PULLMAN, Wash. - P.J. Jones picked a great time for his first-collegiate home run.
The freshman catcher blasted a grand slam in the bottom of the ninth inning in front of a regional television audience and 1,253 fans at Bailey-Brayton Field to give Washington State (26-25, 11-15 Pac-12) a 9-5 Pac-12 Conference victory over No. 20 Oregon State (34-18, 14-12 Pac-12), Saturday.
"P.J. put a great swing on the ball," Cougar Head Coach Donnie Marbut said. "He doesn't get cheated. It was a great moment and I'm really happy for him."
After the Beavers tied the game 5-5 with a two-out hit in the top of the ninth off Cougars' closer Anthony Drobnick (4-2), Ian Sagdal walked in an eight-pitch plate appearance leading off the bottom of the ninth against Oregon State reliever Scott Schultz (3-1).
Kyle Johnson was hit by a pitch while pulling his bat back in a sacrifice situation to put runners at first and second. Collin Slaybaugh fell behind 1-2 in the count while trying to sacrifice and Oregon State brought in Matt Boyd from the bullpen.
Slaybaugh promptly executed a sacrifice to put runners at second and third. After Taylor Ard was intentionally walked, Boyd won a lefty-lefty battle when Derek Jones fouled out on a 3-2 pitch.
After taking a ball, P.J. Jones hammered a pitch off the netting that protects the scoreboard in left-center field to set the stage for the postgame fireworks that followed.
Oregon State scored twice in top of the first against Washington State starter J.D. Leckenby before the Cougars rallied for three runs in the bottom of the frame off Beavers' starter Jace Fry.
Johnson singled and Slaybaugh walked to open inning. After a wild pitch, Ard plated both runners with a single. Derek Jones singled to send Ard to third. A fielder's choice off the bat of P.J. Jones cut Ard down at the plate. After a double steal, Tommy Richards gave the Cougars the lead with an RBI-ground out.
Oregon State tied the game in the third, but Washington State went back on top 4-3 with a run in the fourth. Richards and Jason Monda opened with singles and Richards eventually scored on a passed ball with two outs.
Both teams pushed across a run in the sixth. In the Cougars' half of the inning, P.J. Jones singled, took second on a sacrifice by Richards and scored on a single by Monda.