Sports

Former Friday Harbor standout Ochoa keys WSU playoff win

Washington State University was ousted from the Men's College World Series in a 7-2 loss to Arkansas June 7 in Fayetteville.

But not before Friday Harbor's Richie Ochoa made his presence known in college baseball's premier post-season event.

Ochoa, a WSU freshman and former standout on the Friday Harbor High School baseball team, pitched four and one-third innings of stellar relief to help the Cougars clinch a 9-6 come-from-behind victory over Kansas State. That set up a two-game showdown against the Razorbacks for the Fayetteville Regional championship.

With the Cougars trailing 6-1 in the third inning, Ochoa (2-2) took over on the mound with two outs and with runners on first and third. He pitched out of the jam and then held the Wildcats scoreless over the next four innings as WSU cut the deficit down to three with two runs in the fifth, and then sealed the victory by scoring another six runs in the sixth inning.

Ochoa, a hard-throwing lefty, gave up two hits, struck out four and kept the Kansas State offense in check over four-plus innings without giving up a walk.

"Richie Ochoa gave us a huge lift out of the bullpen," Cougar Head Coach Donnie Marbut said.

With the victory over Kansas State, the Cougars (37-21) needed back-to-back wins over Arkansas, host of the regional, to earn a shot at top-ranked Arizona State in a Super Regional showdown, and with a berth in the NCAA College World Series on the line. The Cougars got the first with a 10-7 victory on June 6, but were eliminated from Series' contention in the 7-2 loss to the Razorbacks the following day.

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