WICHITA - Senior outfielder Ryan Jones wiped out a three-run Washington State ninth when he blasted a walk-off home run to right field, giving the Shockers the first game of the series, 5-3.
After putting up a three-spot in the third inning, starting pitcher Jordan Cooper and the Shocker defense held the lead until the Cougars broke free in the top of the ninth. Ignoring the rain, the visitors rallied to tie the game in their last at bat.
With an out against them, senior Cody Lassley drilled a line drive into right to put himself aboard for Jones. The senior delivered with a long ball over the right field wall to end the game in walk-off fashion for the first time since Josh Workman's walkoff against Bradley in 2006.
Jones led the Shocker (11-5) offense with three RBI while Lassley went 2-for-2 to help the Shockers snap a four-game losing streak.
The Cougars (11-5) were led by left fielder Brett Jacobs' 4-for-5 performance.
The Shocks threatened early, loading the bases with a pair of walks and an infield single in the bottom of the first. Jones smashed a line drive to right, but right fielder Derek Jones' leaping snag ended the inning and the Shocker threat.
As he has in all of his previous starts this season, Cooper gave up a hit to lead off the game. He'd give up another in the Cougar first, but never gave up a run in his 7.2 innings of work. The sophomore right-hander scattered seven hits throughout his outing, striking out nine and walking none.
In the meantime, Cooper's offense showed its support in the bottom of the third. Freshman third baseman Erik Harbutz and junior Preston Springer led off the inning with hits before senior Travis Bennett drilled another single to right, driving in Harbutz.
Giving himself up, Lassley bunted down the first base line but a throwing error landed him safely on second while plating Springer. Jones sent a ground ball to the right side for his first RBI of the evening to hand the Shocks the 3-0 advantage.
Those were the only runs Washington State starter Chad Arnold would surrender and his start would end after the fifth inning, but it was reliever Seth Harvey (0-1) who took the loss.
Cooper's seven-plus scoreless innings resulted in the no decision as reliever TJ McGreevey gave up three in the ninth to end Cooper's chance for the win. Sophomore reliever Remington Johnson (1-0) took over for the Shockers in the ninth and earned the win thanks to the walk-off.
The weather started affecting the game before it even started, as the original 7 pm start time was changed to 4:30 pm in an attempt to avoid the forecasted winter weather.
Should mother nature cooperate, the Shockers and Cougars will match up for the second game of the series on Saturday. First pitch is slated for 2 pm.