PULLMAN, WA - Joe Pistorese and the Washington State pitching staff cooled the hot-hitting Arizona offense as the Cougars evened a three-game series with a 5-3 victory Saturday at Bailey-Brayton Field.
Shea Donlin's two-out, bases-loaded single drove in two runs in the bottom of the seventh, pushing the Cougars in front for good with a 5-3 edge.
Relievers Sam Triece and Ian Hamilton combined for 2.2 hitless innings to shut out the Wildcats in the final two frames.
Pistorese did not factor into the decision, but did a phenomenal job shutting down the top three spots in the Arizona lineup. Scott Kingery, Kevin Newman and Riley Moore combined to go 0-for-10 in the game against Pistorese and the Cougar bullpen.
A left-hander with four completes games this season, Pistorese retired 11 batters in a row from the end of the second into the sixth innings. He then walked Newman and Moore in the sixth, but coaxed an inning-ending double play off the bat of Bobby Dalbec.
Earlier, Dalbec hit is conference-leading 14th home run of the season against Pistorese, which brought the Wildcats within a 2-1 margin in the second inning.
Trailing 3-1 entering the seventh, JJ Matijevic lined a one-out double down the left field line and he scored on Jared Oliva's RBI double to left-center. One out later, Oliva scored when Pistorese threw wildly to first on a bunt single by Justin Behnke, which tied the game.
Triece (W, 4-0) took over from there, preserving the 3-3 tie and tossing a scoreless eighth inning to earn the win.
Hamilton recorded his 11th save with a perfect ninth inning, which included two strikeouts.
The Cougars came out swinging in the first against starter Nathan Bannister. Derek Chapman led off with a single and scored on Ben Roberts' triple to left-center. Ian Sagdal, who was 3-for-5, followed with an RBI single to open up a 2-0 lead.
Washington State (25-20, 8-12 Pac-12) extended its lead to 3-1 in the fifth, but left the bases loaded. Roberts' one-out double drove in Chapman, but Bannister was able to escape with no further damage despite four total hits and a walk in the frame.
Bannister (L, 6-2) suffered the loss after giving up five runs on 11 hits and four walks in 6.2 innings. Two of the walks were intentional.
Unlike the Wildcats, Washington State's top of the order did the damage. Chapman was 4-for-5 out of the leadoff spot, scoring twice, while Roberts and Sagdal were 5-for-10 combined with three runs batted in the second and third slots.
The two teams will play the rubber game of the three-game set on Sunday at noon.
GAME NOTES: Bobby Dalbec hit his conference-leading 14th home run of the season. It was the 29th homer of the season for Arizona, tying the 2011 club for most in the BBCOR era (since 2011) … Riley Moore made his 200th career start in a Wildcat uniform, becoming the first to do so since Brad Glenn started 213 of his 218 career games from 2006-09 … JJ Matijevic extended his hitting streak to seven games. In those seven games, the freshman has seven extra base hits, including at least one in five straight contests … Jared Oliva has multi-hit games in three-straight starts … Scott Kingery saw his 19-game streak for reaching base snapped … Saturday's loss marked the first time this season that Kingery, Kevin Newman and Moore did not collect at least one base hit between them.