by Brad Wall
PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University scored in five of eight innings, defeating Pac-12 opponent Utah in the three-game series opener 9-2.
The Cougars got off to an early start, scoring two runs in the first inning. Taylor Ard hit an RBI single to open up the scoring and bring home Tommy Richards. Adam Nelubowich then hit a sac-fly that scored Derek Jones.
In the second, WSU gained a three-run lead when Collin Slaybaugh laid a bunt down the 3rd baseline that was overthrown by Utah, scoring Patrick Claussen.
Utah got a run back in the third on a RBI single by Parker Morin that brought in James Brooks, making the score 3-1.
The Cougars loaded the bases to start off the 4th inning, but only came away with two runs on a 2 RBI single by Richards followed by a double play and fly-out.
WSU extended the lead to five in the seventh with an Ian Sagdal RBI single scoring Ard.
In the eighth, Kyle Johnson grounded out to the shortstop allowing Claussen to score. Jones then hit a 2 RBI single to put the Cougs up 9-1.
J.D. Leckenby got the win for WSU, pitching six innings and allowing one run on six hits with four strikeouts.
The Cougars, now 17-13 and 4-5 in Pac-12 play, resume the series tomorrow at 2 p.m.