EUGENE, Ore. – Washington State scored three runs in the final two innings to claim a 3-2 comeback victory over No. 17 Oregon on Friday night at PK Park.
The second game of the series is set for 5 p.m., Saturday from PK Park. For fans coming to the ballpark after the spring football game, standing room tickets will be available for the discounted price of $5. Ahmad Rashad and Dan Fouts will also be on hand to throw out the first pitch. Military personnel with their military ID can purchase $5 reserved seats for Saturday’s game as well.
The Ducks (28-14, 8-8) had a 2-0 lead going into the eighth as starter Tyler Anderson had thrown seven innings of scoreless baseball. As the lefty’s pitch count climbed into triple digits, Washington State’s (22-15, 6-7) Garry Kuykendall started the rally with a one-out double to right center.
Matt Fanelli then cut UO’s lead to 2-1, driving a RBI triple off the wall in right center. With Fanelli representing the tying run sitting just 90 feet away at third, the coaching staff elected to keep Anderson on the mound. The lefty then surrendered the game-tying run as Michael Weber dropped a RBI single into shallow right allowing Fanelli to score.
WSU lefty reliever Paris Shewey retired the side in order in the bottom of the eighth as the game went into the ninth tied at 2-2.
With McGough on the mound in the top of the ninth, Matt Argyropoulos placed a bunt down the third base line that Oregon third baseman J.J. Altobelli bare-handed. The freshman’s throw was wide of first, allowing Argyropoulos to make his way to second. Shea Vucinich then grounded out to move Argyropoulos to third, leaving the go-ahead run at third with just one out on the board. Pinch-hitting, Patrick Claussen’s sacrifice fly to left brought Argyropoulos home unearned before Bartlett was retired as the Ducks went into the bottom of the ninth trailing 3-2.
With Adam Conley on the mound for the save, things looked promising for the Ducks as the lefty issued a four-pitch leadoff walk to Danny Pulfer. Catcher’s interference on Paul Clinigan gave Rodriguez first an moved Pulfer to second, and Jett Hart’s perfectly placed sacrifice bunt moved both runners over.
Marder then hit into a fielder’s choice as his effort was fielded by WSU first baseman Ryan Peterson, and Pulfer was tagged out by Clinigan as he attempted to tie the game from third. With runners on the corners and the Ducks down to their last out, Conley earned his ninth save of the season by retiring Altobelli who was caught looking at strike three.
Shewey (5-1) was credited with the win for the Cougars after pitching one inning of scoreless baseball in the eighth.
Starter Chad Arnold went a full seven innings, allowing two runs on seven hits and two walks, while striking out three.
McGough (4-1) took the loss for Oregon, allowing an unearned run in one and 2/3 innings on the mound.
Anderson finished his night tossing seven and 1/3 innings and allowing two runs on six hits while fanning eight.
Oregon took a 1-0 lead in the fourth as Marcus Piazzisi led off the inning with a shallow double to center as three Washington State players converged but couldn’t get to the high fly ball. Pulfer then placed a bunt single between the mound and third base - catching the defense off guard as runners were safe at first and third.
Rodriguez then hit into a double play, but Piazzisi came home from third as the Ducks took a 1-0 lead.
The Ducks doubled their lead in the seventh as Marder salvaged the inning with a two-out double to right. Altobelli then brought Marder with a first-pitch RBI single up the middle as UO went ahead 2-0.
The Ducks hit into three double plays on the evening, and left five runners stranded.