Cougar Bullpen Near Perfect in Road Victory - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Cougar Bullpen Near Perfect in Road Victory

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CULLOWHEE, N.C. – Nick Tanielu's two-run double in the seventh snapped a 1-1 tie and Washington State rallied for a 4-1 win at Western Carolina in nonconference baseball, Sunday.


The Cougars (1-2) trailed 1-0 when Trace Tam Sing led off the inning with a double against Western Carolina (2-1) starter Morgan McKinney (0-1). Ben Roberts struck out, but reached first base on a passed ball as Tam Sing took third. Trek Stemp greeted reliever Colton Davis with a single, his third hit of the game, to plate Tam Sing with the tying run. With two outs, Tanielu delivered the big hit off Tyler Powell, the Catamounts' fourth pitcher of the frame.


"I really thought we would play the way we did today all weekend," Cougar Head Coach Donnie Marbut said. "We won the way we are going to have to win games all season. You learn a lot more about your team in close ballgames than you do in blowouts. Our bullpen can't pitch any better than it did today."


Five Cougar relievers combined to retire 14 of the 15 men they faced, including seven strikeouts in relief of starter Scott Simon, who gave up one run on four hits in 4 1/3 innings. Kyle Swannack, the second of the five relievers, pitched a perfect sixth inning to pick up his first-career relief victory.


After the Cougars took the lead, Jason Monda made his collegiate pitching debut and struck out the side. Washington State added a run in the eighth inning on a hit batter, single and a Western Carolina throwing error. Kellen Camus and J.D. Leckenby set the side down in order during the eighth and ninth innings, respectively with Leckenby notching his first-collegiate save.


The Cougars host Eastern Michigan in their home opener, Friday at 2 p.m. It will be the first of four games in Pullman next weekend.



Freshman Matt Bower came out of the bullpen in the fifth inning to make his collegiate debut…Washington State scored 27 runs during the series, its most in a three-game, nonconference road series since 37 at Northern Colorado, April 21-23, 2006.

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