CWU baseball drops fourteen-inning marathon at CSUMB, 7-6 - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

CWU baseball drops fourteen-inning marathon at CSUMB, 7-6

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SEASIDE, Calif. -- Senior Brady Kincannon (Federal Way, Wash./Decatur HS) went 3 for 7 with two runs batted in, including a go-ahead RBI single in the top of the 14th inning, but the Central Washington University baseball team lost an extra-inning thriller to host California State University, Monterey Bay, 7-6 in 14 innings on Friday afternoon.

The Wildcats remain winless on the season, falling to 0-3. CSUMB improved to 4-2 on the year. Friday's meeting was the first-ever baseball contest between the two schools and was the opening game of a four-game weekend series.

The game, which took 3 hours and 40 minutes to complete, was the second-longest in CWU baseball history in terms of innings played. Only 15-inning games in 1964 (4-3 loss at Western Washington) and 1996 (8-7 win at Eastern Oregon) were longer in the Wildcats' 69-year recorded baseball history.

Central Washington held the lead three times, beginning with a 1-0 advantage in the top of the first inning after a RBI single by Kincannon that scored senior Brandon Wang (Mill Creek, Wash./Jackson HS). CSUMB scored single runs in the second and third innings to take the lead, only to have the Wildcats tie the game in the top of the fourth on a two-out RBI double by junior Jimmy Ryerson (Seattle, Wash./Roosevelt HS). The Otters regained the lead in the bottom of the inning after piecing together three hits, two stolen bases, and two CWU errors.

The score remained 4-2 until the sixth inning, when Central Washington cut its deficit in half after a leadoff single by Kincannon and a sacrifice fly by Ryerson two batters later. The Wildcats then took the lead for the second time in the contest in the top of the eighth inning, as junior Spencer Humphrey (Dublin, Calif.) reached drove home a run on an infield error with one out, and senior Brett Bielec (Port Orchard, Wash./North Mason HS) reached on a fielder's choice to score the go-ahead run.

CSUMB tied the game with two out in the bottom of the ninth inning. The Otters got a leadoff double from Danny Nelson, but he was retired at third base two batters later on a fielder's choice, and the hosts were down to their final out with the tying run on first base. A passed ball allowed that runner, Jared DeCastro, to advance to second, and he scored on a RBI single by Jason Merjano that forced extra innings.

Each team had chances to score in the tenth with runners in scoring position and less than two out, but neither team scored. The Wildcats advanced a runner to third with two out in the 11th, and the Otters did the same in the 12th, but each team worked its way out of trouble to preserve the stalemate.

CWU went ahead for the final time in the top of the 14th, as senior Derrick Webb (Ephrata, Wash.) led off with a single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by senior David Leid (Carson City, Nev./Carson HS). Kincannon then delivered a RBI single up the middle to give the Wildcats a 6-5 lead -- an advantage that was short-lived for the visitors. In the bottom of the inning, Merjano led off with a triple and tied the game on a RBI single by Tommy George, which chased senior reliever Deren Jones (Lewiston, Idaho) in the process. George then stole second and came home on a double by Chris Blanton that ended the marathon contest.

Central Washington used four pitchers in the contest, with junior Randy Button (Allyn, Wash./North Mason HS) escaping with a no-decision after surrendering eight hits and four runs (three earned) in six innings of work. Junior Jason Lotzer (Lynnwood, Wash.) and Jones (0-1) followed, working three and four innings, respectively, before junior Tanner Knutson (Deer Park, Wash.) allowed the walkoff hit to the lone batter he faced.

Offensively, Kincannon and Bielec were the lone Wildcats with more than one hit in the game. Bielec went 2 for 6 out of the leadoff spot, and six CWU players finished with one hit apiece.

CSUMB was led by Merjano and George, their sixth- and seventh-place hitters in the lineup, as they each went 4 for 7 with two runs scored, a triple, and a RBI. Three other Otters had two hits each. Jake Paolinetti (1-0) earned the win after allowing one run in four innings of relief.

The two teams continue their series with an 11 a.m. doubleheader on Saturday (Feb. 11) at the Otter Sports Complex. Central's six-game California road trip then concludes with the series finale on Sunday (Feb. 12).

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