March 12, 2007
PULLMAN, Wash. - Jared Prince had a season-high three hits and Jeff Miller hit his team-leading fourth home run of the season as Washington State University defeated Rider, 11-6, Monday evening at Bailey-Brayton Field.
With the win the Cougars even the series at a win apiece and improve to 9-6 while Rider falls to 2-6.
After scoring just one run in Sunday's opener, the Cougars wasted no time getting on the scoreboard. WSU put up four runs in the first as Paul Gran had an RBI double and Miller blasted a two-run home run over the wall in right, his third home run in the last four games.
The Cougars added two more in the third as Prince doubled, putting runners at second and third. Jim Murphy's infield grounder was misplayed, allowing Scott Suttmeier to come home then Greg Lagreid followed with an RBI single up the middle, scoring Prince.
Freshman starter Michael Ratigan was cruising through four innings on the mound for WSU, but that ended in the fourth as Rider sent nine men to the plate, scoring five runs on four hits. The first five batters in the inning reached and when Jon Leise, who homered in Sunday's win, connected for a three-run shot over the wall in right, the Cougars held a slim 6-5 lead.
WSU broke the game open in the seventh as it scored four more runs, courtesy of three hits. With two on and no outs, Prince doubled home Suttmeier for his first three-hit game of the season. Gran then came home on a balk by Rider reliever Ryan Miller, Prince scored on an RBI groundout by Miller and Murphy came home on a wild pitch. WSU added an insurance run in the eighth on an RBI single by Murphy that scored Prince, his fourth run of the night.
Ratigan worked four innings for WSU before giving way to Steve Kost to start the fifth. Kost went the next 3 1/3 innings, allowing one run on five hits before leaving with the bases loaded and one out in the eighth. Ross Humes came on and fanned Adam Tussey for the second out then induced Jeff Reynolds into a flyout to center, ending the threat and keeping the Cougar lead at 10-6.
Kost ended up with his first win of the season while Humes picked up his fourth save after allowing one hit in 1 2/3 innings of work, Offensively WSU pounded out nine hits, three by Prince and two by Gran.
For Rider Leise and James Hayes each had three hits to lead an 11-hit attack. Starter Will O'Connor suffered the loss after going three innings, allowing six runs on four hits.
The three-game series concludes Tuesday evening at Bailey-Brayton Field with the first pitch scheduled for 5:30 p.m.
Rider 000 500 010 - 6 11 3 Washington State 402 000 41x - 11 9 2 WP - Steve Kost (1-0). LP - Will O'Connor (0-1). Save - Ross Humes (4). WSU - Michael Ratigan, Steve Kost (5), Ross Humes (8) and Greg Lagreid RID - Will O'Connor, Ryan Miller (4), Eric Holck (8) and Sean Olson. HR - Jeff Miller, Jon Leise. WSU Hits - Jared Prince 3, Paul Gran 2, Jim Murphy, Jeff Miller, Greg Lagreid, Mike Gilbert. RID Hits - Jon Leise 3, James Hayes 3, Jeff Reynolds, David Hayes, Matt McCollum, Sean Olson, Brad States. E - Olson 2, Tussey, Ratigan. 2B - Prince 2, Gran, McCollum, Leise. 3B - None.