Cougs: Two shots for series win at No. 14 ASU

WASHINGTON STATE wasted no time opening Pac-12 play to put some buzz back into their season with a resounding victory over No. 14 Arizona State on the road. Now they have two chances to pull off the series win on the baseball diamond in Tempe.

The Cougs had dropped three in a row at home to UTSA to fall to 9-6 to take some of the luster off their early season last weekend -- but Wazzu's conference opener at No. 14 Arizona State changed things in a hurry.

Collin Slaybaugh collected four hits in the rout, where WSU tacked on six runs in the ninth on their way to a 15-4 victory over ASU (10-3-1).

The Cougars (10-6) never trailed in the game, taking a 4-0 lead in the third inning as Slaybaugh, Brett Jacobs, Trek Stemp, Adam Nelubowich and Jason Monda all came through with singles.

Joe Pistorese pitched 6 2/3 innings for the win.

It was only the Cougs' second win in 18 road games against the Sun Devils since 2001.

The question now becomes if the Cougars saved any of that firepower for the remaining two games. WSU collected 17 hits, their most in a conference game 2011 and Washington State's 15 runs were the most in a conference road game since 1996.

The Cougs and Sun Devils play again at 6:30 p.m. Saturday followed by Sunday's finale at 12:30 p.m.

Saturday's probable starter is sophomore right-hander Tanner Chleborad (4 G, 4 GS, 2-2, 8.10 ERA, 20 IP, 27 H, 6 BB, 11 K)

Expected to take the mount for Sunday's finale is redshirt sophomore right-hander Scott Simon (4 G, 4 GS, 0-0, 4.11 ERA, 15 1/3 IP, 23 H, 3 BB, 9 K)

The Cougars are 247-221 under Donnie Marbut, who is in his ninth season at the helm.

Through March 12, Washington State led the Pac-12 in batting average (.323), doubles (37), home runs (14), extra-base hits (55) and slugging percentage (.487).

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