Baseball hopes to resume play against Pilots

Cougars missed last week’s series in Seattle due to COVID-19 protocol



Graduate first baseman/catcher Tristan Peterson leads off second base during the game against Seattle U on March 5 at Bailey-Brayton Field.

KURIA POUNDS, Evergreen reporter

WSU baseball looks to get off its COVID-19 pause as the Cougars are scheduled to face Portland in a single-game on Wednesday.

The Cougars (9-2) had their last series against Seattle and Washington on the road postponed due to COVID-19 protocol developments within the WSU program. WSU looks to reschedule the postponed series for a later date.

The Pilots (6-7) are coming off a series win against Utah Valley at home, where they swept the Wolverines in their four-game series at Joe Etzel Field.

WSU last played a three-game series against Seattle in Pullman, where they took two out of three against the Redhawks in their first home series of the season. That was the Cougars’ first home series win at Bailey-Brayton since Niagara before the 2020 season shut down. It was also their first homestand at the newly renovated Bailey-Brayton Field.

Junior infielder Kyle Manzardo is off to a hot start and looks to continue the momentum after the pause. He currently is fourth in total RBIs in the country and still is hitting .404 with five home runs on top of that.

Manzardo looks to start a new hitting streak after his latest streak ended in an 0-4 effort against Seattle in the last game played for WSU.

On the mound, the Cougars look to have success from right-hander Zane Mills, who is the reigning Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week, after a seven-strikeout performance in his last outing against Seattle.

The Pilot’s freshman infielder Ben Patacsil has been the center of Portland’s offense as of late, leading the team with a .361 average to go along with four doubles and two RBIs.

Portland is not a high-powered offense, as the team has hit for a .232 combined average and has scored 50 runs in their 14 games played this season. Their pitching staff has kept opponents around the same, allowing 52 runs and a combined average of .220.

WSU currently leads the series against Portland 14-7 and the Cougars are on a two-game winning streak against the Pilots. The last time these two teams played each other was May 12, 2015, ending in a 7-3 victory for the Cougars.

Wednesday’s game will be the first time the Cougars will travel to Portland since May 6, 2013, which they lost 7-5 against the Pilots.

The status of the game is still up in the air, as neither the team nor WSU Athletics has officially announced whether the team is cleared to play. Updates on the status of Wednesday’s game can be found on the WSU Athletics website.

First pitch is set for 3 p.m. Wednesday at Joe Etzel Field in Portland. The game can be viewed on the WCC Sports website.