WSU wins opener 7-1 over #28 UCLA - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

WSU wins opener 7-1 over #28 UCLA

Courtesy: WSU Athletics Courtesy: WSU Athletics

By WSU Athletics
PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State recorded 13 hits and hit a pair of two-run home runs to back junior Damon Jones' strong start for a 7-1 win over No. 28 UCLA in the series-opener at Bailey-Brayton Field Friday night.
 
The Cougars (23-22, 9-12 Pac-12) saw five different players record two-hit games led by sophomore outfielder Justin Harrer who hit his team-leading fifth home run of the season, a two-run shot to centerfield in the third innings. Freshman catcher Cal Waterman pulled a two-run homer off the left field fair pole to put the game out of reach in the eighth inning. Jones was impressive, limiting UCLA to just one run on four hits in 5.1 innings of work to earn the win and improve to 3-3, only allowing just a fifth-inning solo homer. Junior reliever Ryan Walker was dominant, striking out five and allowing just two hits in three innings of work before junior lefthander Scotty Sunitsch recorded the final two outs in the ninth.
 
UCLA (24-22, 13-9 Pac-12) saw their eight-game winnings streak against WSU come to an end after starting pitcher Griffin Canning allowed four earned runs on 10 hits in seven innings.
 
Junior designate hitter Blake Clanton got things going in the second inning with a one-out triple the opposite way off the wall in left centerfield and later came home on freshman centerfielder Danny Sinatro's two-strike single just over the leaping UCLA second baseman and into right field for a 1-0 lead. One batter later, sophomore shortstop Andres Alvarez drove a single the other way through the right side to score Sinatro for a 2-0 advantage.
 
Washington State tacked on two more in the third inning as junior third baseman Shane Matheny led off the frame with a single through the right side. Two batters later, Harrer hammered an 0-1 pitch deep to centerfield for a 2-run homer and a 4-0 Cougar lead.
 
Jones worked around a couple jams in the early innings, receiving a couple phenomenal defensive plays along the way. Matheny made a couple diving stops at third base, JJ Hancock made a leaping catch into the fence along the right field line and Jones received a couple double plays to end the second and third innings, escaping a bases-loaded jam in the third with a 6-4-3 double play.
 
UCLA got a run back in the fifth inning with a solo homer to left centerfield. The Bruins put two runners on later in the inning but Jones ended the threat with a fielder's choice.
 
Walker took over with one out and runner on first in the sixth and immediately retired the next two hitters with a strike out and groundout. He then worked around leadoff single in the seventh with a groundout and two more strikeouts before retiring the side in order in the eighth.
 
The Cougars put the game out of reach in the bottom of the eighth as Sinatro pulled a single into right field before Waterman pulled a 1-2 pitch down the left field line and off the fair pole for his second homer of the season. Matheny later doubled home Plew with a shot off the wall in left center, scoring Plew from first for the game's final run.
 
The series continues Saturday at 4 p.m. on the Pac-12 Network.

GAME NOTES… Matheny and Alvarez each extended their hitting streaks to eight games…Harrer recorded his team-best 17th multiple-hit game of the season.

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