April 30, 2006
PULLMAN, Wash. - Jared Prince earned his sixth win of the season and capped his day with a solo home run as Washington State University defeated USC, 6-3, in a Pacific-10 Conference game Sunday afternoon at Bailey-Brayton Field.
The win improved the Cougars to 29-16 for the season, 7-8 in conference play as they took two of three from the Trojans. The win also marked the first time in five Pac-10 series this season WSU came away victorious in the final game. USC fell to 24-22 overall, 10-8 in Pac-10 action.
The win gave the Cougars their second conference series victory of the season as they opened Pac-10 play by taking two of three at Stanford. The 29 wins also ties for the most by a Cougar team since posting 35 victories during the 1994 season.
For the third time in the series, the Trojans scored first with a pair of runs in the second inning. Hector Estrella's two-out single to right brought home Darin Vieira with the first score of the game. Following a hit batter, Matt Cusick singled up the middle to plate Estrella for the 2-0- lead.
In a carbon copy of Saturday's game when WSU trailed by two before a five-run third inning, the Cougars again put up five runs courtesy of five hits. With one out, Saturday's hero Zach McAngus started things off with a single to center. Back-to-back doubles by Greg Lagreid and Ryan Krauser scored the first run then Travis Coulter and Jay Miller followed with RBI singles. The final two runs came on a throwing error by Trojan catcher Johnny Bowden.
Cyle Hankerd cut into the Cougar lead in the fifth as he connected for a solo home run to right, his third home run of the series, making it a 5-3 WSU advantage. That proved to be more than enough for the WSU pitching staff. Prince went five innings as he improved to 6-1 this season, allowing three runs on seven hits with two strikeouts.
Jayson Miller came on in relief to start the sixth and kept the Trojan bats silent. Miller went three innings, allowing no runs on three hits with three strikeouts. It was Miller's second consecutive strong outing as he did not allow a hit in two inning Saturday against the Trojans. Travis Webb came on to work a scoreless ninth to pick up his seventh save of the season. That ties him with Oscar Jones (1929) for third on the Cougars' single-season list.
In the eighth Prince gave the Cougars another insurance run as he drilled a 1-1 pitch deep over the left field fence, giving WSU a 6-3 lead. It marked Prince's fourth home run of the season and his team-leading 44th RBI.
On the afternoon WSU collected eight hits, but no player had more than one. For the series the Cougars batted .330 against the Trojans.
USC had 11 hits on the day, two each by Vieira and Estrella. Shawn Olsen started on the mound and suffered the loss as he went five and 1/3 innings, allowing five runs on seven hits.
The Cougars are now off for finals week and are next in action Saturday when they begin a three-game home series against Utah Valley State. First pitch from Bailey-Brayton Field is set for 6 p.m.