Baseball: Cougs win first series after taking both games of Sunday's doubleheader

WASHINGTON STATE took both games of a doubleheader over Northeastern (7-2 and 8-1) at Bailey-Brayton Field Sunday afternoon. The Cougars (7-9) claimed the final three games of the four-game series including the rain-shortened finale called in the top of the six after a lengthy weather delay.

Shane Matheny led the way offensively in the first game, recording three hits and three RBI while Trek Stemp drove in two runs, Dugan Shirer scored twice and Derek Chapman stole two bases. Freshman pitcher Parker McFadden  struck out six, allowed two earned runs on five hits in a season-best six innings to improve to 2-0.

The Cougar offense came alive with five runs in the fourth. Shirer drew a bases-loaded walk before Strunc laid down a bunt single to bring home a run and Matheny added an RBI-single to right field. Stemp pushed the lead to 5-1 with a line-drive single back up the middle that scored two more.

Relievers Scotty Sunitsch and Colby Nealy posted zeros over the final innings to seal up the 7-2 victory.

In the second game, WSU left-handed starter Ryley Widell settled in after the first inning, striking out the side in the second and pitched scoreless third and fourth innings before giving way to the bullpen.

Washington State blew things open with a six-run fifth inning, using six hits, four stolen bases and a pair of Northeastern errors to build an 8-1 advantage. In the inning, Cameron Frost singled home a run, Hatten followed with a line-drive two-run single to center and Strunc scored on a passed ball.

After reliever Davis Baillie threw one pitch to the first hitter in the top of the sixth, play was suspended to lightning and eventually called due to weather.

Stemp finished the second game with three hits and a stolen base, Frost tallied two hits and scored twice while Shirer and Harrer each recorded two hits. The Cougars stole five bases in the shortened game, two by Harrer. Widell earned his first career win after allowing just one earned run while striking out four in four innings and freshman Kevin Calderhead picked up his first career save after entering the one-run game in in the fifth and pitching a scoreless frame.

WSU opens Pac-12 Conference play next weekend at UCLA. The Friday (4 p.m.) and Sunday (12 p.m.) games will be televised by the Pac-12 Networks.

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