Washington State fell behind early, but was able to battle back and rally in the ninth to take a huge Pac 10 series from OSU Sunday afternoon.
The Oregon State Beavers jumped on Washington State starter David Stilley early, storming out to a 4-0 lead after three innings. Stilley only lasted one out into the third before giving way to the Coug bullpen. The bullpen was able to do solid work in holding the Beavers to just two more runs for the remainder of the game while the Cougar offense came to life.
Wazzu got on the board in the top of the fourth with three runs capped by an RBI single by senior Jared Prince. The Cougs were able to take their first lead of the day after a two-run shot over the left field fence by sophomore shortstop Shea Vucinich.
The Beavers battled back in the seventh when catcher Ryan Ortiz went opposite field for a solo shot to tie the game at six.
In the decisive 9th, second baseman Cody Bartlett led off with a single to center before being bunted over to second by centerfielder Garry Kuykendall. Sophomore catcher Jay Ponciano then drove in the go ahead run to produce the winning margin of 7-6.
The Cougs improved to 28-22 overall and 16-8 in Pac 10 play. They remain in second place and will be atleast 1.5 games ahead of the Huskies, their final conference opponent of the regular season. Taking the series over the Huskies should guarantee the Cougs a berth into regionals for the first time in nearly two decades.
This season has become a truly historic one for Cougar baseball and the ride continues with in-state rivals Gonzaga this Tuesday in Spokane. A win there would certainly help the Cougs' postseason cause.