EUGENE, Ore. – A six-run eighth inning for Washington State helped the Cougars upset eighth-ranked Oregon, and even the series with an 8-3 victory on Saturday afternoon at PK Park.
In front of a season-best crowd of 2,478, the Ducks (27-11, 11-6) lost their one-run lead in the eighth as WSU (19-16, 6-7) scored six runs on three hits and one Oregon error with UO relievers Tommy Thorpe, Jimmie Sherfy and Joey Housey on the mound.
Oregon starter Jake Reed was in line for the win after holding the Cougars to two runs on six hits, while striking out five, but the bullpen couldn’t hold off WSU in the eighth.
With the bases loaded in the top of the eighth and Sherfy on the mound, WSU designated hitter Adam Nelubowich plated the tying and go-ahead runs with a double to deep center field. Derek Jones scored the fifth WSU run on a RBI groundout from Collin Slaybaugh. The inning was able to continue on an Aaron Payne error, allowing Nelubowich to score unearned and Tommy Richards to reach safely.
That spelled the end for Sherfy (3-2), who was credited with the loss after allowing four runs (two earned) on one hit, one walk and one hit batter, while also throwing one wild pitch.
Jason Monda singled off Joey Housey, and Richards and Monda moved to second and third on a wild pitch before scoring the final runs of the eighth on Ian Sagdal’s RBI single.
Washington scored back-to-back runs in the first and second innings to take a 2-0 lead as Taylor Ard’s ground out plated P.J. Johnson for the first score of the game. Monda then hit a solo home run in the second – his first of the season to score WSU’s second run.
Oregon plated three runs in the third to take a 3-2 advantage as once again Kyle Garlick was the hero, driving in Oregon’s first two runs of the game with a two-out double to right center that scored Brett Hambright and Payne. Hambright led off the bottom of the inning with a single, and Payne reached when he was plunked with two outs by WSU starter Joe Pistorese. The inning continued as Garlick scored from second on a throwing error from Patrick Claussen at third.
In five innings on the mound, Pistorese allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits and two walks while striking out six UO baterrs.
Kellen Camus, Spencer Jackson, Scott Simon and Anthony Drobnick all appeared in relief for the Cougars. Jackson (2-1) was credited with the win after tossing a shutout inning in the seventh.
Hambright led the Ducks with a 3-for-3 effort and a walk, while Brett Thomas was 2-for-4 at the plate.
Monda led WSU with 3-for-4 day including two runs scored and a RBI, while Claussen added two hits for the Cougars.
The series finale and rubber game is set for a noon first pitch from PK Park on Sunday. It will be Earth Day at PK Park and fans can donate an old electronic item to Goodwill and receive $5 general admission
Notes: Oregon played in front of a season-high crowd of 2,478…Jake Reed gave up his first run of the season to Jason Monda in the second inning, it was also the first home run of 2012 for Monda…Ryon Healy is now on a nine-game hitting streak, the longest for any Duck this season.