Cougs blank No. 6 Arizona in series opener

Posted Mar 17, 2012

WASHINGTON STATE shut out No. 6 Arizona in Tucson on Friday in their Pac-12 opener, setting up the biggest day of the season to date. WSU and Arizona will play a day-night doubleheader on Saturday.

J.D. Leckenby and a pair of relievers combined for the 6-0 shutout on Friday over No. 6 'Zona at Hi Corbett Field.

The Cougs (10-6, 1-0 Pac-12) and Wildcats (14-4, 0-1 Pac-12) will play Saturday's doubleheader because of expected inclement weather arriving Sunday in Tucson. Saturday's games will be at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. -- both games can be heard on NewsTalk 1150 AM and 105.3 FM.

On Friday, Leckenby (3-2) scattered five hits, walked three and struck out four in 6 1/3 innings. Richie Ochoa induced a double play ground ball to end the seventh and Kellen Camus recorded the final-six outs for the Cougars (10-6, 1-0 Pac-12). The win broke a six-game WSU losing streak in Tucson against the Wildcats (14-4, 0-1 Pac-12).

“We played a complete game,” Washington State head man Donnie Marbut said. “It was key for us to score early and put pressure on (Arizona starter Kurt) Heyer. We did a good job of running his pitch count up and J.D. (Leckenby) was great for us.”

The Cougars jumped on Arizona early, scoring a run in each of the first-four innings against Heyer (4-1), who entered the game with a microscopic 0.58 ERA. In the first, Derek Jones doubled to score Taylor Ard with the first run of the game.

Holding a 4-0 lead, Washington State added a run in the seventh with two outs on a bunt single by Adam Nelubowich, a walk to Tommy Richards and an RBI-single by Ian Sagdal. The Cougars capped the scoring in the eighth when P.J. Jones led off with a walk and scored on a two-out double by Ard.

Washington State earned its first ever shutout of Arizona in a series that dates back to 1975.

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