Cougs end season with stellar month of May

Hot streak not enough, WSU misses first ever Pac-12 Baseball Tournament



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


WSU baseball (27-26, 12-18) ended their 2022 season by winning their last four games and nine of their last 12 in May.

The Cougs finished their season with a record of 27-26, giving them their third straight winning season including the pandemic shortened 2020 season where WSU went 9-7. In 2021, WSU was 26-23.

In May, WSU won nine out of 12 games and their last four of the season. The Cougs hosted the USC Trojans in the final series of April and rang in the month of May with the third game of the series. WSU won two out of three against USC. Over graduation weekend, WSU hosted Utah Valley where they swept the Wolverines. WSU then spent four games in California with a victory against UC Riverside and was swept in three by the UCLA Bruins. After beating the Portland Pilots the Cougs ended their May and season at home by sweeping the Arizona State Sun Devils.


The Cougs ended April with a win and started May with a win, taking two out of three against the USC Trojans.

WSU lost the first game of the series 4-1 where USC attacked late, scoring three runs in the last two innings on 12 total hits. WSU’s only run in the game came from an RBI walk from Kyle Russell.

WSU was better in the second game, winning 4-2. The Cougs had 10 hits in the game with no errors while allowing USC to have only six hits and two errors. Russell earned another RBI in the game from a fielder’s choice out. Justin Van De Brake had the go-ahead RBI in the fifth with a single to help lead the Cougs to victory.

The last game of the series came May 1, when WSU won 5-3. USC had nine hits and WSU only had eight, but RBIs from Van De Brake and Russell propelled the Cougs to the series victory.


After getting the series win against the Trojans, WSU swept Utah Valley in three. WSU scored 29 runs over the three games and gave up only 13.

The first game of the series was a 9-3 victory for WSU. Collin Montez got the scoring started for the Cougs with an RBI single in the bottom of the second, which was followed up with a score off a wild pitch from Utah Valley to lead 2-0 early. Both Bryce Matthews and Kodie Kolden recorded two RBIs to lead WSU to the win.

The second game of the series was closer, with the Cougs winning 9-7 and having to come from behind most of the game. WSU did not take the lead until the bottom of the seventh and trailed by four runs after the third inning. WSU scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh to take the lead. Russell started the inning off with an RBI single, then Van De Brake scored on a throwing error. Elijah Hainline then scored Russell on an RBI single. Kolden walked which produced the fourth run of the inning and gave WSU the 9-7 win.

WSU ended the series by shutting out Utah Valley 11-0. WSU had 16 hits in the game and gave up only three. McKabe Cottrell had nine strikeouts in the game and the Cougs had 12 overall. Kolden had four RBIs in the game including a three-run home run in the eighth. WSU scored at least one run in every inning except the second and fourth.


The UC Riverside game was the start of the Cougs’ four games in California. WSU showed their offensive firepower to win the game 10-3. The Cougs scored six runs in the sixth inning including a three RBI double from Matthews and a two RBI double from Jack Smith. Caden Kaelber had four strikeouts in two innings of work for the Cougs.


Holding a six-game win streak, the Cougs ran into then-ranked No. 15 UCLA Bruins, who swept the Cougs in a three-game series. The first game of the series was a 4-0 loss for WSU. The Cougs only managed to produce one hit in the game which was a single in the first inning from Jacob McKeon. Max Rajcic had 14 strikeouts for UCLA in eight innings of work.

The second game of the series got worse for WSU who lost 10-1. The Bruins scored their 10 runs in the first three innings to demolish the Cougars. Smith’s RBI double in the bottom of the fifth provided WSU’s lone run of the game. UCLA had 14 hits in the game while the Cougs only had seven.

WSU had a chance to take the last game of the series where they scored six runs in the sixth inning, however, UCLA walked the game off in the bottom of the ninth to win 8-7.

PORTLAND: Swept 3/3

After getting swept by UCLA, the Cougs got back to their winning ways, beating the Portland Pilots 3-0. WSU had 10 hits in the game and only gave up two to Portland.

The Cougs scored in the first three innings to get their scoring done early. Matthews had an RBI double in the first and a solo homer in the third. The pitching staff secured the shutout behind five scoreless innings from Dakota Hawkins in which he allowed only two hits and struck out 10. Cam Liss only allowed two baserunners while holding Portland scoreless for two innings. Chase Grillo and Kaelber each pitched one-two-three innings to lead WSU to victory heading into the final series of 2022.


The final series of 2022 was a great one for WSU, who swept the Arizona State Sun Devils for the first time in program history.

The first game was a 2-0 victory for the Cougs who held Arizona State to two hits. Grant Taylor pitched a complete game, allowing only two hits and struck out seven, with seven strikeouts to lead WSU to a 2-0 first game win.  WSU scored both their runs in the fourth off RBIs from McKeon and Van De Brake.

The second game was closer with the Cougs winning 10-6. WSU had 14 hits while the Sun Devils had 13, but WSU did more with their hits which led to the win. Van De Brake stole the show with a grand slam homer in the fifth inning to lead the Cougs to victory. On Senior Night  and the last game of 2022, WSU closed with a resounding 10-3 victory. The Cougs had 12 hits and scored five runs in the fifth to take control of the game and win their fourth game to close out the season. Jake Meyer and Russell both had three RBIs to lift the Cougs to victory and ended May on a four-game win streak and nine of 12 overall.

Despite sweeping the team right above them in the standings, the Cougs still came up short in the race for a berth to the first ever Pac-12 Tournament. The Cougs finished in ninth place in the Pac-12 with a 12-18 conference record just behind Arizona State, who finished with a 13-17 conference record. Arizona State made the tournament as the eighth seed and faced top-seeded Stanford (37-14, 21-9), Wednesday at Scottsdale Stadium in Scottsdale, Ariz.

WSU Designated Hitter McKeon was named to the All Pac-12 Conference team, after first basemen Kyle Manzardo and Designated Hitter Tristan Peterson received the honor in 2021.

Reliever Kaelber and first baseman Smith were named honorable mentions, giving WSU six all-conference selections in the last two seasons under the leadership of head coach Brian Green.