PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State sophomore Justin Harrer pulled a walk-off two-out two-run double down the left field line to give the Cougars a 6-5 series-clinching win over Oregon at Bailey-Brayton Field Sunday afternoon.
Washington State (22-22, 8-13 Pac-12) recorded their third straight series win (UW, Utah, Oregon) and used their second straight walk-off hit, after JJ Hanock’s walk-off single in game two Saurday, to clinch the series from the Ducks (26-17, 9-12 Pac-12). Harrer recorded three hits and drove in three runs while Andres Alvarez and Shane Matheny each collected two hits. The Cougars notched their 12th comeback win of the season, rallying from a 5-0 deficit in the seventh inning.
Oregon scored three times in the third inning, using an infield single and two walks to load the bases before a run came home on a groundout and two more scored on a two-out single through the left side for a 3-0 Oregon lead. The Ducks added a run in the fourth for a four-run advantage.
The Cougars had a chance in the fifth as JJ Hancock was hit by a pitch to start the inning before Ryan Ramsower singled through the left side and Danny Sinatro followed with a line drive single to centerfield, loading the bases. Oregon ended the threat by getting a ground ball to the third baseman who fired home for the force out and then on to first for the inning-ending double play.
Oregon tacked on a run with a two-out RBI single in the sixth for a 5-0 advantage.
In the seventh, Justin Harrer lined a single off the pitcher for an infield single to start the inning. Cal Waterman later walked to put runners on first and second for Alvarez who singled back up the middle to score Harrer and make it a 5-1 game.
Washington State cut into the Oregon lead in the eighth, scoring three times in the inning to make it a 5-4 game. Matheny started the inning with a single to left field and Hancock later added a single to right centerfield that allowed Matheny move around to third base. Harrer pulled a single through the left side to score Matheny and Blake Clanton followed with an opposite-field two-run double to left centerfield that scored Hancock and Harrer to cut the Oregon lead to one.
In the ninth, junior reliever Ryan Walker took over with two runners on and one out and kept the Oregon lead at one after knocking down a comebacker and flipping to first for the second out before getting the third out on a fly out. Matheny got the rally going with a one-out single into right centerfield and James Rudkin followed with a base hit to left. The next batter flew out to the left for the second out and pinch-runner Derek Chapman ran for Rudkin at first base prior to Harrer’s at-bat. Harrer pulled a 2-2 pitch just inside the third base bag and down the left field line, scoring Matheny easily from second and the speedster Chapman raced around to score the game-winner as the ball rattled around the left field corner.
Walked earned the win after getting the final two outs in the ninth, his ninth career relief win, tying for fifth-most in WSU history. Oregon closer Kenyon Yovan took the loss after allowing five runs in 1.2 innings, Yovan entered the weekend with a Pac-12 best 12 saves.
The Cougars will host UCLA for Pac-12 series beginning Friday. All three games will be televised on the Pac-12 Network.
GAME NOTES… Matheny extended his hitting streak to seven games…Hancock has hit safely in six straight games.