Late Inning Outburst Lifts Fresno State Past Cougars, 6-1

March 16, 2006

FRESNO, Calif. - Fresno State University used a five-run eighth inning to break open a 1-1 tie en route to a 6-1 victory over Washington State University at the Johnny Quik Classic Thursday evening at Beiden Field.

With the loss the Cougars fall to 17-5 overall, including a 2-1 mark at the Johnny Quik Classic. Fresno State wins its ninth-straight and improves to 17-8, 4-0 this week.

It was a pitchers duel through seven innings between Cougar starter Nick Ison and the Bulldogs' Brandon Burke. Each pitcher gave up one run through seven, though Ison did so on two hits in that span while Burke surrendered 10. Burke was able to pitch out of jams on more than one occasion, including the seventh when he escaped a first and third situation with only one out. The right hander picked Travis Coulter off first then induced Jared Prince into an inning-ending groundout.

In the bottom of the eighth the Bulldogs opened the inning with six straight hits, the big blow coming on Brian Lapin's pinch-hit, three-run double to cap a five-run outburst. With two runs in and the bases loaded, Steve Kost came on in relief of Ison and was greeted by Lapin's double to break the game open.

The Cougars had chances throughout the contest as they stranded 10 runners on base, but could not get the big hit when needed.

WSU opened the scoring in the third when Zach McAngus' infield single brought home Jay Miller for the 1-0 lead. Miller had led off the inning with a double down the line in left.

Ison retired the first 12 batters he faced before surrendering Beau Mills' leadoff double to start the fifth. Two outs later, Frank LoNigro doubled home Mills with the tying run.

The loss marks the first of the season for Ison, who falls to 4-1 despite striking out a season-high nine batters. At the plate Jay Miller led the way with three more hits, while Coulter and McAngus each added two.

Burke went eight strong innings, allowing just one run while striking out eight. Doug Fister came on to work a perfect ninth to secure the win.

WSU continues play at the Johnny Quik Classic with a Friday doubleheader. WSU opens with Binghamton at 1 p.m. in a game rescheduled after Tuesday's rainout. The Cougars will follow with a game against Gonzaga, the third time the two teams have met in the past two weeks.

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