Cougars Use Big Inning to Defeat California

May 9, 2010

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PULLMAN, Wash. - Washington State scored nine times in the sixth inning on the strength of eight-consecutive hits and rallied past No. 18 California 11-9 in a Pacific-10 Conference baseball game at Bailey-Brayton Field, Sunday.

The Cougars (24-17, 8-9 Pac-10) trailed 6-1 entering the bottom of the sixth when California (27-17, 11-9 Pac-10) starter Justin Jones (9-4) hit Michael Weber and walked Matt Fanelli to open the inning. Matt Argyropoulos singled home a run and Brett Jacobs collected an infield single to load the bases. A sacrifice fly by Kyle Johnson and a RBI-single by Shea Vucinich cut WSU's deficit to 6-4 and put runners at first and second with one out.

Tommy Richards followed with a pinch hit single to score Johnson, but Vucinich was thrown out trying to advance to third. Garry Kuykendall singled to move Richards to third and Matt Flemer came on to relieve Jones. Cody Bartlett singled to tie the game and Weber followed with a three-run home run to right field to put the Cougars on top 9-6. Fanelli and Argyropoulos singled to chase Flemer and Jacobs drove in Fanelli with a single off Brian Diemer to cap the rally.

The Cougars added a run in the seventh inning on a RBI-single by Bartlett, but California responded with a three-run home run from Mark Canha, his second of the game, in the eighth inning. Canha finished 3-for-4 with seven RBI.

In the ninth inning, Connor Lambert retired the Golden Bears in order for his first-career save. Seth Harvey (2-1) earned the victory with an inning and a third of shutout relief.

'We have not played good baseball over the last two days, but we've won a couple of games,' WSU Head Coach Donnie Marbut said. 'That said, I am proud of the way our guys have competed at the plate so far in this series.'

California scored twice in the first inning off Cougar starter David Stilley, then added a run in the second, two in the fourth, and one in the sixth against James Wise. WSU tallied once in the fourth on a RBI-ground out by Argyropoulos.

The series concludes, Monday with first pitch scheduled for noon.

The nine runs scored by Washington State in the sixth were the most in an inning by the Cougars in conference play since a nine-run fifth inning against Arizona, April 6, 2001...victory by Seth Harvey was the 14th this season by a WSU reliever.