Bats Back Sunitsch, Cougars Beat USC to Even Series

Bats Back Sunitsch, Cougars Beat USC to Even Series

Scotty Sunitsch fired seven shutout innings and Washington State scored in each of the first four innings in an 8-4 victory over USC at Bailey-Brayton Field Saturday afternoon. The rubber game of the series is set for Noon Sunday.

Washington State (15-26-1, 7-15-1 Pac-12) had four players record multiple-hit games led by a three-hit performance by Dillon Plew while Andres Alvarez and Danny Sinatro each homered. The Cougars collected 12 hits and jumped out to an early lead after scoring two runs in each of the first three innings and added another run in the fourth for a 7-0 advantage and never looked back. USC dropped to 22-23 overall and 10-16 in league play.

Cougar starter Sunitsch worked out of some early trouble and posted seven scoreless innings, scattered six hits, struck out five and did not surrender a walk to improve to 6-2 overall including 4-1 in Pac-12 play.

In the first inning, the Cougars jumped out to a 2-0 lead. Andres Alvarez drew a leadoff walk and later moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and wild pitch. Justin Harrer brought home Alvarez with an opposite field double down the right field line and Clanton followed with a long double to centerfield that scored Harrer for a two-run lead.

The Cougar defense backed Sunitsch by throwing out a pair of runners at home in each of the first two innings. In the first, Sinatro charged a single and fired home from centerfield to get a runner trying to score from second. In the second inning, USC doubled to left-centerfield and Sinatro corralled the ball and fired to the shortstop Alvarez who turned and fired a one-hopper to catcher Robert Teel at home to get a runner trying to score from first base.

In the second inning, WSU loaded bases before Dillon Plew singled back up the middle to score two runs. In the third inning, Teel pulled a two-out single off the wall in left field before Sinatro pulled a the first pitch he saw over the wall in right centerfield for a 6-0 Cougar lead.

In the fourth, Plew doubled to left-centerfield and Clanton brought him home with an RBI-double to right centerfield. In the sixth inning, Alvarez put WSU up 8-0 with a long solo homer to left field, a no-doubter for his career home run as a Cougar.

Sunitsch gave way to the Cougar bullpen to start the eighth and USC used four hits to push three runs across. Reliever A.J. Block entered the game with two outs and two runners on and ended the threat with a strikeout.

Scotty Sunitsch made career appearance No. 83, 3rd-most in WSU history
Blake Clanton doubled in the 1 st inning to extend his on-base streak to 7 games
Robert Teel singled in the 3 rd inning to extend his on-base streak to 9 games
Danny Sinatro hit his first career homer over the wall in the 3 rd inning, it was his second career home run after hitting an inside-the-parker against Santa Clara earlier this season
Andres Alvarez hit his first career home run as a Cougar
Dillon Plew recorded his 3 rd 3-hit game of the season, tying Alvarez for the team lead