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BASEBALL: Cougs strike early, beat Huskies again

FOR THE SECOND straight day, the Cougars used a big inning at the plate to knock off No. 14 Washington on Saturday by a score of 7-2. Even the Washington State bat boy – skipper Marty Lees’ youngest son Jake – was in the groove.

Washington State scored five runs in the third inning and Ian Hamilton pitched six innings of two-run ball in the Cougs’ series-clinching win over the Huskies.

The Cougars (17-28, 10-16 Pac-12) received a three-hit game from Shane Matheny -- for the second straight day -- in support of Hamilton, who allowed five hits and struck out four. Lefty reliever Trenton Dupre picked up the save with three scoreless innings of relief.

The Cougars answered UW’s first-inning run with a five-run third, using six hits to take a 5-1 lead. After WSU had forged gone up 3-1,  J.J. Hancock came through big in lining a two-out, two-run single to right field to give the Cougs needed breathing room.

Hamilton got double plays in the third and fifth innings and never faced a significant threat after the first inning. Washington singled home a run in the sixth but the Cougars answered with two runs of their own in the seventh.

Dupre took over for Hamilton after the Cougs’ starter walked the first man in the seventh on four straight pitches. Dupre calmly induced a fly out, groundout and strikeout to preserve WSU's lead.

Hamilton exited the game to a standing ovation from a large contingent of Cougar fans in attendance in Seattle and Dupre earned his second save and clinched WSU’s first series win in Seattle since 2004.

WSU recorded its first road series win of the season, and handed UW its first home series loss of the season.

The Cougs go for the sweep Sunday at noon on the Pac-12 Network.

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