Baseball looks to continue winning steak, host Seattle U

10-1 start is best since 1980



WSU first baseman Sam Brown goes to hit a pitch during an NCAA baseball game against Southern Indiana, Saturday, March 4, 2023, in Pullman, Wash.

JAKE HULL, Evergreen reporter

WSU Baseball (10-1) will host Seattle U at 2:05 p.m. Tuesday for a one-game series at Bailey Brayton Field as the Cougs look to stay perfect at home so far this season.

The Cougs are coming off a three-game sweep of Southern Indiana in their first home series of 2023. On the season, the Cougs have won 10 of their first 11 games, their best start under head coach Brian Green, and best start since 1980 when that team went 18-0 to start the season.

The offense for WSU is led by Jonah Advincula, Jacob McKeon and Sam Brown. The Cougs also have five players with 10 or more RBIs, with Jacob Morrow close behind with nine. Advincula leads the team in hits with 18, doubles with five, RBIs with 16, total bases with 31, and stolen bases with six.

Both Brown and Elijah Hainline have 14 RBIs for the Cougs. Brown has hit a homer in his last three games and has 14 hits on the season. His batting average is .350. Hainline has 12 hits and two homers on the season. He has also been walked 10 times and hit by a pitch once in 2023.

WSU infielder Elijah Hainline high-fives his teammates after winning an NCAA baseball game against Southern Indiana, Saturday, March 4, 2023, in Pullman, Wash.

Brown had a fantastic week three of baseball, as he had eight RBIs against Southern Indiana in three games and was efficient on defense to help ease him into his first season with the Cougs. He transferred to WSU this season from University of Portland.

Pitching for the Cougs so far has been led by Caden Kaelber and Dakota Hawkins. Kaelber has pitched 18 innings and has a record of 2-0 in three starts and one relief appearance. He has allowed five runs on 13 hits and struck out an impressive 27 batters, good for a tie for ninth-best in the country.

WSU pitcher Caden Kaelber throws a pitch during an NCAA baseball game against Southern Indiana, Saturday, March 4, 2023, in Pullman, Wash.

Hawkins has appeared in three games, all as a starter and has gone 13 innings, allowing six runs on 16 hits. He has 22 strikeouts this season, his total for last season was 25.

On the season, Seattle U has a record of 2-7. They started the season in College Station, Texas, where they got swept in three games by then-ranked No. 5 Texas A&M Aggies. They scored seven runs combined in their first three games and allowed the Aggies to score 28.

Seattle U then took on Long Beach State for three games where they won one of the games. Their lone win of the series came in the second game as Seattle U shut out Long Beach State 5-0. The final game of the series saw Long Beach State win 13-2.

After games against Lewis-Clark State College and the University of Portland were canceled, Seattle U had three games against UC Davis. Seattle U won the first game 11-1, then lost the second game 11-1. The series was won by UC Davis Sunday as they took the 4-2 victory.

Seattle U is led offensively by Hudson Shupe and Trevor Antonson. Shupe has 14 hits this season in 34 plate appearances for a batting average of .412. He also has three RBIs and has struck out six times. Antonson has a batting average of .324 after 12 hits and two RBIs. Seattle U has hit only three home runs in their nine games this season. They have also scored 33 total runs and allowed 68.

Pitching for Seattle U is led by Peter Chronowski and Nestor German. Chronowski has pitched 18.2 innings and has an ERA of 0.96. He has allowed eight runs on 13 hits and has 12 strikeouts on the season. German has an ERA of 6.75 through 13.1 innings. He has allowed 10 runs on 12 hits and struck out 14 batters.

German has also allowed two homers in 2023. Look for one of them to get the start against the Cougs.

If WSU wants to get to 11 wins they need strong at-bats from their top players. They also need to be efficient with their pitches. Seattle U has not scored many runs this season but has players that can string together base hits to create problems on the defensive end.

After Seattle U the Cougs will travel to Corvallis, Oregon to take on the Oregon State Beavers for a three-game series. This will be the start of the PAC-12 conference schedule for the Cougs. The first game will start at 5:35 p.m. Friday.