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

Cougs and Zags combine for 29 runs; WSU scores just 7

WSU takes worst loss of season in Spokane
Jacob Morrow timing up the pitcher on the on-deck circle, March 2, in Pullman, Wash.

Gonzaga won the game in the first inning. Scoring 14 runs before recording their third out of the plate, 17 batters stepped into the box to face a collective of three different WSU arms. If the Bulldogs stopped scoring from there, they would have still taken down the Cougs. 

WSU baseball (17-14, 7-8 Pac-12) lost to Gonzaga (11-18, 7-2 WCC) by a blowout score of 22-7. The six-run third inning from the Cougs, while albeit impressive, did little to determine the outcome of a game that seemed lost as their starting pitcher left the mound.

Ryan Orr got the nod for his first career start at WSU, but it will be a start he will unlikely be writing home about. 

Orr walked the first batter he faced on four pitches. From there, he gave up a single and a walk that scored a run on an error. With two men on and no outs, Jordan Hamberg took the sophomore righty deep for a three-run home run. That marked the end of the night for Orr. 

In his first career start, he pitched 0.0 innings, walked two and gave up four earned runs. It took just 18 pitches and the Cougs were in a hole. 

Head coach Nathan Choate turned to Rylan Haider out of the bullpen, but it became more of the same.

Double. RBI Double. RBI Single. Walk. Like that, Choate had to turn to the bullpen again. Haider did not get an out and Carson Judd trotted out to replace him.

Judd eventually got all three outs in the frame, but not before Gonzaga did quite a bit more damage.

Single. Strikeout. RBI Walk. RBI Groundout. RBI Single. Double. Walk. Grand Slam. Groundout. 

That grand slam capped off a 14-run outpour for the Zags, who did nothing less than skyrocket two different WSU pitchers’ ERAs and eventually faced a total of seven different arms in the win.

With the pitching mightily struggling, the first two innings for the offense were stagnant as the Cougs went six up, six down. 

But in the third inning, they started to show some life. Things started with a leadoff home run by Cole Cramer, who has been the quiet offensive MVP in 2024. His blast sparked a rally for the offense, scoring six total runs to cut the deficit down to a still-insurmountable 14-6 lead for Gonzaga. 

Gonzaga scored a run in the bottom of the third inning. It had not altered the outcome beyond quickly driving another dagger into the heart of any potential comeback for the Cougs. 

If that run broke the back of WSU, the bottom of the fourth was kicking them in the back after they surrendered. Over and over again. 

The inning started with a single, strikeout and walk. Then Choate made another pitching change. Two walks and a single brought in a run and loaded the bases for Josh Hankins, who delivered for the Bulldogs’ second grand slam of the night.

From the fifth inning on, both teams scored a run to come out with a final score of 22-7. 

Seven different WSU batters had at least one hit, with Max Hartman being the only to finish the day with a multi-hit game, but overall the offense had struggled outside of that big third inning. 

The Bulldogs hit .600 with runners on, hit .526 with runners in scoring position, 3-for-5 with the bases loaded and .429 with two outs.

WSU will need to flush the loss as they return home for a weekend series against Cal. Starting at 6 p.m. Friday, the Cougs and Golden Bears will play three games over the weekend at Bailey-Brayton Field.

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About the Contributor
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.