WSU takes one in three-game home series

Baseball scores 21 runs on Friday to beat No. 16 Arizona Wildcats



Then-graduate first baseman/catcher Tristan Peterson takes off from third base against Seattle U March 6, 2021, at Bailey-Brayton Field.

KURIA POUNDS, Evergreen reporter

WSU baseball lost two out of three games against the No. 16 Arizona Wildcats this past weekend, winning 21-2 on Friday before losing 13-8 on Saturday and 14-8 on Sunday.

The Cougars (17-14, 5-10) scored an impressive 21 runs on Friday, tied for the ninth-most in WSU history and the most runs scored since 2002.

The Wildcats (23-11, 9-6) earned their 23rd win on Sunday in a comeback effort against WSU.

Friday’s game saw the bats for WSU not only come alive, but refuse to stop making contact with the ball. They collected 23 hits, which is tied for the sixth-most in Cougar baseball history and the most since they faced Seattle University in 2010.

WSU had multiple players having at least three hits in the game, including a 4-4 day from senior infielder Jack Smith, and three-hit games from freshman infielder Kyle Russell, senior outfielder Justin Van De Brake, redshirt junior catcher Jake Meyer and junior outfielder Jacob McKeon.

Head coach Brian Green said after Friday’s game that even though junior infielder Kyle Manzardo did not get a hit in that game, it proved the team can win without a great game from the star player.

“That was a really big thing for our team,” Green said. “We can win without Kyle Manzardo getting hits.”

Junior right-handed pitcher Brandon White picked up his fifth win on the season Friday after going 5.1 innings, allowing three hits, two runs, six walks and collecting three strikeouts.

Green said he was impressed to see White handle himself throughout the game, even with his six walks.

“He made big pitches when he really needed to,” Green said.

Saturday’s game saw the Cougars try to climb back from an eight-run deficit in the ninth inning but scored only three runs in the bottom of the ninth to come up a little short.

Even with two solo home runs in the second inning from senior outfielder Collin Montez and Van De Brake, inning four through six did not produce anything for the Cougars, while the Wildcats drove in 6 runs through that frame.

On Sunday, the Cougars opened the game up 5-3 after three innings, but the pitching collapsed somewhat, allowing Arizona to score eight unanswered runs from the fifth inning to the eighth inning, then giving the Wildcats an 11-5 lead.

The deficit proved to be too much for the Cougars, as they ended up dropping the series finale by a score of 14-8.

The Cougars start their four-game road trip down in Berkeley, California when they face the California Golden Bears in a three-game series starting Friday and ending Sunday.