Arizona Rally Stuns Cougar Baseball

April 18, 2010

TUCSON, Ariz. - Arizona scored four times in the bottom of the ninth inning and defeated Washington State 12-11 in Pacific-10 Conference baseball, Sunday.

With the victory, the No. 21 Wildcats (26-9, 7-5 Pac-10) completed a three-game sweep of the No. 28 Cougars (19-14, 3-6 Pac-10).

Arizona trailed 11-8 entering its last at bat and was facing WSU closer Adam Conley (3-2), who entered the game in the seventh inning. A pair of singles, an error, and a ground out brought home two runs and cut the Cougars' lead to 11-10. After a walk and a line out, pinch hitter Cory Bernard kept the Wildcats alive with a single. Joey Rickard singled on a 1-2 pitch to tie the game and Rafael Valenzuela completed the comeback with a RBI-single.

Washington State took its 11-8 lead with three runs in the eighth and another in the ninth. Patrick Claussen walked to open the eighth. Kyle Johnson sacrificed Claussen to second and reached first when the ball was misplayed. One out later, Derek Jones tripled to put WSU on top 9-8. Jones scored on a sacrifice fly by Matt Fanelli. Cody Bartlett extended the Cougars' lead to 11-8 with a solo home run in the ninth off Vincent Littleman (2-0).

The Cougars jumped out to a 3-0 lead with two runs in the first and a single tally in the second. Johnson reached on an error to open the game and Shea Vucinich beat out a bunt for a hit. Jones moved both runners up with a sacrifice bunt and Fanelli's ground out scored Johnson. Brett Jacobs followed with a single to score Vucinich and gave the Cougars a 2-0 lead. In the second, Bartlett doubled with one out and scored on an error.

Arizona answered with five runs in its half of the second. Three singles produced the first run and Jett Bandy doubled in two runs to tie the game 3-3. A passed ball allowed the go-ahead run to score and an error by WSU starting pitcher Spencer Jackson brought home the fifth run of the framed and ended Jackson's day after an inning and two-thirds.

In the third, WSU loaded the bases with no one out on a single by Jones, Fanelli's hit by pitch and a walk to Jacobs. Jones scored when Matt Argyropoulos grounded into a double play. Arizona stretched its lead to 7-4 with two runs in the bottom of the fourth.

In the fifth, Jacobs was hit by a pitch to open the inning and Argyropoulos followed with his third home run of the season to pull the Cougars within 7-6. The Wildcats got a run back in the bottom of the fifth, but WSU matched that with a run in the sixth. Johnson was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. With one out, Jones reached on an error and the Cougars pulled off a double steal to put runners at second and third with one out. Fanelli grounded out to score Johnson and WSU trailed 8-7.

The Cougars return home to open a three-game series with Oregon State, Friday, April 23. First pitch is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.

Washington State outfielder Derek Jones recorded an assist in the seventh inning, his second of the season and the fourth of his career...Garry Kuykendall stole his 11th base of the season to equal his 2009 total.

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