Feb. 25, 2007
AUSTIN, Texas - Jared Prince's two-run, two-out triple in the eighth capped a four-run inning as Washington State University rallied from a 5-0 deficit to defeat No. 13 Texas, 7-6, in the series finale Sunday afternoon at Disch-Falk Field.
With the win the Cougars even their season record at 3-3 while the loss drops the Longhorns to 9-6.
Trailing 6-3 entering the eighth, WSU strung together five hits as Josh Ashenbrenner drove in Travis Coulter from third. Coulter led off the inning with a single to right, the first of five straight pinch-hitters used by head coach Donnie Marbut. A single by Scott Suttmeier loaded the bases for Paul Gran, whose sacrifice fly to center brought home Simi Reynolds to make it a one-run game. Prince then stepped in and drove an 0-2 pitch off Texas reliever Randy Boone deep to the gap in right-center, clearing the bases and putting WSU up 7-6.
Ross Humes, the fourth Cougar pitcher on the day, worked the final two innings for his first save, though it was not without incident. With runners on first and second and one out, Longhorn right fielder Kyle Russell sent a ball deep to left center that Ryan Krauser could not corral on the warning track, allowing each runner to advance one base. On the play, Russell passed his teammate on the base path, an automatic out. Instead of a bases loaded, one-out scenario, there were two outs and runners on second and third. Humes got out of the inning with a groundout to third; preserving the 7-6 Cougar lead. He then sent the Longhorns down in order in the ninth.
After trailing 5-0 through three innings, WSU chipped away at the Texas lead in the sixth. Gran led off with a double to deep center then scored on Jim Murphy's single up the middle. Following a Jeff Miller single, Murphy came home on a RBI groundout by Greg Lagreid. The Cougars had runners at the corners after Matt Fanelli's single before the rally stalled.
The Cougars added another run in the seventh as Gran led off with a single to center then scored on Murphy's ground rule double over the wall in left. Prince, who was on first when the play began, would have scored easily had the ball stayed in the park but had to go back to third.
The Longhorns opened the scoring in the second with a pair of runs, the first on a failed pickoff attempt and the second on an RBI single by Travis Tucker. Three more runs in the third, courtesy of two hits and a sacrifice fly, pushed the lead to 5-0 as the Longhorns chased Cougar starter Jared Prince after 2 2/3 innings.
The Longhorns put runners on the corners in the sixth with two outs before freshman Michael Ratigan came on in relief of Steve Kost. Ratigan induced Preston Clark into an inning-ending flyout to right to get out of the jam. Kost entered the game in the third and worked three innings, allowing two hits and no runs with two strikeouts.
Boone entered the game for Texas with a team-leading three saves, including one in the series-opener Friday. He could not stop the WSU momentum as he allowed four runs on four hits in 2 1/13 innings of work.
At the plate for WSU Gran finished the day with three hits, while Murphy and Prince each added two and a pair of RBIs. Ratigan picked up the first win of his Cougar career as he worked 1 1/3 innings with one strikeout.
Texas starter Austin Wood worked into the sixth before exiting with two outs and runners at the corners. Wood was the first of three Longhorn pitchers on the afternoon. Offensively, Chais Fuller led the way with three hits while Nick Peoples added two with two runs scored.
The Cougars are next in action Thursday when they open play at the Banana Belt Tournament against Utah Valley State. The game marks the home opener for WSU and is scheduled for a 4 p.m. start.
Washington State 000 002 140 - 7 13 1 Texas 023 000 100 - 6 11 2 WP - Michael Ratigan (1-1) LP - Randy Boone (0-4). Save - Ross Humes (1) WSU - Jared Prince, Steve Kost (3), Michael Ratigan (6), Ross Humes (8) and Greg Lagreid, Mike Gilbert. UT - Austin Wood, Joseph Krebs (6), Randy Boone (7) and Preston Clark. HR - None. WSU Hits - Paul Gran 3, Jared Prince 2, Jim Murphy 2, Scott Suttmeier, Jeff Miller, Travis Coulter, Matt Fanelli, Zach Borba, Josh Ashenbrenner. UT Hits - Chais Fuller 3, Nick Peoples 2, Travis Tucker, Jordan Danks, Chance Wheeless, Kyle Russell, Preston Clark, Clay Van Hook. E - Bartlett, Suttle, Fuller. 2B - Gran, Murphy, Peoples, Fuller. 3B - Prince.