BASEBALL: Cougs win again, next go for sweep

THERE'S A LOT of baseball season left for the Cougs and in the Pac-12. Still, a good many Cougar fans were thinking it: With No. 6 Oregon State on tap next weekend, WSU needed a series win this weekend against Cal to keep touch in the Pac-12 race. No problem. The Cougs bested Cal on Saturday for the second straight day and now have the series win in hand. They'll go for the sweep Sunday.

With the 3-1 win over the Golden Bears on Saturday, the Cougs occupy sixth place in the Pac-12 standings, 2 1/2 games behind leader Washington. Washington State has played three fewer Pac-12 games than the Huskies, and hold a 5-3 mark in Pac-12 play.

Ahead of Washington State in the conference standings are UW, which is 9-2 in conference games. In second place is Oregon State (8-3), followed by UCLA (6-3), Oregon (7-4) and then Wazzu.

The Cougs meet the Huskies for a lone three-game series in Seattle April 25-27. All three games are scheduled to be televised by either Pac-12 Washington or the Pac-12 Networks.

On Saturday, Cougar P Tanner Chleborad pitched 7 1/3 innings of one-run ball. Chleborad (2-2) gave up six hits, struck out one and did not walk a batter.

The win was the fifth straight for Washington State (14-13). California fell to 14-14, 3-5 in conference play.

"It starts on the mound and Tanner was great for us," Cougar skipper Donnie Marbut said. "Our defensive effort was outstanding and our energy was good."

The Cougars scored first against Golden Bear starter Kyle Porter (4-2) in the third inning. Trek Stemp led off with a double and moved to third on a bunt single by Collin Slaybaugh. Nick Tanielu drove in the run with a sacrifice fly to left. California tied the game in the fifth on a home run by Vince Bruno.

But Washington State went back in front with a run in the sixth. Tanielu opened the frame with a double and Yale Rosen, who is a red hot 11-for-15 over his last four games, followed with a single. One out later, Matt Mendenhall brought Tanielu home with a single.

The Cougars tacked on a run in the eighth against the Golden Bears' bullpen. Tanielu led off with a single and scored on a double by Rosen.

Matt Bower recorded the final two outs in the eighth inning and Ian Hamilton allowed runners on first and second with one out in the ninth before inducing a 6-4-3 double play for his Pac-12 leading 10th save of the season.

Washington State goes for the sweep over California on Sunday with first pitch scheduled for noon.

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