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.

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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.


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.