WSU baseball scores 54 runs in four games to start season 4–0

Defeated both UC Riverside and Villanova twice over the weekend



WSU pitcher Dakota Hawkins throws a pitch during a scrimmage, Saturday, Oct. 18, 2021, in Pullman.

JAKE HULL, Evergreen reporter

WSU baseball (4–0) ended their first week of the season winning four games in Peoria, Arizona as they defeated both the UC Riverside Highlanders and Villanova Wildcats twice. 

This is the first time since 2010 that the Cougs started their season winning their first four games. In 2021 they started the season winning three games. The 2010 Cougs went on a nine-game winning streak to start the season.

The Cougs scored 54 runs in four games and allowed only 17. They scored 17 runs in a win against UC Riverside Saturday morning. That afternoon, they scored 22 runs against Villanova—the most runs in a game since 2021 when they scored 21 runs against Arizona. 

Jonah Advincula and Elijah Hainline stole the show in the Cougs’ first week of baseball. Advincula has eight hits already this season with two home runs and 13 RBIs for a batting average of .500 after four games. Both of his home runs came in the first game Saturday against UC Riverside. He had a two-run home run and a grand slam in the game, as well as a two-RBI double. Hainline has seven hits in 12 at-bats this season with nine RBIs. He also walked six times over the weekend. Cam Magee also hit two home runs in the first week of baseball.

Game 1: WSU vs. Villanova, 7-0 

Friday saw the Cougs start the season with a shutout 7-0 victory against the Villanova Wildcats. Dakota Hawkins picked up his first win on the season after he pitched five scoreless innings, allowing only two hits and striking out 10 batters. Hawkins had 25 total strikeouts in 10 appearances last season. Connor Wilford pitched three scoreless innings and picked up the save. He had four strikeouts and did not allow a hit. Sal Fusco pitched just over three innings for Villanova and allowed six runs on four hits. 

Hainline started the scoring for the Cougs with a two-RBI single in the second inning. He then scored himself on a wild pitch later in the inning to give WSU a 3-0 lead after two. Jacob Harvey picked up three RBIs in the game with a two-RBI double in the fourth and an RBI walk in the fifth.

Game 2: WSU vs. UC Riverside, 17-4

The first game of the doubleheader Saturday saw WSU put up 17 runs on 13 hits as they defeated the UC Riverside Highlanders 17-4. Caden Kaelber picked up the win as he pitched six innings, allowing one run on five hits while striking out eight batters. 

UC Riverside started the scoring in the top of the first on a wild pitch to take the 1-0 lead early. WSU answered back in the second with three runs, including an RBI double from Kyle Russell and a two-RBI from Advincula to take the 3-1 lead.

In the third, the Cougs tacked on three more runs as they scored two unearned runs in the inning to lead 6-1.

The fifth inning saw home runs from both Hainline and Advincula in the inning to extend the lead 10–1. Advincula then hit a grand slam in the eighth to give him eight RBIs in the game.

Game 3: WSU vs. Villanova, 22-7

The afternoon game Saturday against Villanova saw WSU score 22 runs as they cruised to a 22–7 victory. WSU used five pitchers in the game, but Elias Farland picked up the win as he allowed one run in 2.2 innings. 

WSU scored three runs in the second, third and fourth inning to take control early and never looked back despite four runs from Villanova in the fifth. Advincula had three RBIs and Hainline and Magee both had four. 

Game 4: WSU vs. UC Riverside, 8-6

The best game of the weekend was Sunday against the Highlanders. Andrew Baughn picked up the win with just over one inning pitched and three strikeouts. Chase Grillo picked up the save with two strikeouts in one inning. 

The Cougs scored five runs in the second including a three-run home run from Jacob McKeon to lead 5-1. UC Riverside fought back and tied the game up in the sixth, but Advincula had two RBIs in the bottom of the inning to take the lead back as WSU won 8-6. 

The next time the Cougs take the field is Friday as they compete in the Tony Gwynn Classic in San Diego, California. Their first game will be Friday at 1 p.m. against UC Irvine.