Solid Pitching and Timely Hittling Lifts WSU Baseball Past UCLA

April 4, 2009

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PULLMAN, Wash. - Chad Arnold pitched six strong innings and Shea Vucinich and Jared Prince each drove in two runs to lead Washington State past UCLA 4-3 in Pacific-10 Conference baseball at Bailey-Brayton Field, Saturday.

Arnold (3-1), a redshirt-sophomore, gave up two runs on six hits, struck out three and walked two to earn his third-straight victory. Redshirt-junior Jeremy Johnson worked the final three innings for his third save.

'Chad Arnold made some really good pitches to get out of some tough jams and was great today,' WSU Head Coach Donnie Marbut said. 'It gives you a lot of confidence to bring a guy like Jeremy Johnson in from the bullpen.'

After UCLA (10-16, 4-4 Pac-10) took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second, the Cougars (12-12, 4-1 Pac-10) responded with a pair of runs in their half of the frame.

Prince, a senior who finished a double shy of the cycle, tripled to open the inning when Bruins' right fielder Justin Uribe lost the ball in the sun. Sophomore Garry Kuykendall reached on an error and moved to second one out later when freshman Patrick Claussen was hit by a pitch. Vucinich, a sophomore, followed with a single to right that scored Prince and Kuykendall.

In the fifth, senior Alex Burg led off with a single and took third on a double in the left-center field gap by senior Greg Lagreid. After junior Michael Weber walked, Prince plated Burg with a sacrifice fly to right to give WSU a 3-1 advantage.

UCLA closed within 3-2 on a home run by Alex Weber-Shapiro in the sixth. Johnson came in with the one-run lead in the seventh and retired the first four men he faced. After giving up a single and a walk, he recorded a pair of strikeouts to squelch the Bruins' threat in the eighth.

Prince gave the Cougars some breathing room with a home run to left-center field in the eighth and it proved necessary when UCLA pinch hitter Cody Decker opened the ninth with a home run to pull the Bruins within 4-3. With one out, Johnson hit a batter, but induced Blair Dunlap to ground into a game-inning double play.

The Cougars are 4-1 in conference for the first time since 1998 in the Pac-10 North...WSU has won the first two series in conference play for the first time since 1995 in the Pac-10 North.

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