April 3, 2009
PULLMAN, Wash. - Alex Burg's RBI-single ignited a six-run seventh inning and fellow senior Matt Way went the distance on the mound as Washington State rallied for a 7-2 victory over UCLA in Pacific-10 baseball, Friday at Bailey-Brayton Field.
Burg also homered to finish with two of the four WSU (11-12, 3-1 Pac-10) hits. Way (4-2) held UCLA (10-16, 4-3 Pac-10) to five hits and tied his career high with 10 strikeouts.
"Matt Way is a pro and prepares all week to do what he did tonight," WSU Head Coach Donnie Marbut said. "Offensively, Alex was dialed in and aggressive and you have to be against a guy like Gerrit Cole who was tremendous as well.'
UCLA grabbed a 2-0 lead in the third on a two-run home run by Blair Dunlap, his second of the season. For a while, it looked as if that was all Cole (2-3) would need.
The Bruins' freshman right-hander retired the first 12 men he faced before Burg led off the bottom of the fifth inning with his fifth home run of the season.
Cole responded by setting down the next six Cougars in order before walking sophomore Shea Vucinich to open the seventh after being ahead 0-2 in the count. Vucinich took second on a ground out by freshman Derek Jones before Burg drilled the seventh pitch of his at bat into left field for a run-scoring single to tie the game 2-2.
Senior Greg Lagreid was hit by a pitch and junior Michael Weber walked to load the bases. Freshman Trevor Bauer, the reigning Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week and Sunday's scheduled starter for UCLA, entered from the bullpen and hit senior Jared Prince, the first man he faced, to push across the go-ahead run.
Sophomore Garry Kuykendall followed with a bloop double down the left field line to plate two runs and put WSU on top 5-2. Sophomore Matt Argyropoulos followed with a sacrifice fly and the rally was capped when pinch hitter Matt Fanelli's ground ball was thrown away by UCLA third baseman Casey Haerther to allow Kuykendall to score.
As for Way, after giving up Dunlap's homer, the southpaw from Sitka, Alaska did not allow a runner past second base until the eighth inning. He fanned three of the final four men he faced and threw 96 of his 140 pitches for strikes.
The Cougars are 3-1 in conference for the first time since 2006...WSU has won it last three Pac-10 series openers at home dating back to last season...the four hits by the Cougars were the fewest by WSU in a conference win since the Pac-10 reunified in 1999.