WSU Baseball top five games of the season: March 13 vs. Oregon State 

A walk-off win against a top ten opponent



WSU infielder Kyle Russell dives for home plate during an NCAA collegiate baseball game against Utah, April 1, at Bailey-Brayton Field.

JAKE HULL, Evergreen reporter

WSU baseball finished the 2022 baseball season on a high, winning their last four games of the season and nine of 12 in May. 

During the season was a six-game win streak and a four-game win streak. The Cougs also lost 10 in a row in March. 

Although the Cougs just missed out on the first Pac-12 baseball tournament, they still picked up major upset victories during the season. One game that stands out is the final game against the Oregon State Beavers.

WSU met the then-ranked No. 10 Beavers in Pullman for the first conference game of the season. The Beavers took the first two of the series in convincing fashion, scoring 18 runs, then gave up four in the first two games, setting up the last game of the series. 

WSU got off to a rough start in the game – the first batter walked and then advanced to second on a passed ball. One lineout later, the next Beaver batter walked to put two runners on with one out. 

An error from the Cougar defense loaded the bases where the next batter walked for a third time in the inning to give the Beavers the early lead. Then they got their second run on an infield out to double their lead. 

The Cougs cut the lead in half in the bottom of the first, with Justin Van De Brake scoring Kyle Russell with an RBI single. Russell got on base with a leadoff single of his own. Kodie Kolden then grounded out to end the inning and strand Van De Brake on base. 

The Beavers did more damage in the top of the second. 

Like the first, the Beavers got a runner on base with a walk, who then advanced once again off a wild pitch. The Beavers scored the runner off a two-out RBI double to extend the lead 3-1. After another walk and wild pitch to advance both runners, the Beaver got a two-RBI double to lead 5-1 heading into the bottom of the second. 

After a solid leadoff double from Keith Jones II, he advanced to third on an infield out and a single from Will Cresswell. Jones then scored on a sacrifice fly from Kyler Stancato to score their second run of the game. 

After a slow third inning for both teams, the Beavers scored their sixth run in the top of the fourth inning off an RBI single. 

The Cougs’ pitching stood strong and got a much-needed strike out to end the inning with runners on first and second. WSU answered in the bottom of the inning with a two-RBI single from Stancato after the first two batters reached base for WSU. The score is 6-4 after four innings. 

The WSU pitching got out of a bases-loaded situation in the fifth inning with a strike out to end the inning and leave all three runners on base. The Beavers got their next run in the sixth off a sacrifice fly. WSU then got two fielder’s choice outs to end the inning. 

The Cougs had a five-hit and three-run bottom of the sixth to tie the game at seven after a two-RBI double from Stancato once again and an RBI single from Collin Montez. WSU stranded two on base as the Beavers ended the inning on a fielder’s choice out with runners at first and third. 

After another fielder’s choice score for OSU in the seventh, the Beavers retook the lead at 8-7. 

WSU had the bases loaded in the seventh for two batters, but Stancato and Russell both got fielder’s choice outs and could not produce a score. 

After a solid eighth and ninth innings for the Cougar defense, they were one run down in the bottom of the ninth after a leadoff strikeout from Elijah Hainline Cresswell reached first after being hit by a pitch. 

Stancato was hit by a pitch following Cresswell, then Russell flied out to advance Hylan Hall to third who was pinch-running for Cresswell. 

Montez then scored Hall with an RBI single to tie the game, and Bryce Matthews won the game with his RBI single to take the game 9-8 over the Beavers and earn their first conference win of the season. 

The walk-off from Matthews was thrilling to watch and experience with the rest of the Coug fans. The team seemed to be down and was on the verge of being swept in their first conference series of the season, but showed flashes of brilliance and resilience as they kept fighting the entire game all the way until their last-at-bats. 

WSU never gave up in this game and always had answers when the Beavers would put runs on the board. 

The excitement was there when Hall reached third, knowing the tying run was one base away. When Hall scored, the crowd went wild! You could feel the momentum shift when Matthews came up to bat to put the game away for the Cougs.