Checking in with the Cougs, one excellent series win, one regrettable loss

Won series against Beavers, lost to San Francisco, lost series to Oregon



WSU outfielder Cam Magee takes a pitch to the leg during an NCAA baseball game against Southern Indiana, Sunday, March 5, 2023, in Pullman, Wash.

JAKE HULL, Evergreen reporter

WSU baseball (14-5, 2-3) competed in their opening Pac-12 Conference series of 2023 during the first weekend of spring break. They also took on San Francisco at home for their mid-week contest.

The series against the then-ranked No. 15 Oregon State Beavers was exceptional for the Cougs as they took two of three.

The first game was the Cougs’ only loss as the Beaver offense combined with their stellar pitching to defeat the Cougs 5-1. That game was the only bright spot for the Beavers as WSU won the next game 6-3, then closed out the series with a one-hit 3-1 victory.

Sam Brown and Greg Fuchs both had two RBIs in the series to help propel the Cougs to victory. Fuchs, the transfer from Oregon State, hit a two-run homer in the top of the fourth in game two against the Beavers.

“That felt great, I was glad I was able to put a good swing on it. It was great to put us ahead and get us a little lead,” Fuchs said.

After the road series victory, the Cougs came home to take on San Francisco for a non-conference matchup. The game started off strong for the Cougs as they led 8-2 until the top of the seventh when San Francisco scored nine runs in the inning to take complete control and momentum of the game. San Francisco would finish the game with a 14-8 win to give the Cougs their third loss of the season.

Brown had two more RBIs in the game, bringing his total to 20, the best on the team and fourth-best in the Conference. He also has five homers on the season as he homered against San Francisco. He has hit a home run in all five home games for the Cougs coming into the series against the Oregon Ducks over the weekend.

OSU Game 1, 5-1 loss

The Cougs got banged up early in the game, allowing two runs in both the bottom of the second and third innings. Trent Sellers, the WSU transfer, pitched a great game for the Beavers as he allowed three hits and one run with nine strikeouts in six innings of work.

Dakota Hawkins picked up the loss for the Cougs after he allowed five runs on seven hits in four innings of work. He struck out six batters.

Connor Wilford came in for Hawkins and was brilliant, pitching four hitless innings and striking out six batters as well. Wilford was the bright spot in the game for WSU.

OSU Game 2, 6-3 win

The best game of the series came Saturday as the Cougs and Fuchs defeated the Beavers 6-3 to tie the series heading into Sunday.

The Cougs took the lead in the top of the first inning thanks to a sacrifice fly from Jacob Morrow.

The Beavers would take the 2-1 lead in the bottom of the second inning as they scored two runs. WSU answered in the third and fourth inning as they scored three runs total to take the 4-2 lead. Fuchs hit his homer in the fourth.

The eighth inning saw WSU take a 6-2 lead after Jacob McKeon got an RBI after he was hit by a pitch, Brown then got a sac fly in the inning.

Chase Grillo came into the game in the ninth inning to save the game, which is exactly what he did as he struck out two batters and walked one in the inning as he got his fourth save of the season, good for best in the Conference.

“This team means everything to me, everyone competes extremely well, this is a very special group,” Fuchs said.

Game 3, 3-1 win

The Cougs would win the series against the Beavers Sunday as they held Oregon State to one hit in the game and won 3-1.

Starting pitcher Grant Taylor went four scoreless innings with three strikeouts. The only problem was the five walks he allowed.

Wilford would come into the game and once again pitch three scoreless, hitless innings with three strikeouts. Grillo also picked up his fifth save on the season.

Offensively, the Cougs three runs came from an RBI single from Morrow and an RBI single from Bryce Matthews in the first inning. Elijah Hainline would then score on a wild pitch in the ninth inning.

San Francisco, 14-8 loss

After scoring five runs in the bottom of the fifth inning the Cougs allowed San Francisco to light them up, scoring nine runs in the seventh inning and two in the eighth to help push San Francisco to the 14-8 victory.

Brown hit a two-run homer in the third inning and five Cougs had two hits in the game, but a three-run homer from San Francisco and two errors from the Cougs does not equal a win as the Cougs lost their third game of the season.

The Cougs lost two games out of three to the Oregon Ducks. They head to Spokane, Washington to take on the Gonzaga Bulldogs Tuesday.