Cougs rally, fall short in extras

Cougars take down Idaho in battle of border rivals

James Brooks homered in the top of the 10th inning to lift Utah past Washington State 4-3 in Pac-12 baseball at Bailey-Brayton Field, Saturday.

The game-winning hit came off Anthony Drobnick (2-2) and evened the three-game series between the Utes (9-24, 5-9 Pac-12) and Cougars (17-14, 4-6 Pac-12) heading into Sunday’s rubber match-up.

“It was disappointing because we had an opportunity late in the game,” Cougar Head Coach Donnie Marbut said. “We weren’t sharp. We have to play better, longer tomorrow.”

Utah scored a run in the second off Washington State starter Joe Pistorese and carried a 1-0 lead into the fourth. Jason Monda started a two-run rally with an infield single and moved to second on a one-out walk to Derek Jones. After Jones was cut down on the back end of a double steal attempt, Taylor Ard launched his sixth home run of the season to put the Cougars on top 2-1.

In the seventh, Brooks collected a two-out, two-run double off Washington State reliever Scott Simon to give Utah a 3-2 lead.

The Cougars tied the game 3-3 with a run in the ninth. Tommy Richards led off with a single against Utes’ reliever Tyler Wagner (2-5). Jones singled to move Richards to third. With Ard at the plate, a wild pitch allowed Richards to score the tying run as Jones took second. After Ard was intentionally walked, Collin Slaybaugh failed to execute a sacrifice bunt attempt and Jones was forced at third.

Another wild pitch advanced pinch runner Stetson Olson to third and Slaybaugh to second. Utah elected to intentionally walk Patrick Claussen to load the bases. With the infield in, Ian Sagdal hit a smash headed for center field. However, Utah second baseman Tyler Relf deflected the ball with a dive to his right. The ball rolled near second base where the shortstop Brooks picked it up, stepped on the bag, and threw to first to complete an inning-ending double play.