STANFORD, CA -- A five-run eighth inning rallied No. 25 Stanford past Washington State in the opener of a three-game Pacific-10 Conference baseball series, Friday.
Washington State (26-18, 9-10 Pac-10) starter Chad Arnold carried a 7-3 lead through seven innings, then walked Colin Walsh to open the Stanford (27-18, 11-8 Pac-10) eighth. Paris Shewey (6-2) entered in relief for the Cougars and walked Stephen Piscotty, the first man he faced.
One out later, Kenny Diekroeger tripled and Jake Schlander singled to pull the Cardinal within 7-6. After a fly out and a single, Shewey gave way to Connor Lambert. Pinch hitter Eric Smith greeted Lambert with a RBI-single to tie the game. Lambert induced Tyler Gaffney to hit a ground ball to Cougar second baseman Cody Bartlett, but Bartlett's throw to first skipped past first baseman Michael Weber and allowed Stanford to score the eventual game-winning run.
In the ninth, Matt Fanelli belted a one-out double to center field, but was thrown out when he rounded second base too far and was tagged out before he could get back to the bag. Cougar Head Coach Donnie Marbut was ejected for arguing the call.
The Cougars took a 1-0 lead in the second on a two-out, RBI-single by Kyle Johnson. Stanford answered in the fourth with a three-run double by Schlander. Weber homered to lead off the WSU sixth and close the Cougars within a run at 3-2.
In the seventh, Jay Ponciano and Garry Kuykendall singled with one out to put runners at the corners. The duo then pulled off a double steal to tie the game 3-3. One out later, Weber was hit by a pitch and Fanelli singled to score Kuykendall with the go-ahead run. Derek Jones followed with a pinch hit single to plate Weber and the Cougars led 5-3.
WSU added to its lead in the eighth, Shea Vucinich and Johnson opened the inning with singles and both runners moved up on a sacrifice bunt by Ponciano. Kuykendall followed with a two-run single through a drawn-in infield and increased the Cougars' lead to 7-3.
Sahill Bloom (1-0) recorded the final two outs in the eighth inning for the victory and Alex Pracher worked the ninth for his third save. The series continues, Saturday at 2 p.m.
Chad Arnold made his 41st-career start to move into eighth place all-time at WSU…Derek Jones played for the first time since suffering a broken hand, April 23 against Oregon State.