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

Coug at his core, Cole Cramer’s path to WSU a dream come true

Up and down Washington, Cramer finds home in Pullman
Cole Cramer running off the field after the Cougs win, March 2, in Pullman, Wash.

As the Cougs get the final out of every game they play, win or loss, one thing will be consistent: Junior infielder Cole Cramer will hop on a call with his father to talk about how the game went. That tradition even extends to practices on most days. 

His family, especially his dad, are his biggest supporters. They can count on one hand how many games they’ve missed this season and those phone calls after every game is what Cramer said he looks forward to most during the season.

“They’re huge supporters of me. They come to almost every single game, crazy enough. Especially my dad, he’s my biggest supporter throughout my entire baseball career,” Cramer said. 

Growing up in Arlington, Washington, Cramer has always been a Coug fan. Despite his mom being a graduate of University of Washington, he and his daycare provider were fans of the Cougs. 

Coming out of high school, WSU had not been an option for Cramer. Perfect Game graded Cramer as the sixth-best shortstop in Washington in the class of 2021 and 38th overall player in the state. 

He chose to attend Linn-Benton Community College to stay close to his roots in the Pacific Northwest while having the opportunity to grow his game in preparation for a chance to compete at a D-1 level. 

“It’s JUCO. It’s a grind,” Cramer said. 

His grind paid off, after hitting .310 with a .767 OPS over two seasons, he finally got a call late in the transfer cycle from new Coug head coach Nathan Choate asking if he was still interested in becoming a Coug. 

“Getting the offer was a surreal experience, it was a straight forward call and after it ended it only took two minutes to talk to my family and make the decision,” Cramer said. 

Grinding a JUCO schedule also made him well-equipped for the grind of a D-1 season while keeping him motivated for each and every outing, despite long travel schedules.

“It never is, ‘Oh man, I have to go play Washington.’ No, it’s, ‘I get to go play the University of Washington this weekend,’” Cramer said. 

Changing teams and acclimating to a new atmosphere had not been the biggest concern for Cramer. Part of the reason he fell in love with baseball is the year-round opportunities and being able to play with a new group of guys in the spring, summer and fall. 

Even when he came to Pullman, a familiar face was waiting for him: catcher Jacob Morrow, a former teammate from Linn-Benton. 

“I really got a big picture in the WSU support early in the fall, like going to a football game and seeing how sports, the school and Pullman community revolve around each other,” Cramer said. 

Being from a small town like Arlington and playing baseball at a JUCO where the stands were mostly empty for games, Cramer said coming to Pullman was a mix of everything he wanted. It was a small town that could remind him of home while having a community passionate enough to come out and support the baseball team.  

Not being the only new transfer, Cramer said the guys really took the initiative to get to know each other and create a positive team environment. 

Cramer said a lot of the guys live together throughout Pullman, the guys always hang out after practices and overall, have created an immediate bond since fall. 

“I think we have a really great team atmosphere, especially with the guys, we definitely enjoy each other’s company,” he said. “I think you can get really close to all the guys on the team and have 40 best friends. There’s a lot of love for one another and just when you can have such a good team camaraderie and chemistry together, it really shows up on the field.” 

Kaden Wickersham (L) and Cole Cramer (R) pose for a picture pregame, March 20, in Pullman, Wash.

Part of the reason the team remains tight-knit is the lack of a defined leader. Everyone has the opportunity to step up in any given situation and be a captain or give advice, with not one player dictating how things go. 

“When everyone’s a captain that’s when I feel like you can follow each other. I feel like it’s more of giving guidance to one another, and I feel like that really helps each other as a team,” he said.  

With how close he is to his teammates, every at-bat he wants to succeed for three reasons, his teammates and his family being the top things on his mind.

Cole Cramer taps the WSU logo on this helmet toward the bench for the Cougs two-strike fight approach, March 3, in Pullman, Wash.

“I want to do it for myself and I want to do for my teammates, but the thing that really drives me is my family. I want to do for my family,” Cramer said. “I love like, after a game, hopping on the phone like talking to my dad. That’s one of the things I look forward to all the time.” 

Now, 39 games and 39 starts into his WSU career, Cramer is slashing .370/.446/.534 with 16 extra-base hits. He’s been one of the most consistent players in the Cougar lineup and has tallied at least one hit in 32 games. 

With 16 multi-hit games under his belt and consistent production, he leads starters in OPS (.980), hits (54), doubles (11), total bases (78), runs (32), slugging (.534), on-base percentage (.446) and batting average (.370).

Playing all throughout the Pacific Northwest during his baseball career, Wazzu has been the dream destination and through a majority of his first season, Cramer said it has lived up to his expectations.

Cole Cramer barrels up the ball for one of his three hits in game one of the doubleheader against Rhode Island, March 2, in Pullman, Wash.
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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.