March 2, 2007
PULLMAN, Wash. - Freshman Connor Lambert threw eight shutout innings to earn his first collegiate win as Washington State University posted a 3-0 victory over Air Force Friday evening at Bailey-Brayton Field. It was the second straight shutout for WSU as earlier in the day Matt Way fanned a career-high six batters and Simi Reynolds collected three hits to lead the Cougars to a 13-0 victory over Southern Utah.
With the pair of victories the Cougars improve to 6-3 on the season and run their win streak to four games.
Lambert overpowered the Falcons from the start as he faced just one over the minimum in his eight innings. He retired the first five hitters before a bunt single in the second. His only other hit was a one-out double by Ben Ausbun in the fourth, who was thrown out on the playing trying to stretch it into a triple. A two-out walk in the sixth to Shea Hall, who was then picked off first, marked the only other Falcon runner on the night.
In the ninth Lambert gave way to Ross Humes who struck out the side for his second save of the season. Lambert finished his night with a Cougar season-high 10 strikeouts.
The Cougars opened the scoring in the third with an unearned run when Jared Prince's grounder to short was misplayed by K.J. Randhawa, allowing Cody Bartlett to score from third. It appeared as though that might be all WSU would get as Air Force starter Jake Petro was equally impressive through six innings, allowing just the unearned run.
Leading off the Cougar seventh Reynolds pinch-hit for Zach Borba and laced a triple to deep center before scoring on Ryan Krauser's sacrifice fly to center, extending the lead to 2-0. That ended Petro's night as he suffered the loss, allowing two runs on four hits with four strikeouts. WSU added an insurance run in the eighth as Jeff Miller doubled to left then came home on Josh Ashenbrenner's two-out single up the middle.
WSU catcher Greg Lagreid had two of the Cougar's six hits in the game.
\ In the day's first game, Way was in control all afternoon as he retired the first eight batters he faced and allowed just one runner to reach third base. Way worked six strong innings, allowing three hits and one walk to go with his six strikeouts. Freshman Michael Ratigan came on in the seventh and worked three innings of one-hit relief, striking out three, to pick up his first save of the season. The shutout was the first by the Cougar staff since an 8-0 victory over Chicago State, Mar. 9, 2006.
Leading 2-0, WSU broke the game open with a five-run fourth inning. Ashenbrenner's two-run single delivered Miller and Reynolds for some breathing room. Three batters later, Scott Suttmeier added a two-run single, the fifth Cougar hit of the inning.
The Cougars added two runs in the fifth on an RBI single by Bartlett and a bases-loaded walk to Suttmeier. WSU closed out the scoring with a four-run eighth as Reynolds and Ashenbrenner had RBI singles sand Mike Gilbert added a two-run double.
For the game the Cougars had 12 hits, three by Reynolds and two each by Travis Coulter, Miller and Ashenbrenner. The Thunderbirds managed just four hits on the evening in support of starter Derek Job, who suffered the loss allowing seven runs in 3 1/3 innings of work.
The Cougars conclude play at the Banana Belt tournament with a Saturday contest at Lewis-Clark State in Lewiston, Idaho. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.
Southern Utah 000 000 000 - 0 4 3 Washington State 101 520 04x - 13 12 1 WP - Matt Way (1-1). LP - Derek Job (0-3). Save - Michael Ratigan (1). WSU - Matt Way, Michael Ratigan (7) and Mike Gilbert. SUU - Derek Job, Jake Noyes (4), Devin Everett (5), Chase Hudson (7), Brandon Romero (8) and Matthew Bezzant. HR - None. WSU Hits - Simi Reynolds 3, Travis Coulter 2, Jeff Miller 2, Josh Ashenbrenner 2, Mike Gilbert, Scott Suttmeier, Michael Weber. SUU Hits - Cameron Nelson, Chester Wilson, Bucky Aona, Robbie Richards. E - Gilbert, Libke 3. 2B - Coulter, Gilbert, Nelson. 3B - None.
Air Force 000 000 000 - 0 2 2 Washington State 001 000 11x - 3 6 0 WP - Connor Lambert (1-0). LP - Jake Petro (2-2). Save - Ross Humes (2). WSU - Connor Lambert, Ross Humes (9) and Greg Lagreid. AF - Jake Petro, Mike Ruvolo (7) and Erol Kelter. HR - None. WSU Hits - Greg Lagreid 2, Jim Murphy, Josh Ashenbrenner, Jeff Miller, Simi Reynolds. AF Hits - Ben Ausbun, Chay Berbigny. E - Ausbun, Randhawa. 2B - Murphy, Miller, Ausbun. 3B - Reynolds.