Cougars Prevail over Gonzaga 1-0 in Extra Inning Thriller - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather

Cougars Prevail over Gonzaga 1-0 in Extra Inning Thriller

by Brad Wall

PULLMAN, Wash. – In a game that was dominated by pitching throughout, Washington State sneaked away with a walk-off 1-0 win over Gonzaga in an extra inning thriller Tuesday night.

The majority of the game included an intense pitching duel between Joe Pistorese and Zach Abbruzza.

Gonzaga threatened in the top of the fourth. Marco Gonzales walked and moved to second on a groundout by Steven Halcomb. Royce Bolinger was intentionally walked and was thrown out at second on a fielder's choice by Clayton Eslick. Andy Hunter was hit by a pitch to load the bases, but Alex Stanford flew out to center to keep the game scoreless.

Jason Monda hit a two-out single and attempted to score on a Tommy Richards double in the fifth, but couldn't beat the throw home.

Bolinger hit a double down the right field line with one out in the sixth and moved to third on a groundout by Eslick. Hunter struck out to keep the goose eggs on the board for both teams.

In the seventh, Patrick Claussen singled to center and P.J. Jones reached on an error by Stanford and moved over to third and second on a sac-bunt by Monda. A Richards walk loaded the bases, and Ian Sagdal grounded into a 1-2-3 double play to get Abbruzza out of the jam.

After a one-out single by Hunter followed by a Stanford fly out, Maxx Garrett and Billy Moon both singled to load the bases with two outs. Payden Cawley Lamb pinch-hit and grounded into a fielder's choice for the third out. The Cougars couldn't salvage a run in the ninth, sending the game into extra innings.

Richards hit a leadoff single in the tenth and moved over to second on a sac-bunt and third on a groundout. Collin Slaybaugh worked into a full count and singled into left field just out of reach of a diving Moon, allowing the winning run to score for a walk-off victory.

Pistorese and Abbruzza both threw seven innings of shutout ball in their no-decisions. Pistorese gave up three hits and struck out five while Abbruzza gave up four hits.

Kenny Smith went the rest of the way for Gonzaga throwing 2 and 2/3 innings up until allowing the two hits and game-winning run in the tenth. Kellen Camus got the win for WSU pitching 1 and 1/3 innings and not giving up a hit.

Both teams will hit the road close their regular seasons with three-game series this weekend as the Cougars face rival Washington in Seattle while the Bulldogs head to Utah to face BYU. Both series start Friday at 5 p.m.