WSU baseball (8-7) took one game in a three-game series against the then-ranked No. 4 Oregon State Beavers (11-2).
This was the Cougs’ first homestand of the 2022 season. WSU won the last game in the series 9-8 in walk-off fashion. The first two games were 13-3 and 5-1 losses to the Beavers.
“It’s a tough series, Oregon State is a tough baseball team,” WSU head coach Brian Green said.
The first game in the series between the Cougs and Beavers took place Friday afternoon, with the Beavers winning 13-3. The Beavers offense proved dominant from the first couple of pitches. Cooper Hjerpe picked up the pitching win for the Beavers, improving his record to 4-0. McKabe Cottrell picked up his third pitching loss for the Cougs, his record now stands at 1-3.
The Cougs scored three runs on seven hits and zero errors. The Beavers earned their 13 runs on 13 hits. Oregon State started the game by scoring eight runs in the top of the first inning, including three home runs to jump out to an early 8-0 lead. The Cougs scored in the bottom of the first and Hylan Hall homered for the Cougs in the second. Oregon State proceeded to shut out the Cougs after the second while adding five more runs to win the game 13-3.
The second game of the series on Saturday proved to be more of the same, with the Beavers scoring early, backed up by great pitching for a 5-1 victory over the Cougs. The pitching win for the Beavers came from Jacob Kmatz, now 3-0. Grant Taylor picked up his first loss, his record now 2-1. The Cougs scored their lone run on five hits and had three errors in the game. The Beavers had six hits, which produced their five runs and had zero errors.
The Beavers scored in the top of the first inning once again and then scored another in the top of the second to take a 2-0 lead. The lone run for the Cougs came in the bottom of the second inning on a solo home run from Collin Montez. There were then three scoreless innings between both teams, with the next run coming in the sixth from the Beavers. The scoring finished in the eighth inning with a two-run home run to give the Beavers their fifth run of the game.
The third game of the series on Sunday was easily the game of the season so far for the Cougs, coming back in the bottom of the ninth inning in walk-off fashion for a 9-8 victory. Connor Barison earned his third pitching win, improving his record to 3-0. Beavers’ pitcher Mitchell Verburg earned the loss, his record now stands at 0-2. The Beavers’ eight runs came on eight hits and an error in the game. WSU was swinging their bats Sunday, with their nine runs coming on 17 hits and one error.
“I was happy for those guys, they stepped up,” said Green about the success of the newcomers on the team.
As per usual, the Beavers started the game with an early lead, scoring two in the top of the first. In the bottom of the inning, Justin Van De Brake earned an RBI single, cutting the deficit to one. The Beavers stretched their lead in the second inning, scoring three runs on two doubles to take a 5-1 lead. The Cougs answered back with a sacrifice fly to cut the lead to 5-2. There was no scoring in the third inning from either team, but the Beavers got back on the board in the fourth to stretch their lead to 6-2. In the bottom of the fourth, Kyler Stancato had a two-RBI double to keep WSU in the game, now down by just two runs, 6-4.
Oregon State scored a run in the sixth to give them a 7-4 lead, which was short-lived, as the Cougs scored three runs in the bottom of the inning to tie the game 7-7. Stancato had two more RBIs in the inning, which helped the Cougs tie the game. The Beavers answered in the seventh with a run to regain the lead at 8-7.
No scoring in the eighth from either team or the top of the ninth from Oregon State meant the Cougs had three outs left in the game to produce a run. WSU proceeded to score two runs in the bottom of the ninth — a single from Montez and a walk-off single from Bryce Matthews gave the Cougs the 9-8 victory. Both Montez and Matthews singled through the right side of the infield.
“We just battled up there and we ended up coming out with the W,” Matthews said.
The next time the Cougs will suit up will be Friday in Seattle for the first installment of baseball’s Apple Cup Series. The Cougars will face the Huskies in a three-game series.