Cougars struggling to play .500 baseball

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — The efforts of the Washington State baseball team to get back to .500 suffered a setback Monday as the Cougars gave up two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to drop a 7-6 nonconference contest to UC Santa Barbara.

The Cougars drop to 21-27 with the defeat.

The Gauchos (28-21) rallied against Sean Hartnett (2-2), the fourth pitcher for the Cougars. A pair of singles sandwiched around a sacrifice bunt tied the game. An error on the second single and a ground out sent the winning run to third. Cameron Newell followed with a bunt single to drive in the winning run and make a winner out of Greg Mahle (6-4), who worked three innings in relief.

Newell and Tyler Kuresa had three hits for the Gauchos, and Robby Nesovic had two. UCSB had 16 total hits.

Trace Tam Sing had two doubles and a single for the Cougars. Collin Slaybaugh also had three hits while Jason Monda and Patrick McGrath each had two.

WSU scored twice in the eighth inning to grab a 5-4 lead. Slaybaugh and Monda had back-to-back bunt singles. After a sacrifice bunt by Brett Jacobs, Yale Rosen walked to load the bases. McGrath followed with a two-run single.

The Gauchos drew even in their half of the eighth on a single, a sacrifice bunt and a double.

The Cougars regained the lead at 6-5 in the ninth on a double by Tam Sing and a one-out single by Slaybaugh.

The Cougars return to Pac-12 play with a three-game series against Washington that starts Friday at 6 p.m. in Pasco.

GOLF

Darren Kuhn of Pocatello, Idaho, with a 5-under 67, has a two-stroke lead over Steve Rude of Graham after the first round of the PNGA’s Master-40 Championship at Brasada Ranch in Powell Butte, Ore.

From sports information reports.