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

Kyle Russell dazzles in Cougar comeback attempt, but Cougs cave, lose 9-7

No. 19 Arizona walks off Wazzu Friday in Tuscon
WSU infielder Kyle Russell sprints toward home plate during an NCAA collegiate baseball game against Utah, April 1, at Bailey-Brayton Field.

Kyle Russell, in his second game back from injury, smacked a ball that found grass, not once, not twice, not thrice, but four times, with a two-run ninth-inning single to cap off his excellent night.

While, Russell did his part, joining Max Hartman (2-for-5, 2 RBI 2 R) and Joey Kramer (2-for-4 2 RBI HR) in leading the WSU offense, the Cougar pitching staff could not find enough outs to secure victory.

WSU’s four-run ninth inning, all with no outs, seemed like it was going to be the defining story of the night, but Arizona put together its own rally in the bottom of the ninth to secure the walk-off 9-7 win Friday in Tuscon, Arizona. 

Cole Cramer led off the ninth with a six-pitch walk, taking four straight balls to dig himself out of an 0-2 hole. Nate Swarts found grass on a 3-1 pitch forcing Arizona to switch pitchers.

Logan Johnstone pinch hit for Crew Parke and got hit by a pitch, setting up Hartman’s left field line two-run double to tie and Russell’s two-run single for the lead. WSU led 7-5 entering the bottom of the ninth and it seemed like the Cougs would leave Tuscon with at least one highlight win.

Wazzu backed up senior right-handed starter Grant Taylor, who had not allowed more than three runs since March 19 versus Arizona State with a 7-run performance.

Taylor pitched 6.0 innings and allowed four earned runs on five hits with two strikeouts and two walks.

Spencer Jones allowed one run on one hit and went just one out on six pitches as he was immediately replaced by Rylan Haider, who snagged four outs and allowed no runs on two hits, leaving room for WSU’s ninth-inning comeback.

Andrew Baughn threw 12 pitches in the bottom of the eighth, hitting one batter and striking out another.

Duke Brotherton got the opportunity to close it out, but the Wildcat’s ranked bats got the best of him.

Brotherton hit the lead-off batter and forced a grounder on the next pitch, but Russell was unable to turn the double play.

On a deep flyball to center, Swarts could not come up with the catch, dropping it near the wall and loading the bases.

An RBI fielder’s choice put the Wildcats within one, an RBI single tied it up and an RBI and too-late throw and tag allowed the Wildcats to walk off the Cougs for the Friday night win.

The Cougs lace up for round two versus No. 19 Arizona at 6 p.m. Saturday. Fans can watch on the Arizona livestream or listen on the Learfield WSU broadcast.

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About the Contributors
SAM TAYLOR, Evergreen sports co-editor
Sam is a senior multimedia journalism major from Lacey, Washington and the sports editor for spring 2024. He was the sports editor for the 2022-23 school year and managing editor for the summer and fall 2023. He plays the trumpet in the Cougar Marching Band, loves sports and has worked at the Evergreen since fall 2021.
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.