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WSU Can't Complete Comeback


Courtesy Washington State athletics

PULLMAN, Wash. – Arizona defeated Washington State 6-5 in Pac-12 Conference baseball, Saturday at Bailey-Brayton Field. The win for the Wildcats (22-12, 7-7 Pac-12) came in the regularly scheduled game with the Cougars (18-14, 5-6 Pac-12). Earlier in the day, Washington State knocked off Arizona 9-5 in a game that was suspended due to rain, Friday night after seven innings.

Arizona scored a run on two hits in both the second and sixth innings against Washington State starter Tanner Chleborad (3-6) to take a 2-0 lead. After Chleborad hit the leadoff man in the seventh, Cougar hurler J.D. Leckenby came on in relief. Leckenby allowed the inherited runner to score, as well as another run, as Arizona increased its lead to 4-0.

In the bottom of the eighth, Shea Donlin singled to open the frame against Wildcats' starter James Farris (4-3) and scored on a one-out double by Trace Tam Sing. Augey Bill relieved Farris and hit pinch hitter P.J. Jones. After a passed ball, Jason Monda's sacrifice fly scored Tam Sing to cut Washington State's deficit to 4-2.

In bizarre ninth inning, the Wildcats and Cougars combined for five runs without either team recording a hit. Sean Hartnett loaded the bases with one out in the top of the ninth by issuing three walks. Sam Triece relieved Hartnett and recorded the second out on a fielder's choice as a run scored. Triece then gave up a walk and uncorked a wild pitch to allow another run to score and put Arizona on top 6-2.

In the bottom of the inning, Collin Slaybaugh, Yale Rosen and Ian Sagdal walked against Wildcats' closer Mathew Troupe. Tyger Talley replaced Troupe and walked Ben Roberts with one out to force in a run. Pinch hitter J.J. Robinson drove in a run with a ground out and a wild pitch allowed Rosen to score and pull the Cougars within one at 6-5. After Jones was hit by a pitch to put runners at the corners, Talley struck out Monda to record his first save.

"Everyone will point to the ninth inning because everything is magnified late in the game," Cougar Head Coach Donnie Marbut said. "But, we there were eight innings of baseball that led up to that and we didn't do enough to put ourselves in position to win at the end." The teams will meet at noon, Sunday.