Cougar Baseball Opens Fall World Series

Oct. 7, 2009

PULLMAN, Wash. - The 2009 Washington State University Fall World Series opened, Friday at Bailey-Brayton Field with a new-look format.

Instead of the usual Crimson vs. Gray battle, Team Vucinich (led by junior shorstop Shea Vucinich) squared off against Team Fanelli (captained by senior first baseman/outfielder Matt Fanelli).

Fanelli's squad drew first blood in the series with a 6-1 victory in the opener of the best-of-five series with all games scheduled for seven innings.

Team Vucinich's James Wise (0-1) allowed two singles and faced the minimum hitters through four innings before running into trouble in the fifth. Team Fanelli trailed 1-0 when Derek Jones, who tied the WSU freshman with 12 home runs last season, led off the frame with a towering shot to right-center field that tied the game 1-1. Patrick Claussen followed with a line drive over the wall down the right field line to put Fanelli's team on top 2-1. A pair of errors in the infield put runners at first and second with no one out and ended Wise's day.

'It's a different type of game in the fall because you are just trying to get your swing back,' Jones said. 'It was nice to hit a home run, but I don't really care about them until they count.'

Claussen added, 'Pride is on the line because it is our Fall World Series so no one wants to lose. It was nice to go back-to-back with D.J.'

Team Fanelli pushed its lead to 4-1 with a pair of runs off Team Vucinich's bullpen. J.K. Dykes moved both runners up with a sacrifice bunt and Paul Clingan delivered a sacrifice fly that plated Matt Fanelli. Garry Kuykendall bounced a single through the right side that brought home Tommy Richards.

Spencer Jackson (1-0) picked up the victory on the mound with five-strong innings. The left-hander gave up one run on three hits. Two of the three hits were of the infield variety.

Team Fanelli tallied two runs in the sixth inning on a throwing error by Vucinich and increased its lead to 6-1.

Paris Shewey and Connor Lambert combined for two shutout innings out of the bullpen to close out the win for Team Fanelli.

The second game of the series will take place, Friday with first pitch scheduled for 6 p.m.

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