Chase Grillo set for a stellar second season

Kennewick pitcher looking to build off first season at WSU



WSU pitcher Chase Grillo pitches the ball during an NCAA collegiate baseball game against Utah, April 1, at Bailey-Brayton Field.

JAKE HULL, Evergreen reporter

Right-handed pitcher Chase Grillo is looking forward to his second season pitching for the Cougs after appearing in 30 games last season for WSU.

Grillo had 50 strikeouts which was third most on the team and walked 15 batters. In Grillo’s 30 appearances, he had a record of 2-3 with three saves. His 30 appearances was tied for fourth with the most appearances in a season for a reliever. 

His ERA was 4.55 in his 31 innings of work. He appeared in 16 of the 30 Pac-12 conference games last season where he had two saves and 29 strikeouts for an ERA of 3.05 in 20 innings. 

Notable games for Grillo last season were when he had two scoreless outings against then ranked No. 9 Arizona Wildcats and then ranked No. 18 Stanford Cardinal. 

Over the summer Grillo played in the Northwoods League for the St. Cloud Rox where he was named a Northwoods League All-Star. In his 20 games over the summer, he had a record of 2-1 and recorded 14 saves. His 35 strikeouts in 21 innings gave him a 2.08 ERA. 

Grillo put in work over the offseason, preparing his body for the challenge that is Pac-12 baseball. 

“Taking the weight room seriously,” Grillo said. “Building up some strength, working on building up some arm strength and being able to pitch whenever my name’s called.” 

Before coming to WSU last season Grillo attended Spokane Falls Community College in 2019. He made 12 appearances with a 1-1 record. But in 2020, the season was canceled due to the pandemic. Grillo then transferred to Gonzaga in 2021 where he went through a redshirt season before coming to WSU last season, his first baseball season playing since 2019. 

Grillo now has a full season of Pac-12 baseball under his belt where he was a solid reliever who had the durability to last the whole season while staying consistent with his play as he never seemed to have any outlying games. 

The one thing Grillo was surprised about last season was the level of play and how different it was compared to his previous colleges.

“Obviously there’s a lot of good teams throughout the conference, it was challenging being able to see these different opponents that are at a higher level than I’ve seen in the past,” Grillo said.

This season, Grillo set his individual expectations and goals high.

“Hoping to get some all Pac-12 reliever nods, hopefully, get some national recognition as well but starting there would be a good start,” Grillo said. 

Look for Grillo to appear in just as many, if not more games this season for the Cougs as a reliever. The Cougs open their season on the road Feb. 17 as they have matchups against Villanova and UC Riverside.