WSU baseball seeks to build on hot start in San Diego

Will play four games in four days starting Friday in Tony Gwynn Classic



WSU infielder Elijah Hainline bunts the ball during an NCAA collegiate baseball game against Utah, April 1, at Bailey-Brayton Field.

JAKE HULL, Evergreen reporter

The Cougs are coming off a 4-0 start to week one of college baseball. They played both the Villanova Wildcats and UC Riverside Highlanders twice to reach their four wins.  Their first game will be 1 p.m. Friday against UC Irvine. They will then take on San Diego State, UC San Diego and UNLV.

Against the Wildcats, the Cougs put up 29 runs in two games and allowed only seven, all in the second game. Jacob Harvey led the way in the first game with three RBIs while Dakota Hawkins had 10 strikeouts in five innings to help with the shutout.

The second game against Villanova saw Elijah Hainline and Cam Magee have four RBIs each as the Cougs scored 22 runs. Jonah Advincula also had three RBIs in the game.

When the Cougs played UC Riverside, the first game had Advincula blow up for eight RBIs on four hits, with two home runs, one of which was a grand slam. Hainline and Magee also had three RBIs again as WSU won 17-4.

The second game saw the Cougs rally late from a two-RBI single from Advincula to break the tie in the sixth inning as the Cougs got the 8-6 win. Jacob McKeon had four RBIs in the game including a three-run home run.

The first game WSU will play in the Tony Gwynn Classic is against UC Irvine. They are currently 3-0 on the season. They swept Tulane in their first games of the season. They won the first game 3-0, then exploded for an 11-4 victory. UC Irvine then closed out the series with a gritty 1-0 victory. They play USC before heading to San Diego to take on the Cougs.

UC Irvine is led by Dub Gleed and Caden Kendle. Gleed has four hits so far on the season with three triples, he has also walked four times in three games. Kendle has three hits with one home run and four RBIs. He has also walked three times.

David Vizcaino and Cooper Robinson dominated pitching for UC Irvine. In just under six innings pitched, Vizcaino has five strikeouts, one walk and two hits allowed with no runs allowed. Robinson has pitched four scoreless innings so far with five hits and five strikeouts.

On Saturday, the Cougs will take on the San Diego State Aztecs. The Aztecs are 0-3. The Arizona State Sun Devils swept them in three games to start their first week of college baseball. Against the Sun Devils, San Diego State scored eight runs but allowed 12 runs. The closest game was the final game of the series where the Sun Devils won 1-0 when Arizona State scored in the seventh inning. They will play Cal State Northridge before taking on the Cougs Saturday.

The Aztecs are led by Cole Carrigg and Poncho Ruiz. Carrigg has had five hits this season with one RBI for a batting average of .357. Ruiz has two RBIs to lead the Aztecs so far. No player has hit a home run for San Diego State. Chris Canada has seven strikeouts while allowing two runs on three hits in six innings pitched.

Sunday will see WSU take on UC San Diego. On the season the Tritons are 1-3. They played their first four games of the season in Phoenix, Arizona as they competed in the MLB Desert Invitational. Their first game was a 12-4 loss to Grand Canyon. They got their first win of the season against Michigan where they won 11-2. Against No. 2 ranked Tennessee Volunteers, the Tritons lost 7-0. The Arizona Wildcats then defeated UC San Diego 9-8. The Tritons scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth, but could not get the tying run.

UC San Diego is led by Doyle Kane and Jalen Smith. Kane has a batting average of .412 with seven hits and five RBIs. Smith has five hits and four RBIs so far.

The last game in the Tony Gwynn Classic for the Cougs sees them take on UNLV. On the season UNLV is 3-0. They swept Pacific in three games where UNLV scored 53 runs in their three games, including 31 runs in one game.

UNLV is led by Austin Kryszczuk and Paul Myro. Kryszczuk has five hits on the season with one home run and eight RBIs for a batting average of .556. Myro has four hits with one home run and six RBIs on the season.

After the classic, the Cougs will start their first home stand of the season as they host Southern Indiana for a three-game home series starting March 3 at Bailey-Brayton Field in Pullman.