The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

Baseball falls flat to Texas State; Wins Karbach Round Rock Classic

Despite blowout loss, Cougs still weekend winners
WSU pitcher Grant Taylor throws a pitch during an NCAA baseball game against Arizona, April 16, 2023, in Pullman, Wash.

“It was a good game through five,” head coach Nathan Choate said. “Credit to them. They grinded out some good at-bats. That’s a good club over there.” 

WSU baseball (5-2) was well on its way to sweeping the weekend, already taking down No. 24 Kentucky and Kansas and holding a 4-1 lead over Texas State (4-3) in their final game of the Karbach Round Rock Classic.

But, in the bottom of the sixth inning, the Bobcats found a new gear and swung the momentum. Batting an entire time through their order before the Cougs recorded their first out, a nine-run inning proved the big difference in the 13-4 loss for WSU. 

Spencer Jones got the nod for WSU, his second start of the season. Jones started strong and finished with a line of 5.0 innings, four hits, two strikeouts and two earned runs. He went out for the bottom of the sixth inning but got pulled just before the floodgates opened. 

Three separate pitchers finished with 0.0 innings on their line, all during that sixth-inning meltdown. 

WSU got out to an early lead. A three-run first inning looked to set the tone for what could have become a big win. After Max Hartman opened the game with a groundout, Kyle Russell and Alan Shibley both drew walks. 

Casen Taggart came up to the plate and tagged a ball to right-center, a two-RBI triple for his first and only extra-base hit of the weekend. Cole Cramer drove in Taggart with a single before innings end, giving the Cougs a 3-0 lead before Jones ever saw the mound. 

Entering the top of the sixth with a 3-1 lead, Taggart forced a bases-loaded walk to drive in the game’s final run for the Cougs. 

Then, the team imploded in the bottom of the sixth. 

Single. Single. Single. Single. Hit by pitch. Walk. Hit by pitch. Walk. Single. Single. Sacrifice Fly. Walk. Fly out. Line out

In that order, Texas State won the game. Not by hitting monster home runs or even big extra-base hits, but by finding holes for singles and taking the free 90 feet the WSU pitching staff kept giving them. 

“The free passes and hit-by-pitches hurt us. For the most part, I think we played 25 of the 27 innings this weekend pretty clean; we just had to break down in the inning or two in the sixth and seventh,” Choate said. 

During the loss, WSU struck out 11 times and left 14 men on base. However, they drew seven walks. The Cougs pitching staff tallied just three strikeouts while also walking seven and hitting three batters. 

Taggart and Cramer both had multi-hit games, Taggart extending his hitting streak to five games in the process and Cramer extended his on-base streak to all seven games this season. Although he finished 0-for-3, Shibley’s drawn walk in the first inning extended his on-base streak too to all seven games of 2024. 

 Despite the big loss to close the weekend, WSU still won the Tournament overall, their 2-1 record tied with Kentucky’s, the Cougs winning due to their head-to-head success over the Wildcats. 

“A great weekend for us. A lot to learn from. A lot to build off of. All in all, it was a great experience,” Choate said. 

It’s the first in-season Tournament win for WSU since 2010, when Donnie Marbut coached the program. 

WSU had four Tournament honors. Joey Kramer won the Tournament MVP, with Grant Taylor, Shibley and Kaden Wickersham earning All-Tournament honors.

Following the weekend, the team has a quick turnaround. Quickly looking ahead, the Cougs and No. 5 TCU Horned Frogs (7-0) will duke it out starting at 4 p.m. Tuesday in Fort Worth, Texas. Then, the Cougs return home for their first homestead, starting at 4:05 p.m. Friday, the first of a four-game set against Rhode Island.

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About the Contributors
BRANDON WILLMAN, Multimedia editor
Brandon Willman is a junior multimedia journalism student from Vancouver, Washington. He started working as a sportswriter for the Daily Evergreen in Fall 2022 and worked as copy editor in spring 2023. Brandon was elected to be the Editor-in-chief starting in summer 2023 and served in the position from May 2023 to February 2024 before transitioning to the role of multimedia editor. He enjoys watching sports, backpacking, and watching horror movies.
COLE QUINN, Evergreen Sports Photographer
Cole Quinn is a photographer and columnist for the Daily Evergreen. Cole primarily shoots sports for the Daily Evergreen and writes album reviews in his spare time. Cole is a junior broadcast production major and sports communication minor from Snoqualmie, Washington. Cole started working for the Evergreen in the fall of 2020 as a photographer. Cole was the Photo Editor during his sophomore year and Deputy Photo Editor for the fall 2022 semester.