Baseball ends losing streak, picks up first conference win

Cougars earn walk-off victory after Oregon rallied to force extras

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Baseball ends losing streak, picks up first conference win

Junior outfielder Danny Sinatro runs home during the game against Oregon on Saturday at Bailey-Brayton Field.

Junior outfielder Danny Sinatro runs home during the game against Oregon on Saturday at Bailey-Brayton Field.

ABIGAIL LINNENKOHL | THE DAILY EVERGREEN

Junior outfielder Danny Sinatro runs home during the game against Oregon on Saturday at Bailey-Brayton Field.

ABIGAIL LINNENKOHL | THE DAILY EVERGREEN

ABIGAIL LINNENKOHL | THE DAILY EVERGREEN

Junior outfielder Danny Sinatro runs home during the game against Oregon on Saturday at Bailey-Brayton Field.

KURIA POUNDS, Evergreen reporter

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A late game-tying grand slam with two outs by Oregon junior shortstop Spencer Steer squashed a 7-3 WSU lead in the top of the ninth inning and forced Sunday’s series finale into extra innings.

But a wild pitch in the bottom of the 10th inning allowed sophomore left-fielder Collin Montez to score from third base to win the game for the Cougars (8-25, 1-11) and secure their first conference win of the season.

Montez said he is excited their first victory in Pac-12 play came at home.

“It feels like we just got that giant elephant off of our shoulders,” Montez said.

Freshman left-handed pitcher Tyson Guerrero started for WSU and went three no-hit innings before allowing a home run to Steer in the fourth.

For the Ducks, redshirt junior left-handed pitcher Cole Stringer started and went 4 1/3 innings, allowing five runs, three earned on eight hits.

Montez said this game should have been won earlier, with the amount of hits WSU produced, but he is glad that the defense stepped up when it mattered.

“13 hits is a good game. That should be enough to win any game, really,” Montez said.

Oregon (21-13, 7-5) will now drive up to Spokane to face Gonzaga in a one-game series Monday while WSU prepares for a three-game road series against USC starting Thursday.

Junior first-baseman Dillon Plew and Montez led the team in hits Sunday, combining to go 6-10 from the plate.

Sophomore designated-hitter Jack Smith and freshman third-baseman Kodie Kolden both drove in two runs each. Smith hit a two-run double in the bottom of the first and Kolden did the same in the bottom of the fifth.

On the wild pitch that won the game, Montez said he saw the third baseman for Oregon not paying attention, so he just decided to go for it.

“Third baseman was giving me a lot of space,” Montez said. “So I took my steps, took my lead and saw it break away. Then went for it.”

Montez said he is looking forward to carring the momentum from this win into their series with USC.

The victory ends a five-game losing streak for the Cougars.

First pitch for the series opener against the Trojans is set for 6 p.m. Thursday at Dedeaux Field.