May 7, 2006
PULLMAN, Wash. - Paul Gran's RBI single in the 11th inning scored Jared Prince from second base with the winning run as Washington State University defeated Utah Valley State, 9-8, in a nonconference game Sunday afternoon at Bailey-Brayton Field.
The win improves the Cougars to 30-17 on the year and pushed WSU over the 30-win mark for the first time since going 35-26 during the 1994 season. The Wolverines fall to 16-33 on the year.
In the bottom of the 11th Prince lined a two-out single to left to start the rally, his fourth hit of the afternoon. Following a single by Jim Murphy, Gran lined a 2-1 pitch to left field, allowing Prince to beat the throw home with the winning run. It was the third extra-inning victory by the Cougars this season in as many games.
Utah Valley State found the scoreboard first when Derrick Thomas connected for a three-run home run in the fourth inning. Thomas' first home run of the year followed a leadoff walk and single off the bat of Dan Bulow.
WSU tied the game in the bottom of the fourth when Prince led off with a single to left then moved to third on Murphy's double to right. One out later, Prince scored on Jeff Miller's groundout to short. Zach McAngus, the reigning Pac-10 Player of the Week, then drilled his fourth home run of the season, scoring Murphy, to even things up at 3-3.
One inning later the Cougars took their first lead of the series. Following a leadoff single to Greg Lagreid and Jay Miller getting hit by a Dan Christensen pitch, Prince sent the first pitch he saw over the fence in left for a three-run home run. It gave WSU a 6-3 lead and marked Prince's sixth home run of the season and third in his last three games.
Trailing by two entering the seventh, the Wolverines regained the lead with a four-run frame. Adam Openshaw had the big hit, a three-run home run to make it an 8-6, Utah Valley State lead.
After Murphy's RBI single in the seventh cut the lead to one at 8-7, the Cougars tied the game in the eighth as Scott Suttmeier laced a one-out double off the wall in right. Suttmeier then scored thanks to a wild pitch and a balk by Wolverine reliever Marcus Moore.
Cougar reliever Travis Webb entered the game in the ninth and worked three innings of one-hit relief as he picked up his third win of the year against zero defeats. Webb was the fourth pitcher of the day for WSU, as starter Wayne Daman Jr. worked into the sixth, followed by Jayson Miller and Ross Humes.
At the plate Prince added three runs and three RBIs to his four hits, while Murphy finished with three hits as WSU collected 15 as a team.
The Wolverines had 16 hits on the afternoon, four by Reno Mendenhall and three from Openshaw, who added three RBIs and three runs scored. Moore, the third UVSC pitcher on the afternoon, suffered the loss as he fell to 1-3 after going four innings, allowing two runs on six hits.
These same two teams conclude their three-game series Monday afternoon at Bailey-Brayton Field. First pitch is set for noon.