Jones sets WSU homer mark, Cougs roll Portland
Derek Jones hit a grand slam and four pitchers combined for a shutout as Washington State defeated Portland 10-0 in nonconference baseball, Tuesday.
The home run for Jones was the 41st of his career, a Washington State (16-13) record. The previous mark was held by Jeff Hooper, who played for the Cougars from 1984-87.
“A home run is a home run, but a grand slam is special,” Jones said. “It would have been nice to do it in front of the home crowd, but I am glad to have it over with so I can concentrate on playing baseball in the second half of the season.”
Kyle Swannack (3-3) started for Washington State and went five innings to earn the victory. Kellen Camus, Nick LaRoy and Anthony Drobnick blanked the Pilots (19-8) over the final-four innings.
The Cougars struck first with two runs in the second. Ian Sagdal and Kyle Johnson delivered back-to-back RBI-singles with two outs.
Washington State blew the game open with a six-run fourth. Patrick Claussen and P.J. Jones singled to open the inning and end the day for Portland starter Matt McCallister (3-2). Sagdal followed with a bunt single to load the bases. A walk to Johnson forced in a run and Jason Monda was hit by a pitch to push across another tally for a 4-0 lead. After Tommy Richards struck out, Jones launched a pitch over the wall in right field for his second-career grand slam.
“We scored early and then had the big inning,” Cougar Head Coach Donnie Marbut said. “We just played good, clean baseball.”
The Cougars added a run in the seventh on a two-out single by Johnson and an RBI-double by Monda. Washington State capped the scoring in the ninth on a pinch hit single by Nate Blackham and a two-out, run-scoring double by Johnson.