SEATTLE – Washington scored two runs on a two-out error in the bottom of the ninth inning to defeat Washington State 3-2 in the Pacific-10 Conference baseball opener for both schools at Husky Ballpark on Thursday.
Washington (13-10, 1-0 Pac-10) trailed 2-1 with two outs and no one aboard in the bottom of the ninth inning against WSU (14-8, 0-1) closer Adam Conley (1-1). Caleb Brown reached when he was hit by a 1-2 offering from Conley. Cougar catcher Jay Ponciano then committed defensive interference to allow Jacob Lamb to reach base. Pierce Rankin followed with a fly ball that was dropped by Washington State left fielder Brett Jacobs. Brown and pinch runner Andy Smith came around to score and give the Huskies an improbable victory.
“We played great baseball for 26 outs tonight, but it takes 27 outs to win,” WSU head coach Donnie Marbut said. “I feel badly for Brett Jacobs. We just have to come back tomorrow.”
Rankin gave Washington a 1-0 lead in the second inning with his fifth home run of the season. It was the only blemish on Chad Arnold’s record as the Cougar right-hander struck out a season-high eight and gave up three hits over eight innings.
In the third, Michael Weber led off with a double for the Cougars and eventually scored on a ground out by Garry Kuykendall. Wazzu took the lead in the sixth when Cody Bartlett doubled to open the frame, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Jacobs and scored on a ground ball by Matt Fanelli.
Jacob Clem (2-2) pitched 3 2/3 innings of shutout relief to earn the win. The series is scheduled to continue on Friday at 6pm.