April 22, 2012
EUGENE, Ore. - Taylor Ard homered twice and drove in five runs to lead Washington State past No. 6 Oregon 10-6 in Pac-12 Conference baseball, Sunday at PK Park.
With the victory, the Cougars (20-16, 7-7 Pac-12) won a road series for the first time this season. It is also the first time Washington State captured a road series against a top 10 team in the post-Bobo Brayton era.
After Kyle Johnson singled to lead off the game and Collin Slaybaugh walked, Ard staked Washington State to a 3-0 lead in the first inning with a home run off Oregon (27-12, 11-7 Pac-12) starter Jeff Gold (5-3).
The Ducks answered with two runs in the bottom of first on three hits and a walk against Cougar starter Tanner Chleborad (3-0). Those were the only two runs the freshman right-hander gave up in 5 2/3 innings of work.
"Tanner didn't have his best stuff, but he battled through and pitched his way out of jams," Washington State Head Coach Donnie Marbut said. "That's a sign of a good pitcher. This was a big series win for us."
In the fifth, Washington State rallied for four runs with two outs. Ard and Derek Jones singled and Adam Nelubowich walked to load the bases. Patrick Claussen knocked in two runs with a double down the right field line and Tommy Richards drove in two more with a single to give the Cougars a 7-2 lead and end Gold's afternoon.
Washington State tacked on a run in the sixth on a two-out, RBI-single by Jones. In the eighth, Johnson singled and Ard blasted his eighth home run of the season to increase the Cougars' advantage to 10-2.
The Ducks picked up a run in the eighth off Scott Simon, who came on in relief of Chleborad in the sixth. A single and an RBI-double to open the ninth cut Oregon's deficit to 10-4 and brought in Spencer Jackson. A pair of singles sandwiched around a fly out made the score 10-5 and put runners at first and second with one out.
Anthony Drobnick relieved Jackson and immediately recorded the second out via a pop up. A run-scoring single followed and a walk load loaded the bases to bring the tying run to the plate. Drobnick closed out the game by retiring Shaun Chase on a ground out.
Washington State improved to 5-5 in 2012 against top 10 teams, all on the road...Cougars had three road wins against top 10 under Donnie Marbut entering the season...Washington State battles Seattle in Everett at 6:30 p.m., Monday.