Feb. 23, 2013
PULLMAN, Wash. - Sophomore P.J. Jones' RBI double in the bottom of the ninth scored Nick Tanielu from second base and lifted Washington State to a 1-0 victory over Eastern Michigan to complete a doubleheader sweep Saturday afternoon at Bailey-Brayton Field. The Cougars came away with an 8-4 win in the day's first game.
With the victories to Cougars improve to 3-2 on the season while the Eagles fall to 1-3.
Tanielu led off the bottom of the ninth with a solid single to left and was sacrificed to second by Jason Monda. Following an intentional walk to Yale Rosen, Jones laced a 1-0 pitch to the wall in left center, scoring Tanielu and securing the sweep. It marked Jones' second game-ending hit of his career as he also had a grand slam in the bottom of the ninth of a 9-5 win over Oregon State, May 19, 2012 in Pullman.
The game was highlighted by superb pitching performances by both squads. Cougar starter Joe Pistorese went eight strong innings, allowing six hits and zero walks while striking out three. Pistorese battled out of trouble in the eighth with runners on second and third and only one out. He forced John Rubino to foul out behind the bag at first then retired Sam Ott on a short fly to center, setting the table for Jones' heroics. Kellen Camas worked a perfect ninth inning to pick up his first win of the season.
Eastern Michigan's starter Kendall Lewis was equally impressive, scattering four hits over seven innings while striking out three. Devon Bronson came on to start the eighth and retired the Cougars in order, but could not escape the ninth.
For the game each team collected six hits, with the Eagles Lee Longo the only player with more than one as he had a single and double.
In the first game, the Cougars used a five-run third inning to break open a close game and never looked back. Four consecutive hits to open the frame, including an RBI double by Jones and RBI singles from Adam Nelubowich and Brett Jacobs pushed the WSU lead to 6-3. Jacobs came across to score on a two-out fielder's choice off the bat of Trek Stemp while Tanielu's RBI double scoring Stemp closed out the inning with the Cougars leading 8-3.
The Cougars had opened the game with a single run in the first off a Rosen single that scored Tanielu, who tripled in his first plate appearance. Eastern Michigan evened the game on the second on a Mitchell Mcgeein sacrifice fly, but in the bottom of the inning two more Cougar runs, including another Tanielu triple which scored Stemp, pushed the lead to 3-1.
Backed with a five-run lead after three, Cougar starter Tanner Chleborad allowed just one more run as he went five innings on the afternoon, surrendering four runs on seven hits with one strikeout to earn the victory. Two WSU relievers worked four scoreless innings as Camas recorded two outs in the ninth with the tying run on deck to pick up his first save of the season.
For the game Tanielu collected three hits while Rosen, Jones and Jacobs each added two to pace a 12-hit Cougar attack. Daniel Russell led the Eagles offensively with three hits and two runs scored while Jamie Simpson added a pair of hits. Starter Neil Butara suffered the loss as he scattered 12 hits over seven innings, allowing eight runs.
The Cougars continue their series against Eastern Michigan with a Sunday doubleheader at Bailey-Brayton Field. First pitch is scheduled for noon.