FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Redshirt-junior second baseman Cody Bartlett belted a two-run, tie-breaking home run in the eighth inning to provide No. 23 Washington State an 8-6 victory over Kansas State in the NCAA Fayetteville Baseball Regional, Friday.
"The game was how I thought it would be," WSU Head Coach Donnie Marbut said. "Kansas State is a grinding, tough team. Both teams played hard and it was a really good college baseball game. We found a way to come back and win and we have done that a lot lately."
Bartlett's homer, his sixth of the season, was his third hit of the night. His game-winner came off Kansas State (36-21) closer James Allen (5-1) who had not allowed a long ball this season prior to facing Bartlett.
Allen, the third Wildcats' pitcher, relieved to start the eighth with the game tied 6-6. He walked Jay Ponciano with one out before retiring pinch hitter Patrick Claussen on a pop up. Bartlett then laced a 1-1 pitch over the wall in left-center field to put the Cougars (35-20) on top.
Adam Conley blanked Kansas State in the ninth for his 12th save of the season to tie the WSU single-season record set by Ross Humes in 2007. Connor Lambert (5-1), the third of four Cougar hurlers, picked up the victory after striking out Carter Jurica to end the eighth with the go-ahead run aboard for Kansas State.
The Wildcats took a 1-0 lead in the fourth off Cougar starter Chad Arnold, but WSU tied the game in the bottom of the frame against Kansas State starter Kyle Hunter on singles by Bartlett, Matt Fanelli and Michael Weber.
The Cougars took a 3-1 lead with two runs in the fifth. Matt Argyropoulos led off with a single and Ponciano sacrificed him to second. Kyle Johnson gave WSU a one-run advantage with a RBI-single and one out later, Derek Jones doubled in the right-center field gap to score Johnson.
Kansas State rallied for three runs in the sixth to gain a 4-3 lead and chase Arnold. The Wildcats added a pair of runs, one earned, in the seventh off Cougar reliever Paris Shewey.
WSU tied the game in the bottom seventh with a three-run rally. Bartlett singled with one out. An error gave the Cougars two baserunners and Bartlett stole third to put runners at the corners. Evan Marshall relieved Hunter and was greeted by Fanelli's two-run double in the left field corner that cut the Wildcats' lead to 6-5. One out later, Garry Kuykendall tied the game with a pinch hit, RBI-triple in the right-center field gap.
Washington State plays the regional's top seed and host Arkansas, Saturday at 7:05 p.m. Central/5:05 p.m. Pacific.
The Cougars recorded their 19th come-from-behind win of the season…sixth time WSU has trailed twice in the game and won…seventh win in its final at bat…Adam Conley made his 28th appearance of the season, tied for third all-time at WSU…Conley 13th career save is tied for third all-time at WSU…Paris Shewey made his 27th appearance of the season, tied for fifth all-time at WSU…Cougar bullpen registered its 18th win of the season, one shy of the school record set in 1987…WSU's 19th save is second in school history (23 in 1978).