PULLMAN, Wash. Oregons early five-run lead wouldnt stand up as Washington State staged a comeback to take the first game of the series, 12-6, on Friday night at Bailey-Brayton Field.
Washington State (23-25, 7-15) scored five runs in the bottom of the fifth to complete its comeback, as the Cougars batted around in the inning before Kellen Moen came on in relief to retire Tommy Richards.
In the bottom of the eighth, the Cougars added four more runs as Oregon surrendered a season-high 12 on the evening.
Oregon (28-25-1, 7-15) ace Tyler Anderson (7-3) took the loss after allowing eight runs on eight hits and three walks, tossing just 4 2/3 innings his shortest outing of the season.
Anderson yielded back-to-back doubles into left field as Washington State scored its first of five runs in the bottom of the fifth. With runners on first and second after Anderson issued a walk, the pair successfully completed a double steal. Anderson intentionally walked Taylor Ard to load the bases with one out, before plunking Patrick Claussen to drive in the second run of the inning.
With the bases loaded again, Adam Nelubowichs sacrifice fly brought in the game-tying run, before Paul Clingans pinch-hit, two-run single to shallow center put Washington State ahead 8-6.
Despite allowing six runs five earned on nine hits and four walks, WSU left-hander Adam Conley (6-6) was credited with the win. After allowing five runs through the first two innings, Conley recovered to surrender just one run on four hits during his next five innings on the hill. He also struck out five.
Anthony Drobnick was credited with his first save of the season, shutting out Oregon and holding the Ducks without a hit over the final two innings.
Moen tossed three innings of relief for Oregon, allowing four runs on three hits and two walks. Freshman Porter Clayton retired the final batter of the eighth.
The Ducks were led offensively by Aaron Jones, who finished the game 2 for 4 with three RBIs, as the rookie continues to lead Oregon with 30 runs and nine multiple-RBI games.
Kyle Garlick finished the day 2 for 4 with a run scored, while Andrew Mendenhall was 2 for 4 with a RBI and run scored.
Stefan Sabol and Brett Hambright each drove in a run as well.
Taylor Ard led WSU batting 2 for 3 with three RBIs and two runs scored. Cody Bartlett was 2 for 5 with two runs driven and two runs scored, while Derek Jones batted 2 for 3 with two runs driven in and three runs scored.
Oregon scored four runs on three hits in the top of the second as the Ducks took a 5-0 lead. Conley issued a leadoff walk to Mendenhall, who was sacrificed to second and brought home on Hambrights RBI single up the middle as UO took a 3-0 lead.
J.J. Altobelli then laced a double into left, putting runners at second and third with one out. The Cougars chose to intentionally walk Danny Pulfer, setting up Jones two-run double to center as the Ducks doubled their lead to 4-0. The rookie produced three runs on two hits in his first two trips to the plate.
Pulfer then scored Oregons fifth run, scoring from third on Stefan Sabols groundout.
Oregon took a one-run lead in the top of the first as Pulfer worked his way around the bases. He led off the game with a single that squeaked by the WSU second baseman, and moved to second on a passed ball before Aaron Jones RBI single to center drove him in.
The Ducks and Cougars will meet for game two of the series at Bailey-Brayton Field on?Saturday at 2 p.m. The game will be televised on Comcast SportsNet Northwest and Comcast Sports Bay Area.