Cougs set for home Apple Cup series during graduation weekend

Huskies are fifth in Pac-12 while Cougs are ninth 



WSU catcher Jacob Morrow attempts to tag out a UW player during an NCAA baseball game against UW, Sunday, May 7th, 2023, in Pullman, Wash.

JAKE HULL, Evergreen reporter

WSU baseball (26-17, 7-13) hosted the Washington Huskies for the latest installment of the baseball Apple Cup. 

The three-game series will took place starting Friday at 7 p.m. 

The Cougs are coming off a 9-6 victory over the Gonzaga Bulldogs May 2. Their last Pac-12 series was an away matchup against the Utah Utes, where the Utes won in a sweep. 

On the season so far, Sam Brown still leads the Cougs in RBIs, doubles and batting average. Brown has 48 RBIs on the year to go with his eight home runs and 57 hits. His batting average is .377. 

Jacob McKeon has put together a nice second half of the season. He has 39 RBIs and five home runs with 56 hits for his batting average of .335. Jonah Advincula has been in a slump in the middle of the season but has quietly been productive over the last month or so. He now has a batting average of .364 with a team-leading 60 hits and 31 RBIs, he also has four homers on the season. 

Elijah Hainline leads the team with 10 home runs, he also has 34 RBIs and 49 hits for his batting average of .318. 

So far this season, the Washington Huskies have a record of 26-13, with a Pac-12 record of 11-9, putting them fifth-best in the Pac-12. The Cougs are living dangerously in the conference, with the top nine teams making the second annual Pac-12 Conference Tournament. 

The Huskies started the season by splitting their first series of the season against Santa Clara. They then went on to sweep San Jose State and four games against Northern Colorado. 

Their first Conference matchup of the season was a series victory over the Utes in early March. The Huskies then took two games off the then-ranked No. 7 UCLA Bruins. The Huskies lost the first game but rallied in the last two games to take their second Pac-12 series win. 

Their first Conference loss was against the Oregon State Beavers, who took two games off the Huskies. They followed the Beavers series with another series loss to the Arizona Wildcats. 

Washington went on to split two games with the Arizona State Sun Devils and then lost to the then-ranked No. 9 Stanford Cardinal. The Huskies’ last matchup before the Cougs was a three-game sweep of the USC Trojans. 

On the season, the Huskies are led by Will Simpson, Cam Clayton and Coby Morales. Simpson is batting .307 on the season and has 50 hits with a team-leading 15 homers and 39 RBIs. Clayton is hitting .333 with nine homers and 32 RBIs off 59 hits. Morales has 31 RBIs with seven homers and 47 hits.

Pitching for the Huskies is led by Stu Flesland III, Kiefer Lord and Jared Engman. Flesland has pitched 60.1 innings on the season and has struck out 59 batters. He has allowed 30 runs on 62 hits this season to give him his 4.48 ERA. Lord leads the team with 66 strikeouts this year, his ERA is 3.76 with 30 runs on 45 hits.

If the Cougs want to take the series against the Huskies, they need to get runs on the board early and keep the lead once they get it. The Cougs also need their bullpen and closers to step up in the series to pound the zone and keep the Huskies off the base path. 

After the Apple Cup series, the Cougs will head to Berkeley, California to take on the Cal Golden Bears for a three-game series starting Friday. The first pitch is set for 6:05 pm.