Cougar Baseball Drops Season Opener, 8-5 - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Cougar Baseball Drops Season Opener, 8-5

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by WSUCougars.com

CULLOWHEE, N.C. – Washington State baseball opened its 2013 season with an 8-5 loss at Western Carolina, Friday in nonconference action.

"We played tentatively and we were not competitive in some at bats," Cougar Head Coach Donnie Marbut said. "We didn't execute the way I thought we would. There were some positives. Our bullpen did a good job. We will give a better effort tomorrow."

The Cougars scored first with a pair of runs in the top of the fourth. P.J. Jones led off with a single and moved to third on a one-out single by Nick Tanielu. Yale Rosen followed with a single to plate Jones and send Tanielu to third. Brett Jacobs brought home the second run with a successful squeeze bunt.

Western Carolina answered with a tally in its half of the fourth and added five runs in the fifth to take a 6-2 lead against Cougar sophomore starter Tanner Chleborad (0-1).

Washington State trailed 7-2 before rallying for three runs in the eighth. With one out, Jones drew a walk off Hunter Brister, who relieved Catamounts' starter Jeremy Null (1-0) at the start of the frame. Jones moved to third on a two-out single by Tanielu. After Tanielu stole second, Rosen drilled his first-career home run, a three-run opposite field shot to left field that sliced the Cougars' deficit to 7-5.

Western Carolina tacked on an unearned run in the bottom of the eighth. In the top of the ninth, the Cougars threatened against Catamounts' closer Preston Hatcher. With one out, Austin Pernell and Ian Sagdal delivered back-to-back, pinch hit singles to put runners at the corners. Hatcher then struck out Ben Roberts and retired Jones on a ground out to end the game.

The three-game series continues, Saturday at 2 p.m. Eastern/11 a.m. Pacific. Live stats will be available at wsucougars.com and operated by Western Carolina.

COUGAR NOTES

Redshirt-freshmen Ben Roberts (left field) and Nick Tanielu (third base) and freshman Trek Stemp (second base) each started in their collegiate debut…sophomore pitcher Sam Triece made his collegiate debut out of the bullpen in the sixth inning…Austin Pernell's pinch hit single in the ninth inning came in his collegiate debut…Yale Rosen's four RBI eclipsed his season total of two in 2012…Adam Nelubowich recorded his third-career outfield assist.

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