Cougars Stun Wildcats in 11 Innings
April 19, 2009
PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State stunned Arizona with a come-from-behind, extra innings victory over the Wildcats, 8-7, on Sunday afternoon at Bailey-Brayton Field.
In UA's first extra innings game of the year, WSU second baseman Cody Bartlett hit a walk-off RBI double to right field off UA reliever Matt Veltmann, giving the Cougars (17-16, 8-4 Pac-10) the series sweep.
The Wildcats (16-19, 3-12 Pac-10) led 7-5 entering the bottom of the ninth and looked poised to close out the game with the program’s all-time saves leader, Jason Stoffel, taking the mound. But a two-out single by Jared Prince and a walk to Michael Weber gave the Cougars life.
Pinch hitter Jay Ponciano lined a ball to left center, and UA left fielder Matt Presley, who entered at the start of the inning as a defensive replacement, appeared to have a beat on the ball in the gap. But as Presley dove, Presley couldn’t keep control of the ball in his glove as it fell to the ground, allowing Prince and Weber to score.
Arizona took a 7-5 lead in the seventh inning with a pair of runs. Dillon Baird hit his fifth home run of the season over the right field wall to open the inning, and Shaun Cooper scored on an RBI triple to right field off the bat of Brad Glenn when WSU right fielder Jared Prince lost track of the ball in the sun.
The Cougars had evened the game up at 5-5 in the home half of the sixth with a pair of runs. UA starter Kyle Simon hit his fourth batter of the game to lead of the inning, and turned the game over to three relievers in the inning.
Burns tossed 2 1/3 scoreless innings of relief while allowing only one hit, putting UA in position to capture the third game of the series. But that was not to be as Stoffel blew his second save of the season in the ninth and Veltmann (2-5) took the loss in extra innings.
The Cougars shut down the UA offense over the final four innings and even sent Friday night starter Matt Way to pitch the tenth inning.
Jeremy Johnson, who earned the save in the first two games of the series, picked up the win as he retired the Wildcats in the top of the eleventh inning.
In what turned out to be a bizarre game in the field, the top of the first inning foreshadowed what was to come later.
Arizona posted a run in the top of the first without a base hit. With one out, Hunter Pace and Jett Bandy were by pitches in consecutive at bats. Pace moved to third on a fielder’s choice groundout by Baird.
With Cooper at the plate, Baird took stole second base as the Cougars faked a through to second an caught Pace off the bag of third. WSU catcher Greg Lagreid threw low to third base, which allowed Pace to escape a run down situation and score the game’s first run.
The Wildcats tagged on another run in the fourth after Steve Selsky blasted a double off the top of the wall in right center field. After moving to third on a deep fly out by Brad Glenn, Selsky came in to score on a wild pitch during Dwight Childs’ at bat, giving UA a 2-0 edge.
The teams combined for six errors in the game, threw five wild pitches, hit eight batters, walked 11 hitters and trotted out 15 pitches in the game that lasted four hours and twenty minutes.
The Wildcats will travel to Spokane, Wash., to take on Gonzaga for a one-game non-conference meeting on Monday.