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Cougars Notch Comeback Win to Clinch Series at No. 9 Arizona

Apr 9, 2022

TUCSON, Ariz. (April 9, 2022) – Kyle Russell delivered the game-tying RBI-single in the eighth and drove in the go-ahead run with a two-out RBI-single in the ninth inning to give WSU a series-clinching 6-5 win over No. 9 Arizona at Hi Corbett Field Saturday evening.
 
The Cougars (12-18, 4-10 Pac-12) clinched their first series in Tucson since 2014, their first road series win over a nationally-ranked team since taking two of three at No. 14 Washington in 2016 and post their first road series win over a Top-10 team since taking two of three at No. 6/8 Oregon in 2012.
 
WSU saw Russell deliver a pair of RBI-singles while Kodie Kolden singled twice, walked twice and scored two runs and Jack Smith had a pair of hits and two RBI. Starter Grant Taylor was impressive against one the nation's top offenses, working a career-high seven innings, struck out six and did not allow an earned run after all five Arizona runs scored were unearned. Taylor and reliever Chase Grillo combined to retire 14 straight Wildcat hitters at one point as Grillo earned the win with two scoreless frames.
 
Arizona (21-10, 9-5 Pac-12) scored five unearned runs in the fourth inning after a Cougar error allowed the inning to continue but WSU answered with two runs in the fifth, one in the eighth and one more in the ninth.
 
KEY MOMENTS OF THE GAME
In the second, WSU took the lead with an aggressive baserunning play by Collin Montez. With Montez on third base, a WSU hitter struck out on a ball in the dirt and the catcher left home plate to throw down to first base, Montez raced home on the throw and dove around the tag to give WSU a 1-0 lead. The Cougars pushed the lead to 2-0 on a Jack Smith RBI-groundout.
 
In the fourth, Arizona loaded the bases and Taylor induced a groundball that nearly ended the inning but the throw was wide of second and two runs scored on the play. The Wildcats added three more runs on three-straight two-out bloop singles for a 5-2 lead.
 
In the fifth, Kodie Kolden, Elijah Hainline and Smith opened the inning with three straight singles as Smith's single drove in Kolden. Following an Arizona error, Montez brought in Hainline with a sacrifice fly to make it a one-run Arizona lead.
 
In the eighth, Arizona dropped a popup and Collin Montez ended up on second base on the play and he later moved up to second on a wild pitch. One batter later, Russell delivered a one-out single into centerfield to score Montez to tie the game at five.
 
In the ninth, Jacob McKeon worked a one-out walk and followed with a hard-hit single off the third baseman to put runners on first and second. The next batter hit into a fielder's choice groundout to second base that put runners on the corners with two outs for Russell who lined a 1-2 pitch into centerfield for the go-ahead score.
 
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE 
Jack Smith singled in the 1st inning to extend his on-base streak to 14 games
 
NEXT UP
The series wraps up Sunday at 12:05 p.m.

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