March 3, 2012
PULLMAN, Wash. - Northern Colorado collected 14 hits and knocked off Washington State 7-3 in nonconference baseball at Bailey-Brayton Field, Saturday.
"We didn't play well. We didn't compete hard. That's what costs you ballgames," Cougar Head Coach Donnie Marbut said. "It's important for us to come back tomorrow and win a series. You have to defend your home turf."
Washington State (6-3) took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Nate Blackham led off with a walk and scored on a triple by Kyle Johnson. Jason Monda plated Johnson with a double and took third on a fly out by Taylor Ard.
However, Northern Colorado (1-5) starter Nate Steinmetz (1-1) prevented further damage by striking out Derek Jones and Tommy Richards. It marked the first of four times in the game the Cougars stranded a runner 90 feet away.
Washington State starter Kyle Swannack (1-1) blanked the Bears on one hit through three innings before running into trouble in the fourth. The right-hander gave up a pair of walks sandwiched around a single to load the bases with no one out.
After a double play scored the Bears' first run and a single tied the game before two more safeties loaded the bases and chased Swannack. Scott Simon came out of the bullpen and walked the first man he faced to force in a run that gave Northern Colorado a 3-2 lead.
Simon settled down after that and at one point retired eight-straight men. However, three-straight, two-out hits in the seventh scored two more runs to increase the Bears' lead to 5-2.
In the eighth, Jones led off with a single against Jess Amedee. After Richards flied out and Ian Sagdal's ground ball forced Jones at second, Patrick Claussen drilled a double to right that scored Sagdal and brought the tying run to the plate. Amedee squelched the rally by striking out pinch hitter Adam Nelubowich to preserve a 5-3 advantage.
Northern Colorado closed the scoring with two runs in the ninth against the Cougar bullpen and Amedee shut down Washington State in the ninth to earn his first save.
The series concludes, Sunday with first pitch scheduled for 10 a.m.
The Cougars played their first Saturday game of the season after weather caused postponements in each of the first-two weekend series...Washington State registered 10 hits, marking the sixth time this season it reached double figures.