Big Seventh Inning Lifts Illinois-Chicago Past Cougars
March 17, 2007
PULLMAN, Wash. - Ben Trotter's grand slam capped a seven-run seventh inning and lifted Illinois-Chicago to a 14-11 win over Washington State Saturday afternoon at Bailey-Brayton Field.
With the loss the Cougars fall to 11-7 on the season while the Flames improve to 5-9 overall.
It was a slugfest all afternoon as the Flames pounded out a season-high 20 hits while the Cougars added 17. Trailing 9-7 entering the seventh, David Cales lined a three-run home run to left-center, putting Illinois-Chicago ahead 10-7. With two outs and nobody on base, the Flames connected for three straight singles, loading the bases for Trotter. On a 1-1 pitch, Trotter lifted the ball to right and with the wind blowing that direction; it sailed over the wall, capping his six-RBI afternoon.
The Cougars had taken the lead the previous inning on a Jim Murphy two-run double and Jeff Miller's RBI single, one of five hits on the day for Miller. It was part of six unanswered runs scored by the Cougars after trailing 7-3 heading into the bottom of the fifth. That's when the Cougar bats caught fire as Greg Lagreid singled home Miller, then came around to score on Zach Borba's first triple of the season. An RBI groundout by Josh Ashenbrenner brought WSU within one at 7-6 heading into the sixth.
In Friday's series opener the pitching was strong on both sides as the game produced a total of 13 hits and seven runs. Those figures were surpassed by the end of the third inning Saturday. The Flames opened the scoring in the top of the first as they loaded the bases with a pair of walks sandwiched around a Nick Rainwater single. Trotter singled home two runs and Jake Carr's sacrifice fly brought home the third run of the inning. Another run in the second pushed the lead to 4-0 before WSU found the scoreboard in the bottom of the inning.
With two outs and nobody on, Miller's single began a streak of six straight Cougars to reach base, four via hits, along with a hit batter and a walk. By the end of the inning WSU had cut the lead to 4-3.
On the mound the Cougars used five pitchers on the day, starting with Matt Way who last two-plus innings, allowing six runs on five hits. Steve Kost suffered the loss as his record falls to 1-1 after allowing seven runs in his 1 1/3 innings of work.
Offensively, WSU pounded out 17 hits, one shy of its season high. Miller led the way with a career-high five, while Paul Gran, Murphy and Borba added two each.
Rainwater led the 20-hit Illinois-Chicago attack for four singles while Chad Schroeder, Larry Gempp Jr. and Trotter each added three. Trotter finished with six RBIs while Gempp scored three runs. The Flames also used five pitchers on the afternoon with Matt Weldon picking up his first win of the season. Weldon worked just 2/3 of an inning, but was the pitcher of record when the Flames had their big seventh inning. Cales worked the final two innings, retired all six Cougars he faced.
These same two teams conclude their series Sunday afternoon at Bailey-Brayton Field. First pitch is scheduled for noon.
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