March 17, 2012
TUCSON, Ariz. - Arizona came from behind in both games of a doubleheader and the No. 6 Wildcats swept visiting Washington State 8-7 and 12-9 in Pac-12 baseball at Hi Corbett Field, Saturday.
Arizona (16-4, 2-1 Pac-12) scored seven times in the fifth inning of the nightcap to erase a 3-2 deficit. In the opener, Washington State (10-8, 1-2 Pac-12) jumped out to a 5-0 lead after a half an inning before the Wildcats rallied for a victory.
"We didn't get enough out of our starting pitching today," Cougar Head Coach Donnie Marbut said. "Arizona made us pay for our defensive mistakes and that's what good teams do. On the positive side, we hit the ball very well against a quality pitching staff."
The Wildcats scored twice in the bottom of the first in the second game off Cougar starter Kyle Swannack (1-2). Washington State rallied for three runs in the fourth to take a 3-2 lead.
Derek Jones and Adam Nelubowich tripled on the first-two pitches of the inning. Tommy Richards doubled to score Nelubowich with the tying run and moved to third on a ground out by Ian Sagdal. The Cougars then took the lead on a single by Patrick Claussen.
Arizona took advantage of three errors in the fifth to score seven runs, four unearned, off Swannack and Nick LaRoy before Anthony Drobnick recorded the final out of the inning. The Wildcats added two runs in the sixth off Drobnick on a single, a triple and a ground out to increase their lead to 11-3.
Washington State closed the gap to 11-7 in the seventh with a four-run frame. Nate Blackham singled and Jason Monda was hit by a pitch. Taylor Ard drove home both runners with a triple into the left-center field gap. Jones doubled to score Ard, moved to third on a ground out by Nelubowich and scored on a ground out by Richards.
Arizona added a run in the seventh off Drobnick before Washington State picked up two runs in the ninth to finish the scoring. Jones homered to right with one out in the ninth. Nelubowich doubled, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a ground out by Richards.
Stephen Manthei (3-0), the third of four Arizona pitchers, gave up one run in 2 1/3 innings to earn the victory.
In game one, Blackham reached on an error to lead off the game and took third on a hit-and-run single by Monda. Ard was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Jones singled to drive in two runs. Both Ard and Jones moved up on a sacrifice by Nelubowich.
Richards then beat out an infield single that scored Ard and Jones came around to score courtesy of a throwing error on the play. Sagdal singled to send Richards to third and Claussen collected an RBI on a fielder's choice for a 5-0 lead.
The Wildcats answered with three runs in the third on a pair of singles, sandwiched around back-to-back hit batters, and a sacrifice fly. Arizona added a run in the second and tied the game 5-5 in the third to end the night for Cougar starter Tanner Chleborad.
Washington State regained the lead with a run in the fifth. Monda singled and Ard walked. Both runners moved up on a passed ball with Jones at the plate. After Jones struck out, Nelubowich's sacrifice fly gave the Cougars a 6-5 advantage.
Arizona put runners at first and second with two outs in the seventh against reliever Joe Pistorese (1-2) and Kellen Camus came out of the bullpen for the Cougars. A hit batter, and error and a single resulted in three runs that put the Wildcats on top 8-6.
Washington State put together a two-out rally in the eighth. P.J. Jones singled, Claussen walked and Ty Jackson delivered an RBI-single. The Cougars put the leadoff man on in the ninth when Ard singled. After Derek Jones struck out, the game ended when Nelubowich lined into a double play on a hit-and-run play.
Taylor Ard's triple in game two was the first of his career...Derek Jones hit for the cycle in the second game...cycle was first by a Cougar since Derek Bruce at Lewis-Clark State, April 23, 2002...first in conference game since Dusty Edler at Portland State, April 12, 1998...his home run was the 37th of his career, tying him for third place on the Washington State all-time list...Donnie Marbut's radio show with Steve Grubbs, Monday, March 19 will air on NewsTalk 1150 AM.