Washington State 6, Washington 5 (12)

SEATTLE - Closer Adam Conley pitched four and two thirds innings of scoreless relief and retired Doug Cherry on a close play at first base for the final out of the game as visiting Washington State outlasted Washington 6-5 in 12 innings at Husky Ballpark on a blustery Saturday afternoon.

With the win, the Cougars evened the three game Apple Cup of baseball at a game apiece and improved to 1-1 in the Pac-10 and 15-8 overall while the Huskies saw a six game winning streak come to an end and dropped to 1-1, 13-11.

Leading 6-5 going into the bottom of the 12th inning, Conley struck out leadoff batter Brady McGuire swinging but then got into trouble when second baseman J.K. Dykes dropped a pop up by Sean Meehan for a two base error and David Bentrott hit a line drive that just did drop in front of right fielder Derek Jones for a base hit. Unfortunately for the Huskies, Meehan had to make sure that the ball would drop before he could advance and had to hold at second.

That would loom large when the next batter, Bradley Boyer, hit a grounder to third baseman Matt Argyropolous. Meehan, having no choice but to run, got tagged out easily for the second out of the inning. With runners still at first and second, Cherry came up to bat and hit a slow roller between the mound and first base. First baseman Michael Weber fielded the ball and tossed it to Conley just in time to end the game.

In the top of the 12th, the Cougars broke through against Ben Guidos for the eventual winning run after the rivals ended regulation tied at 5. Weber flied out to left leading off but Patrick Claussen got hit by a pitch and Andy Bethel bobbled Dykes's grounder to third for an error, putting Cougars at first and second. Garry Kuykendall reached on an infield single to load the bases and then Shea Vucinich drove in Claussen with a sacrifice fly to center, making a winner of Conley, who allowed three hits and three walks while striking out five. The Huskies' best chance to get to Conley and win the game came in the bottom of the ninth when they loaded the bases on singles by Jacob Lamb and Troy Scott and Caleb Brown intentionally walked; but Conley came back to strike out McGuire and Meehan swinging to send the game into extra innings.

For the Huskies, Guidos (0-4) suffered the hard-luck loss. He went three innings, allowing only the one run, unearned, on one hit and one walk. He struck out three.

Washington took the first lead of the game at 1-0 right away in the bottom of the first inning. Boyer led off with a single, took second on a sacrifice by Cherry and scored on a double by Lamb over the head of left fielder Claussen. The Cougars rallied for three runs and a 3-1 lead in the top of the fourth. Matt Fanelli singled and Argyropolous doubled. Jay Ponciano struck out swinging but Weber walked intentionally to load the bases. Claussen lined a single to right to plate two runs and Dykes squeezed home Weber with the third run.

The Huskies got a run back to make it 3-2 Cougars in the bottom of the fourth. With one out, Chase Anselment walked, moved to second on a sacrifice by Brian Wolfe, and scored on a single to left center by Bentrott. Washington State responded with a run in the top of the fifth to go back up 4-2 when Vucinich scored on a groundout by Argyropolous. Again the Huskies cut the deficit in half and made it 4-3 with a run in the bottom of the fifth. With one out Cherry walked and Lamb singled. Pierce Rankin reached on an infield single to load the bases and Scott drove in Cherry with a sacrifice fly to left.

In the top of the seventh, the Cougars capitalized on the uncharacteristic wildness of reliever Adrian Gomez to score a run and make it 5-3. Gomez entered the game with only two walks in 26 and one thirds innings this season but walked the bases loaded. Vucinich then scored in an infield single by Weber.

The Huskies battled back to tie the game at 5 with single runs in the bottom of the seventh and eighth. In the seventh the Huskies scored courtesy of a double steal. Rankin stole second and when catcher Jay Ponciano threw to second, Cherry easily stole home to make it 5-4. Then in the eighth, Brown led off with a walk against third Cougar pitcher Seth Harvey and pinch hitter Aaron Russell singled. The runners advanced on a sacrifice by Meehan and Brown then scored on a single by Bentrott. Bradley Boyer then walked to load the bases and the Huskies had the potential for a big inning. Cherry came up and hit a grounder to third. Argyropolous fielded the ball and forced pinch runner Julien Pollard at home for the second out, and the umpires then ruled Pollard out for interfering with Ponciano when he attempted to double up Cherry at first.

Lamb led the Husky offense, going 4 for 4 and reaching base in all five of his plate appearances. He came into the game batting .377 (29 hits in 77 at-bats) and finished at .407 (33 for 81).

Following the game, the opener of a doubleheader forced by the rainout of Friday's game, the two teams played the second game of the doubleheader and the finale of the series, with the Huskies winning 4-3. The Huskies thus finished their first Pac-10 series of the season 2-1 and improved to 14-11. They next play Gonzaga on the road in a two game non-conference series on April 6 and 7 before returning to Pac-10 action with a three game series against Arizona at Husky Ballpark April 9-11.

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