PULLMAN, Wash. - Oregon took advantage of a Washington State error to scoring the winning run in the top of the 11th inning for a 4-3 victory in Pac-12 Conference baseball at Bailey-Bailey Field, Sunday.
With the win, the sixth-ranked Ducks (37-11, 19-5 Pac-12) swept the three-game series with the Cougars (20-23, 7-14 Pac-12) and remained atop the Pac-12 standings.
"We dropped three routine balls and it cost us the game" Washington State Head Coach Donnie Marbut. "The difference between Oregon and us is they don't make mistakes and we don't play clean baseball."
In the 11th, Mitchell Tolman singled with two outs against Sean Hartnett (2-1), the fifth Cougar pitcher of the game. Scott Heineman followed with a single up the middle as Tolman headed for third. Washington State centerfielder Austin Pernell bobbled the ground ball and Tolman came all the way around to score the game-winner.
The Cougars threatened to the tie the game in the home half of the inning against Darrell Hunter, the Ducks' fifth pitcher of the afternoon. P.J. Jones opened with a pinch hit single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Ian Sagdal. With two outs, Patrick McGrath beat out an infield single to put runners at the corners. However, Hunter fanned Pernell on a 1-2 pitch to earn his first save. Garrett Cleavinger (6-0), who worked the 10th, picked up the victory.
Washington State battled back three times after trailing 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2. After an error in the first aided Oregon's run, the Cougars scored in their half of opening frame. Pernell led off with a single and was driven home by Collin Slaybaugh's triple.
The Ducks added a run in the second and carried the lead into the seventh when Yale Rosen led off with a home run just inside the left field foul pole for his team-leading seventh round tripper.
The Cougars gift wrapped a run in the eighth when Ian Sagdal dropped a fly ball to open the inning and the Ducks pushed across the go-ahead run.
In the bottom of the ninth, Washington State rallied again, this time facing Jimmie Sherfy, the Pac-12 leader in saves with 16. Rosen led off with a single and Matt Mendenhall moved pinch runner Michael Monda to second with a sacrifice bunt. Sagdal atoned for his error with a run-scoring single to plate Monda. The Cougars wound up loading the bases against Sherfy, but Slaybaugh struck out and the game moved to extra innings.
Washington State plays a nonconference game at Portland, Monday. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.