Desmarais Delivers Game-Winning Hit as Cougar Baseball Downs Kent State

March 9, 2008

Box Score

PULLMAN, Wash. - John Desmarais delivered a two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the eighth inning to give Washington State a 5-3 victory and a series win over Kent State in nonconference baseball at Bailey-Brayton Field, Sunday.

The game was tied 3-3 when Alex Burg led off with a walk off Kent State (3-8) reliever Jon Pokorny (0-2). After Michael Weber sacrificed Burg to second, Reid Lamport came out of the Golden Flashes' bullpen to face Shea Vucinich.

Prior to throwing a pitch, Lamport tried to pick Burg off second, but his throw sailed into center field and Burg scampered to third. Lamport then struck out Vucinich before intentionally walking Travis Coulter to pitch to Desmarais. After Coulter stole second, Lamport jumped ahead 0-2 on Desmarais. The WSU (10-2) freshman left fielder lined the next offering into left-center field to plate two runs and put the Cougars on top 5-3.

'John hasn't shown any fear as a freshman,' WSU Head Coach Donnie Marbut said. 'He fell behind 0-2, but he made them pay for a mistake pitch.'

After Desmarais's heroics, the Cougars had to survive a scare in the ninth. Ross Humes (1-0), who recorded the final two outs in the eighth, walked Conor Egan to open the inning. Jared Humphreys followed with a line drive that knocked Humes down and went for an infield single to put runners at first and second with no one out.

Humes struck out Chris Tremblay on a 3-2 pitch as Humphreys was hung up when he broke for second on the delivery and Egan failed to take off for third. Cougar catcher Greg Lagreid ran at Humphreys, and flipped the ball to shortstop Shea Vucinich when Humphreys continued toward second base. Egan then started to third base and Vucinich threw a strike to third baseman Paul Gran who tagged out Egan for a double play. Humes closed out the game getting Doug Sanders to fly out to left and gave the Cougars their 16th-straight nonconference series victory at home.

The Cougars won despite being outhit 10-3. In the first inning, Coulter led off with a single, moved to second on a wild pitch, was sacrificed to third by Desmarais and scored on Gran's sacrifice fly.

Kent State tallied a run in the each of the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to take a 3-1 advantage. Brett Weibley had two RBI, a sacrifice fly in the fourth and a run-scoring single in the sixth.

Golden Flashes' starter Chris Carpenter set down 15 Cougars in order after the Coulter single until Scott Suttmeier singled leading off the WSU sixth. After Vucinich walked, both runners moved up when Carpenter balked. Coulter knocked a run with a ground out and Desmarais tied the game with a sacrifice fly. Carpenter finished with 10 strikeouts and gave up just the hits in seven innings.

'It's nice to win a game like this,' Marbut said. 'We're going to face tough pitchers like Carpenter in the Pac-10 and we are going to have to pitch well and get timely hitting like we did today to win games.'

The Cougars embark on a six-game road trip playing at Kansas State (5 p.m., Tuesday), Wichita State (5 p.m., Wednesday) and a four-game series at Oklahoma (Friday-Sunday).

Washington State 5, Kent State 3----------------------------------------------------------------------Kent State.......... 000 111 000  -  3 10  1      (3-8)Washington State.... 100 002 02X  -  5  3  0      (10-2)----------------------------------------------------------------------Pitchers: Kent State - Carpenter; Pokorny(8); Lamport(8). Washington State - Wise, James;Harvey, Seth(4); Way, Matt(5); Davis, Andrew(6); Humes, Ross(8).Win-Humes, Ross(1-0)  Loss-Pokorny(0-2)  T-2:35  A-207Game notes:Way, M. faced 2 batters in the 6th.
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