Cougs Drop Pair To Ducks
EUGENE, Ore. — Washington State played a pair of close contests but dropped 2-1 and 4-2 decisions to Oregon at PK Park Friday afternoon. The games were moved up to a doubleheader with the rain and wind in the forecast for Saturday. The series-finale set scheduled for Saturday with a time to be determined Saturday morning.
The Cougars dropped to 8-17 overall and 3-8 in Pac-12 Conference play after playing its 16 th game decided by two runs or less. Justin Harrer hit his team-leading sixth home run in game two and Blake Clanton and James Rudkin each recorded two-hit games in the second game. In the opener, Andres Alvarez had an RBI-single and sophomore reliever A.J. Block retired all nine batters he faced in his 3.1 innings for work. WSU left eight men on base in the both contests.
Oregon improved to 18-11 overall and 5-6 in conference play.
GAME 1 RECAP
The Cougar struck first with a run in the third inning. Danny Sinatro and Dillon Plew each drew two-out walks and Andres Alvarez delivered an opposite field RBI-single to right field that scored Sinatro from second.
In the bottom half of the third, Oregon took advantage of a Cougar miscue to score two runs in the inning. With a runner on first, starter Isaac Mullins induced a ground ball to third base for a potential double play but the throw to second sailed wide and into right field. The next batter tied things up with a sacrifice fly and one batter later Oregon pulled a single through the left side to score the second run.
The Cougars had a couple chanced in the middle innings against Oregon starter Matt Mercer but stranded runners on second in the fourth and fifth innings. In the eighth, WSU again rallied, this time loading the bases after a pair of walks and a hit-by-pitch. Oregon called upon is shortstop who took the mound and ended the threat with a pair of strikeouts, throwing in the upper-90’s to preserve the 2-1 Duck lead. Oregon retired the Cougars in order in the ninth to seal up the game one win.
INSIDE THE GAME 1 BOX SCORE
Dillon Plew led off for the 1st time in 2018, Andres Alvarez had led off in all but the season-opener
JJ Hancock walked in the 4 th inning, extending his on-base streak to 11 games
Reliever A.J. Block retired all 9 batters he faced, matched career high with four strikeouts
Starter Isaac Mullins worked four innings, allowed two runs, just one earned and struck out two
WSU left 8 runners on base
Reliever Ryan Walker got a double play to end the 8 th , it was his 74 th career appearance, tied for 6 th -most in WSU history
GAME 2 RECAP
Oregon took a 1-0 lead in the first inning after four hits in the frame. The Ducks added three more in the third inning on three hits including a two-run home run in left.
The Cougars stranded a runner on second in the second inning and left two on in the third inning. In the sixth, Andres Alvarez singled up the middle and one batter later Blake Clanton drove a single the other way through the left side. James Rudkin followed with an RBI-single just passed the Duck shortstop and through the left side to score Alvarez. Collin Montez followed with a walk to load the bases but Oregon starter Kenyon Yovan ended the threat with a strikeout, preserving the 4-1 lead.
In the eighth, the Cougars cut the Oregon to 4-2 after Harrer led off the inning with a solo homer to left field, a no-doubter for his sixth of the season. Blake Clanton followed with a double into the right centerfield gap but was stranded at third after a ground out and two strikeouts.
INSIDE THE GAME
JJ Hancock doubled down the right field line in the second to extend his on-base streak to 12 games
Reliever Hayden Rosenkrantz worked two scoreless innings, 0 H, 1 K
Reliever Ryan Walker appeared in the 8 th , his 7 th career appearance, tied for 5 th -most in WSU history
The Cougars will wrap up the series Saturday with a time to be announced.