Washington State 9, Washington 1

Jason Freeman doubled with the bases loaded to cap a four run seventh inning as the Washington State Cougars defeated the Huskies 9-1 in the opener of a Pac-10 series at Husky Ballpark on a perfect Thursday night for baseball.

Collin Henderson led off the inning for the Cougars with a double down the right field line, Justin McClure walked, and Kaeo Rubin reached base despite striking out when the third strike from Husky starter Tim Lincecum bounced away from catcher Aaron Hathaway for a wild pitch.

Lincecum then fell behind in the count to Freeman 3-1 and Freeman sent the next pitch down the left field line to score all three runners and give the Cougars a 4-0 lead. Lincecum then walked Jay Miller on four pitches, prompting a visit from head coach Ken Knutson, but ramined in the game. Second baseman Greg Isaacson then committed a throwing error on a ball hit by Grant Richardson, with Freeman scoring all the way from second, to make it a 5-0 game.

Lincecum and Cougar starter Aaron Mackenzie threw zeroes at the opposition for the first five innings, with both allowing only two hits. The Cougars came closer to getting on the board in the top of the second.

Richardson reached safely on a throwing error by shortstop Brent Lillibridge and Jeremy Farrar bunted for a base hit, with Richardson moving to third on a throwing error, his first of the season, by third baseman John Otness. Then Lincecum hit Zach McAngus to load the bases, but the pitcher got exactly what he needed from the next batter, Henderon.

On a 1-1 pitch, Henderson grounded to Otness, who fired home to force Richardson, and Hathaway threw to first to retire Farrar and complete the double play. Lincecum then struck out Brandon Reddinger on three pitches to escape the inning unscathed.

The Cougars finally got to Lincecum for a run and a 1-0 lead in the sixth when Rubin walked, moved to second on a single by Freeman and scored two fielders' choices later.

Washington got its only run in the seventh when Hathaway singled, moved up 90 feet on a walk and scored on a base hit by Isaacson.

The Cougars put the game away in the ninth with four runs on a grand slam, his 10th home run of the season, by Richardson, after they loaded the bases on two walks and a hit batter.

On the mound, Mackenzie got the win for the Cougars to improve to 5-2, pitching seven innings while allowing only the one run on five hits and three walks while striking out six.

Lincecum suffered his first loss of the season to drop to 3-1, and despite his final numbers, pitched well enough to - at worst - come away with a no decision and perhaps even a win.

He gave up five runs, four earned, on five hits and three walks, while striking out 11 batters in seven innings. The wild pitch on strike three to Rubin in the seventh inning hurt him, as it gave the Cougars an extra out and they capitalized.

With the win, the Cougars improved to 2-2 in the Pac-10 and 20-9 overall, while the Huskies lost only their second home game of the season to drop to 4-3 in the conference and 18-9-1 overall.

The cross-state rivals play the second game of the series at Husky Ballpark on Friday night at 6:30, with freshman right hander Kyle Parker (1-0,2.70) taking the mound for the Huskies and junior right hander Bryce Chamberlin (6-0,4.67) starting for the Cougars.

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