May 9, 2009
PULLMAN, Wash. - Senior Matt Way took a shutout into the ninth inning and Washington State defeated Oregon 5-3 in the opener of a Pacific-10 Conference baseball series at Bailey-Brayton Field, Saturday.
Way (7-4) came within three outs of becoming the first WSU (23-20, 12-7 Pac-10) individual in 10 years to throw a shutout before running into trouble in the ninth and settling for three runs on eight hits with one walk and nine strikeouts in eight and one-third innings. Junior Seth Harvey recorded the final two outs for his second save.
Way and Oregon (14-32, 4-15 Pac-10) hurler Erik Stavert (5-4) were locked in a 0-0 game through six innings. The Cougars then took advantage of a pair of Ducks' miscues in the field to plate three runs in the seventh.
Sophomore Shea Vucinich reached to open the inning when Oregon right fielder Anthony Kreitz dropped a line drive. After sophomore Derek Jones flied out, Vucinich took second on a ground out by senior Greg Lagreid. The inning was extended when Oregon shortstop KC Cerna booted a ground ball hit by senior Jared Prince as Vucinich moved to third.
Junior Michael Weber drove in the game's first run with an infield single. After sophomore Ryan Peterson was hit by a pitch to load the bases, redshirt-sophomore Jay Ponciano singled home two runs to give the Cougars a 3-0 lead.
In the eighth, WSU added some insurance on a two-out, two-run single by Lagreid. The Cougars needed the runs as the Ducks rallied in the ninth.
A single, double and ground out ruined Way's shutout. Another single made it 5-2 and ended the southpaw's night. Harvey yielded a pair of singles wrapped around a strikeout to make it 5-3, but retired pinch hitter Curtis Raulinaitis on a fly ball to end the game.
The teams continue their series, Sunday at 2 p.m.
WSU NOTES Senior Matt Way struck out nine to move into a tie for sixth place with Aaron MacKenzie (2004) on the WSU single-season strikeout list with 95...Cougar Head Coach Donnie Marbut won his 138th game at WSU to tie for third place in school history with Steve Farrington.