Cougars win first home series

Junior infielder Kyle Manzardo lost 27-game hit streak during Sunday’s loss



Junior pitcher Zane Mills pitches against Seattle U Friday evening at Bailey-Brayton Field. The Cougars walk away with a 2-1 series win over the Redhawks.

KURIA POUNDS, Evergreen reporter

WSU baseball won two out of three games against Seattle this past weekend, winning 6-1 on Friday, 14-7 on Saturday and losing 6-2 on Sunday.

This is the first series win at home since the Cougars swept Niagara last year before the season ended due to COVID-19.

The Cougars (9-2) started off the weekend with a great start from junior right-handed pitcher Zane Mills, pitching eight innings with seven strikeouts and allowing six hits against Seattle (5-5) in game one of the series.

After Friday’s game, Mills said all of his pitches were working against the Redhawks to get out of jams.

“I was just throwing strikes, trying to create contact,” Mills said. “I have a lot of trust behind me with Kodie Kolden and Preston Clifford up the middle.”

Head coach Brian Green said Friday’s win was mostly a defensive effort with no errors and Mills not allowing a walk.

“Just defensively, a really clean effort [from the team],” Green said. “That was the story of the game.”

On the offensive side of the ball, junior infielder Kyle Manzardo extended his current hitting streak to 27 games, starting off with a solo home run on Friday, then going two of four in Saturday’s game, driving in a couple runs in the process.

Manzardo’s streak ended on Sunday after going zero of four with a walk and an RBI during the game on Sunday. The streak is the second-longest in program history, coming up just one game short of tying the all-time record.

Senior outfielder Justin Van De Brake said after Saturday’s game he needed to change his hitting style to get more production, leading to his three-hit game.

“The one thing I have changed is trying to hit the ball deeper,” Van De Brake said.

Van De Brake said redshirt junior catcher Jake Meyer has been putting in work throughout the week, leading to his three-hit game on Saturday as well.

“Jake’s been great for us, we’re working him a lot,” Van De Brake said. “He’s catching a ton right now and he’s stepping up.”

In Sunday’s game, the Redhawks got out early to score and did not look back on route to their 6-2 victory over WSU in the series finale.

The Cougars will travel to Seattle next to face the Redhawks again in two games, then face Washington for two non-conference games. All games will be played from Husky Ballpark in Seattle.

The first game against Seattle is scheduled at 1 p.m. Thursday with game two slated for at 11 a.m. Friday in Seattle.

The first game against the Huskies is slated at 7 p.m. Friday with the second game having a start time of 1 p.m. Saturday. Lineups and starting pitchers will be announced before game time.