Feb. 27, 2012
PULLMAN, Wash. -
Junior Taylor Ard collected three hits and sophomore Adam Nelubowich added a three-run home run to lift Washington State to a 5-3 victory over Nebraska Omaha, Monday, giving the Cougars a sweep of the four-game series. The Cougars captured a 7-1 win earlier in the day in a game that spanned two days as Sunday's snow suspended the contest in the fifth.
"It was good to battle through some adversity," said WSU Head Coach Donnie Marbut. "We have had three doubleheaders early in the year and have responded positively. To win a tight game and do it cleanly bodes well for the ball club."
In the first game the Cougars (5-2) opened the scoring in the first on a two-out triple to center by Derek Jones, scoring Jason Monda. Nate Blackham extended the lead to 3-0 in the second with a two-run single to center while Monda's RBI triple followed by a Jones RBI double in the third accounted for a 5-0 lead.
The game was suspended with two outs and nobody on base for the Cougars in the bottom of the fifth as snow blanketed the field. Following a 44-minute delay, the game was suspended until Monday.
When play resumed Monday, the Nebraska Omaha (1-7) found the scoreboard thanks to a Tyler Splichal double and subsequent RBI groundout off the bat of Beau Suponchick. That was all the offense the Mavericks could produce as Kellen Camus and Bryce Jackson allowed just one hit over the final three innings while the Cougars added single runs in the sixth and seventh to close out the scoring.
On the mound Kyle Swannack held Nebraska Omaha scoreless through five innings, allowing four hits while striking out six, picking up his first win of the season. Andrew Reck took the mound for the Mavericks and allowed five runs with three strikeouts through 4.2 innings of work, suffering the loss.
In the nightcap, Washington State broke open a scoreless game in the fourth with four runs, highlighted by Nelubowich's first home run of the season, scoring Ard and Jones. The Mavericks countered with three runs in the fifth, all off Nick LeRoy, who relieved Joe Pistorese after the Cougar starter went four innings, allowing zero runs, one hit and three walks.
With one out, a single, walk and two-run triple by Scott Donner cut the lead in half. An RBI groundout off the bat of Brian Hohl scored Donner, accounting for all the Nebraska Omaha offense.
In the seventh the Cougars closed out the scoring on a sacrifice fly from Ard, scoring Blackham, who reached on an infield single.
Five Cougars pitched in the game, with Spencer Jackson, Richie Ochoa and Anthony Drobnick working the final three innings, allowing one hit with four strikeouts. Drobnick, who worked a perfect ninth, recorded his first save of the season.
WSU continues its seven-game home stand when it hosts Northern Colorado, Friday at Bailey-Brayton field. Game time is set for 3:30 p.m.
Derek Jones' home run in Game 1 was the 34th of his career, tying him with Beau Campbell (1989-92) and Jim Murphy (2005-08) for fourth on WSU's all-time list... The last time WSU swept a series of four or more games was April 25-27, 1997 (five games) in Pullman against Portland State, when PSU was a Pac-10 North Division member...Joe Pistorese made his collegiate debut in Game 2.