May 12, 2001
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Washington State left fielder Tyson Boston struck out with runners on second and third base with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning in the Cougars' 7-6 loss to the USC Trojans at Dedeaux Field Saturday afternoon. With the setback, WSU drops to 15-33 overall and 6-13 in Pac-10 play, while USC improved to 34-16 for the season and 14-5 in the Pac-10, two games ahead of Stanford in the race for the conference championship.
Stefan Bailie started the scoring threat with two outs in the ninth by doubling off the right field fence before designated hitter Adrian Thomas advanced Bailie to third with an infield singe. Thomas advanced to second on a wild pitch from USC reliever Fraser Dizard with Boston at the plate before Dizard ended the game with a strikeout.
After Cougar starter Tyson Thompson gave up four runs on four hits in the first inning, WSU score its first run of the game when Bailie drove in Evan Hecker in the fourth inning with a single to right field to make it a 4-1 ballgame. After USC scored one more run in their half of the fourth, Hecker, who finished the game three-for-five, collected two RBI in the fifth as he drove in Jon Baeder and Richard Hall with a two-out double to right field.
The Trojans scored two more runs off WSU reliever Lanakila Niles in the sixth inning to stretch their lead to 7-3, but Cougar right fielder started another rally by leading off the seventh inning with his sixth home run of the season. Bookie Gates put two more runs on the scoreboard for Washington State with two outs in the inning, as he plated Hecker and Brent Robertson with a double off USC starter Mark Prior to make it a one-run game at 7-6.
Prior, arguably the best college pitcher in the nation, lasted seven innings for the Trojans and surrendered six runs on eight hits including three doubles, but struck out 12 hitters to earn his 13th victory of the year.
The weekend series between the two teams continues Sunday afternoon with the first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m.
WSU 000 120 300 - 6 12 0 USC 400 102 000 - 7 10 3 Tyson Thompson (1), Lanakila Niles (2), Zac Fisher (7), and Jon Baeder. Mark Prior (1), Brian Bannister, Fraser Dizard (8) and Alberto Concepcion. W - Prior (13-1). L - Thompson (1-5). Save - Dizard (7). HR - Williams (6), Barro (10). T - 3:07. A - 908. WSU Hits - Hecker 3, Gates, Bailie 2, Thomas, Boston, Williams 2, Baeder, Hall. USC Hits - Barro 2, Lunetta, Persell, Peavey, Concepcion 2, Moon, Self 2. E - Davidson 2, Torres. 2B - Hecker, Gates, Bailie, Lunetta, Persell, Concepcion, Self. 3B - None.