Ryan Walker threw five scoreless innings in relief and the middle of the order produced just enough as Washington State erased an early deficit to beat Houston Baptist, 3-2, in the Al Ogletree Classic Friday afternoon.
Damon Jones, a junior college transfer out of College of Southern Idaho, made his second start of the season, though his day lasted just two innings after surrendering a pair of runs in the first. Walker, a sophomore who made seven starts last season, entered in long relief and held the Huskies (3-3) to just one hit in five innings of work, picking up his first win of the season.
With the Cougars (2-4) trailing 2-0, sophomore outfielder Derek Chapman drew a leadoff walk, followed by a line drive single of the bat of true freshman Ty Johnson. With runners on first and second, nine-hole hitter Shane Matheny dropped a sacrifice bunt, however an error on the play loaded the bases with no outs. Trek Stemp, now riding a six-game hitting streak, grounded into a double play in the ensuing at bat, however Chapman was able to score on the play, cutting the lead to 2-1.
True freshman outfielder Mason Cerrillo, pinch-hitting for Wes Hatten, opened the sixth with a line drive single to right, setting the table for four-hitter Patrick McGrath, who reached on an error to put runners on the corners for Cameron Frost. Down 0-2 in the count, Frost ripped a single up the middle to tie the game at deuces. McGrath scored a batter later after Chapman executed a safety squeeze to give the Cougars a 3-2 lead they wouldn't relinquish.
Sophomore southpaw Sunny Sunitsch entered in the eighth inning, replacing Walker, who allowed just one base runner and racked up four strikeouts in what amounted to his best outing in his young career. Sunitsch, after a scoreless eighth, worked around a leadoff single to throw up a zero in the ninth, securing his first career save.
Washington State, entering their seventh game of an eight game road trip in Texas, will send true freshman Parker McFadden to the mound at 1 p.m. today against Prairie View A&M (2-3), who lost to UT-Rio Grand Valley Friday night, 7-2. In his first career start, McFadden tossed four innings, allowing three runs on four hits and recorded four strikeouts in a 7-6 loss to Texas State. Today's game can be streamed live on the Cougars' official website.
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I'm tired and it's 2 a.m., so here's a fun video that you should watch - Google | This is a link to a video that's fun to watch if you like WSU football and spending the rest of your day realizing there's half of a calendar year until football things. Stop the video about 10 seconds before it finishes, though.