Trying to predict WSU baseball is folly

FORGET ABOUT TRYING TO handicap a Washington State college baseball game. Friday's tilt against the Cougars and Pac-12 cellar-dwelling Utah was the stuff ulcers are made of.

Utah came into Pullman with a sky-high 5.29 ERA. So of course the Utes proceeded to blank the Cougs for eight innings. WSU finally broke through in the ninth, but that only served to ultimately prolong the pain for Cougar fans. Utah had won but a mere three Pac-12 games coming into the series.

Now they have four.

WSU lost 4-1 to Utah in 13 innings on Friday in what might have been the most frustrating loss for the Cougs this season. Utah is now 15-28 on the year, 4-18 in Pac-12 play.

An Ian Sagdal error with two outs allowed the go-ahead run to score in the 13th, and then Utah added two more for good measure.

Over nine innings, starter Joe Pistorese was masterful, allowing a mere three hits.

Cougar pitchers struck out 17 Utes - nine by Pistorese and eight by Kellen Camus who took the loss, his first of the season, (5-1).

The 17 K's were one short of the program record and the most since the Cougs posted 18 vs. Oregon State back in 1997.

But for all that good stuff from the mound, WSU hitters couldn't capitalize against a Utah staff that had been lit up much of the season. Washington State (20-24, 10-12 Pac-12) had two chances to end it in the 10th with the bases loaded and one out but couldn't bring a run home.

The Cougs logged 12 hits, but only managed the one run in the ninth -- an RBI-single by P.J. Jones that followed a double by Ben Roberts.

WSU left 10 men on base in a game that was the Cougs' longest conference game since 2006 -- and the longest game at Bailey-Brayton Field since 2003.

WSU and Utah meet again at 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at Bailey-Brayton Field. The Pac-12 Networks will televise the final two games. And after Friday's result, we have no idea what will happen next.

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