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

Cal spoils Wilford’s quality start with 10-run ninth inning

Umps spend 40-plus total minutes reviewing plays during Cougs loss
Crew Parke lightly tosses the ball over to first play to get an out during the first inning of a game against Cal, April 12, in Pullman, Wash.

For over 40 cumulative minutes, the umpire crew of Saturday’s WSU-Cal baseball game spent time in the replay booth and huddled amongst themselves to make sure they were making the right decision. 

The longest of those breaks came in the eighth inning. After starting pitcher Connor Wilford got one out but allowed multiple runners on base, head coach Nathan Choate brought in relief pitcher Spencer Jones with runners on first and third.

On a comebacker back to the mound, Jones caught the runner on third stranded in a pickle. After some back and forth, the runner tumbled into Jones and home plate, leading to his ejection from the game. 

After the Golden Bears third base coach joined in getting ejected and over 30 minutes of deliberation from the umpires, the umpires overturned the call and called obstruction on the Cougs. Choate got ejected for arguing the overturned call and the Cougs were now down 3-2. 

That delay and advantage for Cal started a butterfly effect that made the final score a blowout victory on the side of the Golden Bears. All said and done, Cal (19-14, 7-10 Pac-12) beat WSU (17-16, 7-10) by a final score fo 13-5. 

Wilford pitched into the eighth inning while striking out seven batters and WSU scored a trio of runs in the bottom of the ninth in the 13-5 loss, but Cal secured the series victory with one final contest remaining.

The Cougs struck first. In the bottom of the third, Max Hartman hit a double deep into the right-centerfield gap to drive in Jack Weise, a lead they held for over half the game. Later, Cole Cramer drove a ball down the left field line in the bottom of the seventh for a RBI double to give the Cougs a 2-1 lead, their final lead of Saturday’s game. 

Wilford started the game on the mound for the Cougs, pitching a scoreless game until the seventh inning and retiring the first six batters he faced. He faced the minimum through four and after battling through the seventh inning and allowing just one run, he came out for the eighth inning.

To end the game, Alan Shibley hit a two-RBI triple to give the Cougs their second and third runs of the frame, but WSU fell short in the game. 

Nate Swarts and Crew Parke had multi-hit games and seven of the nine starters for WSU each had at least one base hit in the loss. 

WSU and Cal play once more. First pitch is set for 12:05 p.m. Sunday at Bailey-Brayton Field in Pullman. 

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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.