April 13, 2012
PULLMAN, Wash. - Taylor Ard collected three hits and J.D. Leckenby gave up one run in six innings as Washington State opened a three-game Pac-12 series with a 9-2 victory over Utah, Friday at Bailey-Brayton Field.
"We played good baseball in all aspects," Cougar Head Coach Donnie Marbut said. "Tomorrow is an opportunity for us to win a series and that is what you have to do in this league. Teams that win a lot of series in this conference get a chance to move on and play in a regional."
Ard staked the Cougars (17-13, 4-5 Pac-12) to a lead in the bottom of the first with an RBI-single. Adam Nelubowich added a sacrifice fly in the inning to put Washington State on top 2-0.
The Cougars added a run in the second for a 3-0 advantage. Patrick Claussen led off with a single. Collin Slaybaugh followed with a bunt single and an errant throw on the play allowed Claussen to come around to score.
Utah (8-24, 4-9 Pac-12) scored their only run off Leckenby (4-3) in the third with a couple of hits and a hit batter. Washington State chased Utes' starter Joe Pond (2-6) with two runs in the fourth.
In the seventh, Ard singled with one out, stole second, and scored on a two-out single by Ian Sagdal. Washington State added three runs in the eighth on an RBI-ground out by Johnson and a two-run single by Derek Jones.
James Brooks homered in the ninth off Cougar reliever Sean Hartnett to account for Utah's second run. The series continues at 2 p.m., Saturday.
Derek Jones was honored in a pregame ceremony for setting the Cougar career home run record...Jones hit his 41st, Tuesday at Portland...Jeff Hooper (1984-87), who held the record prior to Jones, took part in the ceremony and threw out the ceremonial first pitch.