PULLMAN - Freshman catcher P.J. Jones delivered a RBI-single to snap a 7-7 tie in the eighth inning and Washington State defeated USC 9-7 in Pac-12 baseball, Saturday at Bailey-Brayton Field.
The Cougars (13-11, 3-5 Pac-12) trailed 7-6 entering the bottom of the eighth. Senior Derek Jones walked to open the inning against USC (16-9, 3-5 Pac-12) reliever Brandon Garcia (1-3). After redshirt-sophomore Adam Nelubowich executed a sacrifice bunt, senior Patrick Claussen reached on a two-base throwing error and Derek Jones scored the tying run.
Freshman Ian Sagdal reached on an infield error as Claussen took third. Bobby Wheatley came out of the Trojans' bullpen and walked freshman Yale Rosen to load the bases. P.J. Jones followed with a single, his third hit of the game, to plate Claussen with the go-ahead run. Sophomore Jason Monda added an RBI-single to provide the Cougars an insurance run.
"We're trying to win the series and at least we have an opportunity," Washington State Head Coach said. "It was a sloppy game in wet conditions. We got a good effort out of our bullpen."
The Cougars jumped out to a 5-0 lead after two innings. With one out in the bottom of the first, senior Tommy Richards tripled and scored on a single by redshirt-junior Taylor Ard. Derek Jones gave Washington State a 3-0 lead with his seventh home run of the season. Nelubowich singled, stole second and scored on a two-out single by Sagdal.
In the second, P.J. Jones and Monda led off with singles. Richards moved the runners up with a sacrifice and Ard knocked in a run with a sacrifice fly.
USC came back to take a 6-5 lead with three runs in the third and three in the fourth against Cougar freshman starter Joe Pistorese. Washington State freshman Tanner Chleborad made his first-career relief appearance and blanked the Trojans over the next three innings to keep the game a one-run affair.
The Cougars tied the score in the seventh when Sagdal walked, Rosen doubled and P.J. Jones recorded an infield hit.
The Trojans regained the lead with a run in the top of the eighth against freshman reliever Ty Jackson (1-0) before the Cougars staged their rally. Redshirt-freshman Scott Simon worked the ninth for Washington State to earn his third save.