Chais Fuller drove in a pair of runs and Randy Boone escaped a two-on, no-out jam in the ninth as No. 13 Texas defeated Washington State, 4-2, in the first of a three-game series Friday at Disch-Falk Field.
With the loss the Cougars see their season record move to 2-2 while the Longhorns improve to 8-5.
The Cougars trailed 4-2 entering the ninth but had runners at first and second with no outs following back-to-back singles by Travis Coulter and Jared Prince. Jim Murphy then lined into a double play as Kyle Russell’s throw from right field retired Coulter, who was trying to advance on the play. Boone then retired Jeff Miller on an infield popup to end the game.
Texas never trailed as it scored two runs in the second and another in the third to take a 3-0 lead before the Cougars found the scoreboard. The Longhorns played small ball to get their first run across, using two sacrifice bunts in the second to push across the first run. Russell followed with a two-out, ground-rule double to left-center, driving home Nick Poeples to extend the lead to 2-0 off Cougar starter Matt Way.
In the third Longhorn catcher Preston Clark connected for a two-out home run over the center field wall, his second home run of the season.
In the fourth the Cougars broke through with a pair of solo home runs by Jeff Miller and Greg Lagreid. Miller led off the frame with the first home run by a Cougar this season over the left field wall. One out later, Lagreid followed with a deep blast to left, the second of his WSU career.
Chances were few by both teams from then on as Jayson Miller came on in the fifth in relief of Way and held the Texas bats in check. In the sixth the Longhorns added an insurance run as Peoples led off with a single to right. Peoples looked to be picked off first but advanced with a stolen base when Murphy’s relay throw from first was dropped at second base. One out later, Peoples came home on another sacrifice bunt, this one off the bat of Fuller.
Way suffered the loss as he went four innings, allowing three runs on four hits with one strikeout. Jayson Miller also worked four innings, surrendering just three hits, all singles, while striking out five. At the plate Coulter had a pair of hits as the Cougars collected seven on the day.
Texas started James Russell picked up the victory as he allowed two runs on five hits over five innings. Joseph Krebs and Boone each worked two innings with Boone picking up his third save of the season.