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HCA: Baseball falls to Gonzaga on 13th inning balk

It was a fun game to watch... With a terrible ending for Coug fans.

WSU Athletic Communication

It was the rubber game of the season series for Gonzaga and Washington State. The Cougs took game one at home back on April 3. The Zags returned the favor in Spokane on April 17. Tuesday was the final non-conference meeting of the year for the rivals -- But neither team wanted the series to end.

Washington State got on the board first with a James Rudkin home run in the 4th. Cal Waterman followed that up with a sac-fly to cap off the 2 run frame. The Cougs took the 2-0 lead.

And they would have that lead until the 8th inning. Gonzaga turned a leadoff walk into a Nick Brooks RBI single. Then, later in the inning, a hit-by-pitch led to another RBI single, this time from Jake Vieth, the tie the game at 2-2.

Washington State had chances in both the 8th and 9th to take the lead, but just couldn’t take advantage. A pair of Gonzaga errors gave WSU two on with no one down, but a double play and a ground out ended that threat. In the 9th, the Cougs strung together a single and a double to put runners on 2nd and 3rd with 2 outs, but Justin Harrer went down swinging to send this one to extras.

And that’s when things got weird.

They were still knotted up at 2-2 in the top of the 13th when Jack Machtolf was hit by a pitch. He advanced to 2nd on a sac bunt, and got to 3rd on a wild pitch. Then, in the same at bat, he came into score on a balk by WSU’s Michael Newstrom.

And that balk, would be all Gonzaga needed tonight. Zag reliever Matthew Henckel finished this one off in the 9th, giving GU a (very anti-climactic) 3-2 win.

Coug will look to bounce back with a tough weekend series on the road against Stanford, starting Friday at 6. All three games will be on the Pac-12 Network.

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