tuesday for a 6:30 p.m. start.
For the fourth-straight year, the team losing the first game of the series between Stanford and Washington State, came back to win the series...Cougar bullpen won for the 16th time this season, most since 1987 when the WSU relievers won 19...Cougars posted their 17th come-from-behind win of the season their sixth in their final at bat.