PULLMAN, Wash. – Oregon’s early five-run lead wouldn’t stand up as Washington State staged a comeback to take the first game of the series, 12-6, on Friday night at Bailey-Brayton Field.
Washington State (23-25, 7-15) scored five runs in the bottom of the fifth to complete its comeback, as the Cougars batted around in the inning before Kellen Moen came on in relief to retire Tommy Richards.
In the bottom of the eighth, the Cougars added four more runs as Oregon surrendered a season-high 12 on the evening.
Oregon (28-25-1, 7-15) ace Tyler Anderson (7-3) took the loss after allowing eight runs on eight hits and three walks, tossing just four and 2/3 innings – his shortest outing of the season.
Anderson yielded back-to-back doubles into left field as Washington State scored its first of five runs in the bottom of the fifth. With runners on first and second after Anderson issued a walk, the pair successfully completed a double steal. Anderson intentionally walked
Taylor Ard to load the bases with one out, before plunking Patrick Claussen to drive in the second run of the inning.
With the bases loaded again, Adam Nelubowich’s sacrifice fly brought in the game-tying run, before Paul Clingan’s pinch-hit, two-run single to shallow center put Washington State ahead 8-6.
Despite allowing six runs – five earned – on nine hits and four walks, WSU left-hander Adam Conley (6-6) was credited with the win. After allowing five runs through the first two innings, Conley recovered to surrender just one run on four hits during his next five innings on the hill. He also struck out five.
Anthony Drobnick was credited with his first save of the season, shutting out Oregon and holding the Ducks without a hit over the final two innings.
Moen tossed three innings of relief for Oregon, allowing four runs on three hits and two walks. Freshman Porter Clayton retired the final batter of the eighth.
The Ducks were led offensively by Aaron Jones, who finished the game 2-for-4 with three RBIs as the rookie continues to lead Oregon with 30 runs driven in and nine multiple-RBI games.
Taylor Ard led WSU batting 2-for-3 with three RBIs and two runs scored. Cody Bartlett was 2-for-5 with two runs driven and two runs scored, while Derek Jones batted 2-for-3 with two runs driven in and three runs scored.
Oregon scored four runs on three hits in the top of the second as the Ducks took a 5-0 lead. Conley issued a leadoff walk to Mendenhall, who was sacrificed to second and brought home on Hambright’s RBI single up the middle as UO took a 3-0 lead.
J.J. Altobelli than laced a double into left, putting runners at second and third with one out. The Cougars chose to intentionally walk Danny Pulfer, setting up Jones’ two-run double to center as the Ducks doubled their lead to 4-0. The rookie produced three runs on two hits in his first two trips to the plate.
Pulfer then scored Oregon’s fifth run, scoring from third on Stefan Sabol’s groundout.
Oregon took a one-run lead in the top of the first as Pulfer worked his way around the bases. He led off the game with a single that squeaked by the WSU second baseman, and moved to second on a passed ball before Aaron Jones’ RBI single to center drove him in.
The Ducks and Cougars will meet for game two of the series at 2 p.m., Saturday from Bailey-Brayton Field. The game will be televised on Comcast SportsNet Northwest and Comcast Sports Bay Area.
Notes: Danny Pulfer is now on an eight-game hitting streak…Anderson’s start of four and 2/3 innings was his shortest of the season, and shortest outing dating back to April 16, 2010 against then No. 1 UCLA…the Ducks are now 0-4 in Pullman since the program was reinstated in 2009…Oregon surrendered a season high 12 runs…Oregon hadn’t allowed 12 runs since falling 13-3 to California on May 29, 2010.