Cougars Rally Past No. 18 California

May 8, 2010

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PULLMAN, Wash. - Washington State scored four runs in the seventh inning and three more in the eighth to rally past No. 18 California 13-10 in a Pacific-10 Conference baseball game at Bailey-Brayton Field, Saturday.

Trailing 8-6 entering the bottom of the seventh, the Cougars (23-17, 7-9 Pac-10) tied the game on RBI-ground balls by Cody Bartlett and Michael Weber, then took the lead on an error by California (27-16, 11-8 Pac-10) third baseman Tony Renda. Pinch hitter Kyle Johnson capped the rally with a single to plate Matt Fanelli.

In the eighth, Jay Ponciano doubled and Shea Vucinich walked to open the inning. After Garry Kuykendall hit into a force out to erase Vucinich, Kuykendall took second and Ponciano scored on a wild pitch. Weber was hit by a pitch with two outs and Fanelli delivered a two-run double to put WSU on top 13-8.

In the ninth inning, California scored twice and had the tying run at the plate, but Adam Conley retired Mark Canha on a fly ball and struck out Chadd Krist to end the game.

'It was bizarre game and I am not sure I've seen one like it to open a Pac-10 series,' WSU Head Coach Donnie Marbut said. 'We got some breaks, but we will take a win any way we can get it in this conference.'

California took a 5-0 lead in the top of the fourth on three singles, four walks, a sacrifice bunt, a sacrifice fly, two wild pitches and a Cougar error.

Washington State answered with five runs in its half of the fourth to tie the game 5-5. Kuykendall and Bartlett singled to put runners on the corners. A walk to Weber and another to Fanelli forced in a run. Patrick Claussen followed with an infield single to score one run and California second baseman Brian Guinn's throwing error allowed Weber to score and put runners at second and third with no one out.

Kevin Miller relieved California starter Erik Johnson and gave up a sacrifice fly to Matt Argyropoulos. Claussen tagged at second on the play and was able to score when Golden Bears' right fielder Danny Oh dropped the ball taking it out of his glove after making the catch of the fly ball.

California picked up a run in the fifth and chased WSU starter Chad Arnold, but the Cougars responded with a double by Shea Vucinich, sacrifice bunt by Kuykendall and sacrifice fly by Bartlett to tie the game 6-6.

The series continues, Sunday with first pitch scheduled for noon.

Washington State posted its 14th come-from-behind victory of the season and the second when trailing three separate times in the game...Paris Shewey won for the sixth time in relief to tie for second on the Cougar single-season list...Shewey's seventh-career victory in relief ties for eighth all-time at WSU.

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