EUGENE, Ore. – (from WSU athletics) Pinch hitter Patrick Claussen's sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth inning lifted Washington State to a 3-2 victory over No. 17 Oregon in the opener of a three-game Pacific-10 Conference series at PK Park, Friday night.
With the score tied 2-2, Matt Argyropoulos led off the ninth inning with an infield hit and advanced to second on a throwing error by Oregon (28-14, 8-8 Pac-10) third baseman J.J. Altobelli. A ground out by Shea Vucinich moved Argyropoulos to third and Claussen delivered a deep fly to left field off Scott McGough (4-1) to give the Cougars (22-15, 6-7 Pac-10) their first lead of the game.
In the bottom of the ninth, Adam Conley walked Danny Pulfer, the first man he faced, to open the frame. After twice failing to get a bunt down, Eddie Rodriguez appeared to ground into a double play. However, Cougar catcher Paul Clingan was called for defensive interference and the Ducks had runners at first and second with no one out. After Jett Hart moved both runners over with sacrifice bunt, Jack Marder hit a ground ball to first baseman Ryan Peterson who cut down Pulfer trying to score. Conley then struck out Altobelli looking to notch his ninth save of the season.
Trailing 2-0 after seven innings, the Cougars rallied to tie the game in the eighth. With one out, Garry Kuykendall doubled. Matt Fanelli sliced the lead to run with a triple in the right-center field gap and Michael Weber singled over a drawn-in infield to score Fanelli with the equalizer and end Oregon starter Tyler Anderson's night.
"Tyler Anderson was terrific tonight as was Chad Arnold for us," WSU Head Coach Donnie Marbut said. "Chad gave us a chance to win and our guys battled hard enough and long enough to find a way to win."
Coming off back-to-back complete games, Arnold pitched gave up two runs over seven innings while striking out three. Paris Shewey (5-1) pitched a perfect eighth inning to pick up the victory.
Oregon built a 2-0 lead with a run in the fourth and another in the seventh. The Ducks scored in the fourth on a bloop double, bunt single and double play ground ball. Oregon's lead was extended in the seventh on a two-out, RBI-single by Altobelli.
The series continues, Saturday at 5 p.m.
The Cougars posted their 13th come-from-behind win in 2010 and their fifth victory in their last at bat…Paris Shewey won his fifth game in relief to move into a tie for sixth on the WSU single-season list…Matt Fanelli's triple in the eighth was the second of his career and his first since April 25, 2008 against San Jose State…Oregon lost for the first time in 22 games this season when leading after eight innings.