March 11, 2012
LAS VEGAS - Washington State scored five times over the final-three innings to rally past UNLV 9-8 in nonconference baseball, Sunday.
The Cougars (8-5) trailed 8-4 before scoring three runs in the seventh, one in the eighth and one in the ninth. With the victory, Washington State salvaged a game in the three-game series with the Rebels (9-7).
"We needed this win for our confidence," Cougar Head Coach Donnie Marbut said. "I hope our guys remember this game for a while because it shows what we can be as a team."
In the seventh, Washington State put together five-straight, two-out singles to score three runs. Taylor Ard and Derek Jones collected hits to put runners at the corners. With Adam Nelubowich at bat, Jones took off and Nelubowich singled through a hole into right-center field. Jones never stopped running and came all the way around to score and pull the Cougars within 8-6. After P.J. Jones singled, Tommy Richards plated Nelubowich with an RBI-hit.
In the eighth, pinch hitter Ian Sagdal led off with a walk. Nate Blackham followed with a sacrifice bunt to advance Sagdal to second. On the play, no one covered third base initially and Sagdal raced for the bag. Rebels' first baseman Trent Cook made an errant throw trying to cut down Sagdal and the Cougar freshman scampered home with the tying run.
Nelubowich singled with one out in the ninth and was replaced by pinch runner Kyle Johnson. As pinch hitter Ty Jackson struck out against Zack Hartman (0-1), Johnson stole second. Richards followed with a pop up into shallow right field that was misplayed by UNLV second baseman Scott Dysinger allowing Johnson to score the eventual winning run.
Anthony Drobnick (1-0) pitched around a leadoff walk in the bottom of the ninth to pick up the victory. Drobnick recorded the final-six outs and Scott Simon combined for five-shutout innings in relief for the Cougars.
Washington State built a 4-1 lead after three innings. In the first, Ard drove in a run with a single and Derek Jones added a sacrifice fly. The duo belted back-to-back home runs in the third, the third home run of the season for each.
UNLV took the lead with a four-run fourth and took advantage of some mistakes by the Cougar defense in the fifth to add three runs against Washington State starter Tanner Chleborad and take an 8-4 lead.
Washington State continues its road trip with a 6 p.m. game, Tuesday at Cal State Fullerton.
Redshirt-freshman Mitch McQueen made his catching debut in the ninth inning...Derek Jones moved into sole possession of fourth place on the Cougar all-time home run list with 35.