Cougs down No. 10 Zags in Pullman

Cougs on three-game win streak; took down No. 10 Oregon and No. 11 Gonzaga



WSU infielders Kyle Russell (1) and Kodie Kolden (5) high five during an NCAA collegiate baseball game, April 2, at Bailey-Brayton Field.

JAKE HULL, Evergreen reporter

WSU baseball (17-22) continued their late-season surge, taking down No. 11 Gonzaga (26-12) Tuesday night in Pullman, 6-5. WSU had some late-game heroics at the plate, which helped propel them to victory.

Caden Kaelber took the mound for WSU, earning his first win of the season. Alec Gomez earned his second loss of the season and has yet to pick up a win for the Zags. WSU scored their six runs on 11 hits, while Gonzaga’s five runs came on 10 hits.

1st Inning:

The Zags began with a lead-off double, but the next three batters flew out, struck out and lined out to give the Cougs their first zero of the game.

2nd Inning: 

The top of the second inning produced the first runs of the game. Gonzaga’s first two batters walked, and a fielding error loaded the bases. After two strikeouts with the bases loaded, Gonzaga hit a two-RBI single to take a 2-0 lead. WSU answered in the bottom half with a run of their own. Justin Van De Brake started off with a double, then scored off an RBI single from Collin Montez to cut the lead to 2-1.

3rd Inning: 

WSU pitching gave the Zags two base runners via walks, but Gonzaga could not produce any further. WSU had one hit from Kodie Kolden in the inning who then reached second on a wild pitch. Kolden was stranded on second to end the inning. 

4th Inning: 

The top of the fourth was the best pitched inning for the Cougs so far. Gonzaga went three-up, three-down, with the first two batters striking out swinging and the last batter flying out. WSU tied the game in the bottom of the fourth inning, with Van De Brake tagging up on a Will Cresswell pop fly. 

5th Inning:

The tie did not last long, as Gonzaga took the lead back off a solo homer, 3-2. The bottom of the fifth was a big offensive inning for WSU, who scored two runs and took the lead. Elijah Hainline hit a two-RBI double, which scored Bryce Matthews and Jacob McKeon to give the Cougs a 4-3 lead.

6th Inning:

Cougs pitching produced three strikeouts for a shutout inning. Kolden hit another single for WSU, but the Cougs could not produce any further, and the score remained in favor of WSU, 4-3.

7th Inning:

Gonzaga tied the game in the top of the seventh inning on an RBI single. The next two batters struck out to end the top of the inning. WSU answered with a run of their own. McKeon reached on an error and advanced to third. Hainline hit an RBI single to give WSU a 5-4 lead.

8th Inning:

Gonzaga tied the game in the top of the eighth inning on an RBI single with two outs. The next batter lined out, and the score stood at 5-5. WSU came up clutch late and scored in the bottom of the inning. Kolden walked to start the inning. McKeon then got an RBI single, which scored Kolden and gave WSU a 6-5 lead. 

9th Inning:

The top of the ninth was nerve-racking for WSU pitching. Gonzaga got two hits, and a base runner reached third with two outs. The Zags batter flew out to end the inning and the game, giving WSU a 6-5 win.

The next time the Cougs suit up will be Friday against USC for a three-game series. Friday’s game is set to start at 6 p.m. at Bailey-Brayton Field.