March 10, 2007
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Senior Jeff Miller had three hits, including a first-inning grand slam, to lift Washington State to a 7-4 win over San Jose State in the series finale Saturday afternoon at Municipal Stadium.
With the victory the Cougars take two of three in the series and improve to 8-5 for the season. WSU is also 3-0 this season when playing the final game of a series. San Jose State sees its record fall to 11-7.
Miller wasted no time putting the Cougars ahead with his second home run in as many days against San Jose State. After retiring the first batter he faced, Spartan starter Spencer Snodgrass issued a single to Scott Suttmeier and back-to-back walks to Paul Gran and Jim Murphy, loading the bases. On a 1-0 pitch, Miller drilled a one-out grand slam over the wall in left, putting WSU ahead 4-0. It marked his team-leading third home run of the season and was the first Cougar grand slam since Brady Everett did so Feb. 6, 2005, at Sacramento State.
In the fifth Miller led off with a double to left then scored on Zach Borba's single up the middle, extending the Cougar lead to 5-1.
That was more than enough for Cougar starter Nick Ison, who worked six innings, allowing three runs on seven hits with six strikeouts. It was Ison's longest outing of the season as he improved to 2-2 this year.
The Spartans scored a run in the first as Chris Balatico led off with a walk then scored on Donato Giovanatto's fielder's choice. Two more Spartan runs in the sixth cut the lead to 5-3 as Kyle Bellows led off with a single then came home on Giovanatto's triple to right-center. Giovanatto came in when the next batter, Ryan Angel, grounded out to third.
The Cougars added a pair of insurance runs in the ninth when Borba led off with a double then scored one out later on Cody's Bartlett's first triple of the season. Pinch-hitter Mike Gilbert, who had four hits in Friday's victory, doubled home Bartlett to close WSU's scoring. Gilbert was a perfect 5-for-5 in the three-game series as he added three RBIs, three runs scored and a walk.
Miller finished his afternoon with three hits, two runs scored and four RBIs, while Suttmeier and Borba each added a pair of hits. Borba led WSU with six hits in the series, batting .500, and Suttmeier was equally impressive, hitting .556 (5-9) over the three games.
The Cougars get right back in action as they return home to begin a three-game series Sunday against Rider at Bailey-Brayton Field. First pitch is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.
Washington State 400 100 002 - 7 12 0 San Jose State 100 002 001 - 4 12 0 WP - Nick Ison (2-2). LP - Spencer Snodgrass (1-2). Save - Jared Prince (1). WSU - Nick Ison, Steve Kost (7), Jared Prince (8) and Greg Lagreid. SJSU - Spencer Snodgrass, Matt Stone (9), Greg Shannon (9) and J. Santich-Hughes. HR - Jeff Miller WSU Hits - Jeff Miller 3, Zach Borba 2, Scott Suttmeier 2, Travis Coulter, Mike Gilbert, Jim Murphy, Ryan Krauser, Cody Bartlett. SJSU Hits - Chris Balatico 3, Karson Klauer 2, Brian Chase 2, Kyle Bellows, Donato Giovanatto, Marcus McKimmy, Greg Fyfe, Ryan Angel. E - None. 2B - Gilbert, Miller, Borba. 3B - Bartlett, Giovanatto.