Baseball puts on offensive clinic against Dixie State

WSU scores 50 runs in four-game series; Manzardo hits three home runs



Then-junior pitcher Brody Barnum pitches during the game against Gonzaga March 10 at Bailey-Brayton Field.

KURIA POUNDS, Evergreen reporter

WSU baseball swept the Dixie State Trailblazers in St. George, Utah, this past weekend, winning 6-3 on Thursday, 19-5 on Friday, 15-1 on Saturday and 10-3 on Sunday in the first sweep of the early Cougars’ season.

Once again, the bats for WSU (7-1) were alive, scoring 40 runs in three games, and laying down 38 hits through the first three games of the series.

On the mound, junior right-handed pitcher Zane Mills tied the WSU record for most strikeouts in a game with 13 against Dixie State (0-4), while only allowing three hits and a run scored in his outing on Friday.

Mills said he really appreciated the WSU offense scoring early on Friday, which boosted his confidence as the game went on.

“I have the most confidence for my hitters,” Mills said. “It’s really fun to watch the hitters, they have my back as much as I have theirs.”

Mills said he is just happy to pitch at this point, trying to fit in as many games as he can after last season’s cancellation.

“I’m just happy that I’m able to pitch,” Mills said. “I’ve got confidence behind me.”

The 19 runs the Cougars scored on Friday is the most WSU has scored in over a decade, with the last time being in 2010 against USC. WSU got a lot of help from junior infielders Kodie Kolden and Kyle Manzardo.

Kolden had the 27th five-hit game in WSU history on Friday, which carried into Saturday, starting the game two for two before flying out.

Manzardo homered in every single game except the series opener, hitting a grand slam on Friday, a three-run home run on Saturday and a three-run home run on Sunday.

WSU also got a lot of production from senior outfielder Collin Montez, who had two home runs on Friday, hit three for five on Saturday and homered on Sunday.

Mills said his goals for the season, as Pac-12 play starts, are staying healthy and getting guys out.

“As a team, I guess just win every series,” Mills said. “Just take it a day at a time.”

The Cougars look to continue their hot streak this weekend when they face Seattle University on the road in a three-game series.

Game one of the series starts at 4 p.m. Friday, with game two starting at 2 p.m. Saturday and the series finale starting at 1 p.m. Sunday from Bannerwood Park in Bellevue, Washington.