Cougs Rally For 12-9 Win Over Zags

May 1, 2002

PULLMAN, Wash. - Tyson Boston hit a two-out, three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning, capping a seven-run inning, to lead Washington State to a 12-9 win against Gonzaga Wednesday night at Bailey-Brayton Field.

WSU improved to 18-24 on the season and has won three in a row and four of its last five games. The Cougars split the season series with the Bulldogs 2-2. Gonzaga fell to 23-22 and have now lost their last five.

Zach Fisher (1-1) pitched 1 2/3 innings to record his first win of the season. Fisher allowed one hit and no runs. Eric Everson (1-3) received the loss for the Bulldogs.

Trailing 9-5 in the bottom of the ninth with the bases loaded and one out, WSU's Jeff LaRue singled sharply to centerfield, scoring Collin Henderson from third and Robert Stahlke from second, cutting the Bulldog lead to 9-7. After Bookie Gates popped up to second base, Derek Bruce tied the game with a single to right center field that plated pinch runner Billy Hetherington and Stahlke.

Bruce Jacobsen followed with a single, and the Cougars had men on first and second with two outs. Boston, pinch hitting for Brandon Reddinger, then drove reliever Kyle Nearhood's first pitch of the game over the scoreboard in left center field wall for his first home run of the season.

Justin Hart and Jacobsen each had three hits for WSU, while LaRue, Steve Mortimer and Jon Baeder added two apiece as the Cougars had 16 collectively. LaRue also added four RBI.

Gonzaga was led by Jeff Culpepper's 5-for-5 day. Kevin Richardson was 3-for-5 and hit a three-run homer in the top of the fifth. Bulldog first baseman Nate Gold, who entered the game with a national-best 30 home runs, was held hitless.

The Cougars got on the board in the bottom of the first inning. LaRue doubled to left field to plate Evan Hecker. Gates followed with an RBI groundout that scored Hart, giving WSU a 2-0 lead.

Gonzaga responded with two runs in the top of the second to tie the score, but the Cougars regained the lead, 4-2, with two runs n the bottom of the third.

Stahlke singled to left field to score Hecker. LaRue followed with a sacrifice fly to right field that brought home Hart.

The Bulldogs countered with a six-run fifth inning to take an 8-4 lead, which the Cougars cut to 8-5 in their half of the fifth on Stahlke's RBI groundout that plated Hecker.

Gonzaga added a run in the top of the seventh, extending its lead to 9-5, setting the table for WSU's ninth-inning rally.

The Cougars next host Oregon State for a three-game series beginning Friday, May 3. First pitch at Bailey-Brayton Field is scheduled for 6 p.m.

Gonzaga 020 060 100 - 9 12 1
WSU 202 010 007 - 12 16 1
Kemp Quackenbush, Matt Reding (5), Brad Welker (7), Eric Everson (9), Kyle Nearhood (9) and Kevin Richardson.
Josh Bartlome, Marshall Hendon (2), Lanakila Niles (5), Nick Kenyon (5), Billy Gorrell (8), Zach Fisher (8) and Jon Baeder, Brandon Reddinger (9).
W - Fisher (1-1). L - Everson (1-3). Save - None. HR - Richardson (12), Boston (1).
T - 3:00. A - 620.
Gonzaga Hits - Zurmely, Culpepper 5, Richardson 3, Hess 2, Munhall.
WSU Hits - Hart 3, Stahlke, LaRue 2, Bruce, Mortimer 2, Jacobsen 3, Baeder 2, Boston, Henderson.
E - Rodland, Bruce. 2B - Zurmely, Richardson, LaRue. 3B - Culpepper.

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