Baseball starts Oregon series strong, ends poorly as Cougs let series slip away

Led by four runs or more in second and third game before losing both 



An Oregon Duck takes a water break during his team’s 14-8 win over WSU during an NCAA baseball game March 18, 2023 at Bailey-Brayton Field.

JAKE HULL, Evergreen reporter

WSU baseball (14-5, 3-3) let the series against the Oregon Ducks over the weekend slip from their fingers as they only managed one win out of three. 

The only game the Cougs won in the series was the first game on Friday where the Cougs took the win 7-1. The game on Saturday saw the Cougs hold a 5-2 lead after three innings before the Ducks scored five runs in the fourth and another five runs in the eighth to take the 14-8 victory. 

Cam Magee (left), Nate Swarts (center) and Sam Brown (right) stand along the third base line during the playing of the national anthem prior to WSU baseball’s second game against the Oregon Ducks, March 18, 2023 at Bailey-Brayton Field.

Potentially the worst loss so far this season for the Cougs came Sunday when WSU jumped out to a 7-1 lead after just one inning. After the first inning the Cougs were virtually hitless as the Duck relievers came up huge. 

The bats for the Ducks came late in the game as they scored seven runs themselves in the seventh inning to win the game 13-7 and take the series win away from the Cougs. 

Jonah Advincula had one RBI in each game of the series and Jacob McKeon added two as well. 

“They’re just very consistent in their work ethic and their habits, they know what they’re doing at the plate,” head coach Brian Green said postgame. 

The Cougs were out-hit in the series 31-39 by the Ducks. WSU scored 22 runs in the series but gave up 28 runs. 

Game 1: 7-1 win

The brightest point of the weekend was the Cougs 7-1 rout of the Ducks Friday. 

Dakota Hawkins picked up his second win of the season to bring his record to 2-2. Hawkins went 5.1 innings and struck out 10 batters while giving up one run on five hits. He only walked one batter as well. 

The Cougs got the scoring started early, scoring three runs in the bottom of the second inning. Bryce Matthews picked up an RBI double to get the Cougs on the board. Matthews would then score later in the inning as Will Cresswell hit a two-run bomb to extend the Cougs lead to three. 

In the bottom of the fourth the Cougs put up three more runs. Cresswell scored on a wild pitch in the inning and Kyle Russell scored off a sac fly from Advincula. McKeon had an RBI double in the inning, then hit a solo homer in the seventh to give the Cougs their seven runs and take the first game of the series against the Ducks. 

Game 2: 14-8 loss

The Saturday game saw the Cougs collapse late as they let their early lead slip and could not get the offense right to regain the lead. 


Caden Kaelber went three innings and allowed five earned runs on seven hits. He struck out only two batters and walked two as well. 

Greg Fuchs started the scoring in the bottom of the second with an RBI double. Fuchs would then score by way of an RBI single from Brandham Ponce, his first for the Cougs. Advincula would then score Ponce with an RBI double which was followed by a Cam Magee RBI to extend the lead to four. 

The Ducks came back in the third and fourth inning, scoring seven runs combined to tie the game at seven after four innings. Ponce picked up another RBI single in the bottom of the third, he would finish the game with three RBIs. 

The top of the eighth saw the Ducks score five runs to take full control of the game after a grand slam from Gavin Grant to help the Ducks win the game 14-8 and tie the series heading into Sunday. 

Game 3: 13-7 loss

The final game of the series Sunday is one the Cougs should be quick to forget. After a solo homer from the Ducks on the fourth pitch of the game the Cougs scored seven runs in the bottom of the first.

“We walked them nine times so I would say their plate discipline was pretty good,” Green said postgame. 

 Jacob Morrow got a two RBI single to take the lead early in the inning. After a fielder’s choice RBI from Fuchs, Russell would pick up an RBI single to take the 4-1 lead. Advincula then picked up his third RBI in the series after he walked with the bases loaded. 

There would be no score in the game until the top of the fourth inning when the Ducks hit a two-run homer to cut the lead to four. 

In the fifth, the Ducks would score three more runs including another two-run homer to shorten the Cougs lead to just one. 

The top of the seventh inning for the Cougs was disastrous as they allowed the Ducks to score seven runs and take the 13-7 lead. The Cougs were completely shut down offensively after the first inning. The pitching was not awful for WSU, they just had no help whatsoever in the game, which caused them to lose the series 2-1. 

The Cougs lost their midweek game against Gonzaga 12-7 in Spokane. The loss is their third straight loss and sixth of the season.