Cougar baseball conquers BYU Cougar baseball

WSU scores five runs in first two innings, retires 22 batters in a row to beat BYU 6-1 Monday in Pullman 



WSU infielder Ty Kennedy runs to home during an NCAA baseball game against UCLA, March 31, 2023, in Pullman, Wash.

JAKE HULL, Evergreen reporter

WSU baseball continued their hot streak this weekend, winning four games in a row, including a 6-1 victory over the BYU Cougars Monday in Pullman.

With the win Monday, the Cougs improved their record to 18-9 with a Pac-12 Conference record of 5-6. BYU dropped to a 9-18 overall record and a 3-6 West Coast Conference record.

The weather was not ideal, with snow flurries throughout the game, but the Cougs had warm bats at the beginning of the game *remove -BW, scoring five runs in two innings to shut down BYU early. WSU retired the last 22 BYU batters in a row to end the game.

“I thought the guys were just locked in, particularly on the mound,” head coach Brian Green said postgame.

Pitching was key for the Cougs. McKabe Cottrell picked up the win after pitching two hitless innings. He also struck out three batters. Shane Spencer came in for two innings for the Cougs and struck out all six batters he faced.

The Cougs used five pitchers in the game, and they each thrived. Starting pitcher Spencer Jones allowed the lone run in the second inning and both hits for BYU, but only pitched two innings as the Cougs were trying to use as many pitchers as possible in as few innings as possible to keep them fresh for their weekend series with the Arizona State Sun Devils.

Connor Wilford came in and did his thing, pitching two hitless innings and striking out one batter along the way.

Offensively, the Cougs dealt their damage early and were led by Sam Brown and Jonah Advincula. Brown went three-for-four in the game with an RBI and Advincula went three-for-four with two RBIs. Four of the five runs for the Cougs came off RBI doubles.

Brown, the designated hitter for the day, got the scoring started with an RBI double in the bottom of the first. Brown then scored by way of an RBI double from Advincula to extend the Cougs’ lead to two.

After BYU would get a run back in the top of the second with an RBI double of their own, the Cougs would add three more runs to stretch the lead to four. Kyle Russell picked up an RBI after a fielder’s choice out, he then scored thanks to a Jacob McKeon RBI double.

Russell has been producing each game since coming back into the lineup for the Cougs, as well as making spectacular plays defensively at short, he will be needed if the Cougs want to win the series against the Sun Devils over the weekend.

The last score of the game came from another RBI double from Advincula, his second of the game. Advincula has been on fire since Green moved him to the fifth spot in the hitting order instead of leadoff. This gives Advincula more chances to get hits with runners on base.

“He’s a great competitor, he knows what he’s doing. That’s why you’re seeing a lot of line drives and ground balls outta him,” Green said.

Next up for the Cougs will be a three-game series in Phoenix as the Cougs take on the Arizona State Sun Devils starting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.