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Cougars Use Nine Lives to Beat Ducks
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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Release: 05/22/2011
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May 22, 2011

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PULLMAN, Wash. - Matt Argyropoulos delivered an RBI-single in the bottom of the ninth to lift Washington State past Oregon 8-7 in Pacific-10 Conference baseball at Bailey-Brayton Field, Sunday.

The game-winning hit capped a two-run rally for the Cougars (24-26, 8-16 Pac-10) against Oregon (29-26-1, 8-16 Pac-10) reliever Madison Boer (3-6).

With one out, Taylor Ard singled for his third hit of the day and was replaced by pinch runner Kyle Johnson. With Patrick Claussen batting, Johnson stole second. A ground out by Claussen moved Johnson to third. Adam Nelubowich then drilled a 0-1 pitch to right field for his second double of the game to tie the score 7-7.

Argyropoulos fell behind 1-2 in the count, battled to 3-2, fouled off two pitches, and smoked the next offering to the base of the wall in center field to set off a celebration in the middle of the diamond that capped the day for the six Cougar seniors.

"It was a back and forth game all day," Washington State Head Coach Donnie Marbut said. "Fortunately, we got two big swings in the ninth inning to win it."

The ninth inning rally marked the fourth time the Cougars had come back to tie or take the lead from the Ducks. It was the first time since May 2, 1999 against Washington that Washington State trailed four-separate times in a game and won. It was also the fourth win for the Cougars in their last at bat this season and the 100th come-from-behind victory for Washington State in the Marbut era.

Oregon took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first, but the Cougars tied the game 2-2 in the bottom of the inning on Derek Jones's eighth home run of the season. The blast moved him into a tie with Ard for the Pac-10 lead.

The Ducks scored in the second against Cougar starter Bret DeRooy and Washington State tallied in the third on a two-out walk to Jones, a stolen base, and a run-scoring double from Ard.

A run by Oregon in the fourth against Washington State reliever Richie Ochoa gave the Ducks a 4-3 advantage before the Cougars grabbed their first lead of the game on a two-run single by Nate Blackham in the fourth.

After Oregon tied the score 5-5 with an unearned run off Ochoa in the fifth, an infield hit by Cody Bartlett in the sixth put the Cougars back on top at 6-5.

The Ducks went back in front with a two-run eighth against Paris Shewey before Anthony Drobnick (2-2) put out the fire in the inning and shut Oregon down in the ninth.

Washington State heads to Pasco, Wash., to face Washington in a nonconference game, Tuesday at 6 p.m.

Washington State Cougars
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