Cougars Use Devils Formula to Top ASU

The Arizona State Sun Devils (29-4, 5-3 Pac 10) have almost patented the formula for winning college baseball games by using opponent's errors to turn them into big innings and eventually win in a rout. On Saturday afternoon at Bailey-Brayton Field in Pullman the Washington St. Cougars (19-14, 3-5) stole a page out of ASU's and won 10-4 in front of its largest home crowd, 3,313, since 1999.

Jayson Miller (5-1) went seven innings and limited ASU to just four runs. It was the eighth time Miller has gone at least six innings this season for Washington St.

"Obviously, I am happy for our team, but I am really happy for Jayson," Cougar Head Coach Donnie Marbut said. "He won this game by pitching like a senior needs to pitch."

Ike Davis gave the Devils the lead first with his 12th home run of the season, a solo shot making it 1-0.

Mike Leake (6-1) was cruising thru the Cougar lineup before running into one of those Washington State big innings in the third. Shea Vucinich started things with a one out single and after Vucinich stole second, Marcel Champagnie booted a groundball by Travis Coulter sending Vucinich to third. Leake then got Scott Suttmeier to line out to Champagnie, but a passed ball by Kiel Roling allowed Vucinich to score and tie the game at 1-1.

Leake then hit Paul Gran with a pitch and it would prove costly because Jim Murphy doubled down the right field line scoring Coulter and Gran and giving the Cougars a 3-1 lead. Simi Reynolds capped the inning with an RBI single to left and the Cougars had scored four unearned runs off of Leake.

The Devils would rally to tie the game at 4-4 in the fifth. Ryan Sontag started things with a single and Mike Jones followed with a walk. Brett Wallace doubled to left center scoring Sontag and sending Jones to third and Jason Kipnis plated Jones with a ground out to first making the score 4-3 Cougars. Petey Paramore would tie things up on a sacrifice fly to right scoring Wallace.

Leake settled down after the third inning and retired nine Cougars in a row before running into trouble in the seventh. Suttmeier started the Cougar rally with a single to left and Gran followed suit. Murphy sent a single to center that was bobbled by ASU centerfielder Mike Jones that allowed a run to score and to make matters worse Jones' throw ended up in the Cougar dugout scoring another run to make it 6-4 Cougars. Reyes Dorado came in out of the bullpen to relieve Leake and allowed RBI singles to Reynolds and Greg Lagreid to put Washington State up 8-4.

The Cougars would add two important insurance runs off of Tommy Rafferty in the eighth inning to put the game out of reach. Coulter led off with a single and just one batter later Paul Gran sent his sixth home run to left field to make it 10-4.

"That was a big hit because at 8-4, it is still a game against a team like Arizona State," Marbut said. "It is probably still a game at 10-4, but to add on a little bit was nice because we have not done that lately."

Mike Leake went 6 1/3 innings and allowed eight runs, but just three of them were earned. Leake picked up his first loss of the season, after starting 6-0.

The Devils and Cougars will play the rubber game of the three game set tomorrow afternoon at Bailey-Brayton Field with the first pitch set for noon. Stephen Sauer will likely get the ball for Pat Murphy's Sun Devils and could be opposed by Washington St.'s Jared Prince.

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