Cougar Home Runs Not Enough in Loss to Kansas State

March 11, 2008

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Paul Gran, Jim Murphy and Jared Prince each homered in a losing effort as Kansas State defeated Washington State 9-6, at Tointon Stadium, Tuesday night.

The trio combined to go 6-for-13 with five RBI and five runs scored for the Cougars (10-3) who were outhit 12-10 by the Wildcats (7-6).

Kansas State jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning off WSU's Michael Ratigan (3-1), who was making his first start of the season. A pair of errors by Murphy contributed to the rally.

Prince led off the second with his first home run of the season, but Carter Jurica did likewise in the Wildcats' half of the inning to make it 4-1.

In the third, the Cougars scored three times to pull even at 4. Travis Coulter led off with a single and scored one out later on Gran's third home run of the season. Murphy made it back-to-back bombs with his sixth of the season, all in the last seven games.

Kansas State regained the lead in the bottom of the third when Justin Bloxom hit a solo shot for his third home run of the season.

Jurica's second home run of the game came in the fourth off Cougar reliever Connor Lambert, increasing the Wildcats' lead to 6-4. Kansas State added three more in the fifth on a two-run home run by Drew Biery and a RBI-double by Rob Vaughn.

The Cougars closed within 9-6 in the eighth inning on run-scoring singles by Prince and Scott Suttmeier, but stranded two runners when pinch hitter Garry Kuykendall struck out.

'Slow starts are a big concern for us,' Cougar Head Coach Donnie Marbut said. 'Tonight it wasn't pitching, it was our defense that dug a hole. We just weren't very good tonight.'

The Cougars travel to Wichita, Kan., for a 5 p.m. game Wednesday against nationally-ranked Wichita State.

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