The University of Texas gave up four runs in the top of the eighth inning and dropped a 7-6 decision to Washington State University in collegiate baseball action Sunday afternoon at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.
With Texas (9-6) leading 6-3 in the eighth inning, WSU’s Travis Coulter got a pinch-hit single and moved to second on a groundout by Ryan Krauser. Simi Reynolds struck out swinging but reached base as the ball got by UT catcher Preston Clark whose ensuing throw to third base was too late to retire Coulter. The play put runners at the corners and a pinch-hit single by Josh Ashenbrenner plated Coulter and cut the lead to 6-4. Paul Gran hit a sacrifice fly to push Reynolds across, trimming the lead to 6-5. Jared Prince capped off the comeback with a two-run triple that eluded the glove of a sprinting Nick Peoples and staked the Cougars to a 7-6 lead.
For the third straight game, Texas pounced on the Cougars early scoring two runs in the second inning. With one out, Peoples singled to centerfield and stole second base. Chais Fuller put runners at the corners with an infield single. An error on an attempted double steal allowed Peoples to score and put Fuller at second base. Travis Tucker singled up the middle to push Fuller across and give UT a 2-0 lead.
Texas added three more runs in the bottom of the third inning. Chance Wheeless and Bradley Suttle each drew walks to lead off the frame. With one out, Clark hit a single to leftfield, scoring Wheeless. Peoples followed with a sacrifice fly to plate Suttle. Fuller capped off the rally with a double down the leftfield line, scoring Clark and giving Texas a 5-0 cushion.
Washington State (3-3) broke the scoring seal with two runs the top of the sixth inning. Gran hit a leadoff double and scored on a single up the middle by Jim Murphy. A single by Jeff Miller along with a throwing error by Suttle put runners at second and third and Greg Lagreid plated a runner with a groundout to shortstop, cutting the lead to 5-2.
The Cougars added another run in the seventh inning. With two outs, Gran singled and a fielding error by Fuller on a grounder to short by Prince put runners at first and second and a ground-rule double by Murphy scored Gran and trimmed the margin to 5-3.
Texas added an insurance run in the seventh inning. Peoples doubled up the middle and scored on a pinch-hit single by Clay Van Hook, giving UT a 6-3 lead.
Michael Ratigan (1-1) earned the win for Washington State. He allowed one run on two hits and struck out one over 1.1 innings. Ross Humes pitched two innings of shutout relief to earn his first save of the season.
Randy Boone (0-4) was saddled with the loss for Texas. He allowed four runs, one earned, on four hits while striking out three over 2.1 innings. Austin Wood started for the Longhorns allowing two runs on seven hits and one walk while striking out three over 5.2 innings.
Fuller led Texas’ offensive attack, going 3-for-5 with one double, one run scored and one RBI. Peoples went 2-for-4 with one double, two runs and one RBI.
Gran paced the Cougars’ offense, going 3-for-4 with one double, two runs and one RBI. Prince and Murphy each went 2-for-5 with two RBI.
Texas returns to action on Friday with the Longhorns hosting Oral Roberts University in a 2:30 p.m. contest at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.