Cougars break losing streak against Cardinal

Baseball team drops first two games before extra inning win on Saturday



Junior right-handed pitcher Connor Barison has a 4.50 ERA in 10 appearances.

KURIA POUNDS, Evergreen reporter

WSU baseball lost two out of three games against the Stanford Cardinal this weekend, losing 18-3 on Thursday, 7-5 on Friday and winning 10-9 in extra innings on Saturday.

The Cougars (13-10, 2-7) finally ended their losing streak with a win in extra innings against Stanford. This was their first win in Pullman against the Cardinal since 2015.

The Cardinal (16-5, 4-2) looks to climb the Pac-12 rankings as the season continues for Stanford after taking two out of three at Bailey-Brayton.

One of the main issues for the Cougars all weekend was the struggles in the bullpen, with the WSU bullpen allowing Stanford to come back on Friday and Saturday, while blowing the game open on Thursday.

Head coach Brian Green said the bullpen has been looking shaky during the losing streak, but in the win, it seemed as if the bullpen really stepped up when it mattered.

“Our bullpen, those last guys, [Kolby] Kmetko, [Owen] Leonard, [Tyler] Hoeft and Will [Sierra], those guys were really tough and really really competed,” Green said.

The offense for the Cougars seemed to disappear during the losing streak, but some late-inning rallies on Friday and Saturday really sparked the offense, with WSU coming back from an 8-3 deficit on Saturday by scoring five runs in the bottom of the fifth.

Although junior infielder Kyle Manzardo’s on-base streak snapped on Thursday’s game after going 0-4, he immediately got back into his usual rhythm by hitting a solo home run on Friday and going 3-4 with two doubles on Saturday.

Green said the offense got better as the game continued Saturday, and WSU saw about seven arms from Stanford.

“I thought our guys did a really good job at seeing a lot of arms,” Green said. “I was proud of our offense; I think I’m assuming every guy got a hit in the lineup.”

Green said the team’s ability to come back from a huge deficit really drives this team heading into the next game or series.

“That’s really a real positive for our guys, just in terms of coming back, which is something you got to put in your back pocket,” Green said. “You talk about, but you got to do it.”

WSU will continue on the road in a single game on Wednesday against Utah Valley from Orem, Utah before playing a three-game series against the Utah Utes.

First pitch against Utah Valley is set for 5 p.m. Wednesday and lineups/starting pitchers will be announced one hour before the game starts. The live statistics can be followed on StatBroadcast.