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Washington State Baseball

Jones hits Cougars into winner-take-all game

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Derek Jones had four hits in the Cougars woin over Arkansas Sunday night (Photo: File / WSU Athletics) Derek Jones had four hits in the Cougars woin over Arkansas Sunday night (Photo: File / WSU Athletics)

by WSU Athletics

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. –Derek Jones collected four hits and James Wise picked up the win in his second start of the day on the mound as No. 23 Washington State defeated No. 15 Arkansas 10-7 in a NCAA Baseball Regional at Baum Stadium, Sunday. 

With the victory, the Cougars (37-21) forced a winner-take-all match-up with the Razorbacks (42-19), Monday night at 7:05 Central/5:05 Pacific.

"Two things you can't coach are effort and heart," WSU Head Coach Donnie Marbut said. "I am so proud of my team for showing both of those things today."

Wise (4-1) started the game after throwing 76 pitches against Kansas State earlier in the day in a 9-6 Cougar victory that ended the Wildcats' season. The junior right-hander gave up one run on two hits, struck out three and walked two.

Matt Fanelli staked Washington State to a 2-0 lead with a sacrifice fly in the first and a RBI-single in the third against Arkansas starter Mike Bolsinger (6-5). After the Razorbacks picked up a run in the bottom of the third, the Cougars expanded their lead to 7-1 with a five-run fifth to chase Bolsinger.

Cody Bartlett walked to lead off the inning and raced around to score on a double by Jones. A bunt single by Fanelli put runners at the corners, Michael Weber plated a run with a single to left. A bunt single by Patrick Claussen loaded the bases and one out later, Shea Vucinich doubled in two runs. Jay Ponciano capped the rally with a sacrifice fly.

The Razorbacks tallied twice in the fifth against reliever Connor Lambert and pulled within 7-6 after seven innings on the strength of three solo home runs, one against Lambert and two off Chad Arnold. The latter was making his first relief appearance of the season.

The Cougars added three insurance runs in the eighth to take a 10-6 lead. Jones tallied a RBI-single in the inning, a run came home on a fielder's choice, and Kyle Johnson knocked in a run with a bunt single. Two of the runs were unearned courtesy of three Arkansas errors in the inning.

The Razorbacks added one run in the eighth against Arnold to account for the final score. The Cougar redshirt-junior logged the final four innings for his first-career save.

WSU NOTES

Washington State won at a Southeastern Conference member for the first time in school history…first win over a SEC school since 2002 (Kentucky)…first time since 1976 the Cougars have won three wins in a NCAA postseason (three regional, one College World Series)…wins (37) are the most for WSU since 37 in 1991.

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