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

WSU offense pops off for 20 runs in blowout of USC

Cougs tally 19 hits in quick rout of Trojans
Grant Taylor throws a arching curveball to a batter in the first inning of a WSU baseball game, March 3, in Pullman, Wash.

The left side of WSU’s infield had standout performances Friday, finishing a combined 8-for-11 at the plate and driving six combined runs in a 20-run outing overall for the offense. 

WSU baseball (21-27, 9-16 Pac-12) got back in the win column with an emphatic 20-8 win over the USC Trojans (22-27, 12-12) Friday at Bailey-Brayton Field. 

Kyle Russell and Cole Cramer, the shortstop and third baseman duo, each tallied four hits in the win and Russell even took a ball over the fence for his second home run of the season. 

WSU had failed to score double-digit runs just once in the past month, but the team kept believing and Russell said Friday had just been a result of sticking true to the process. 

“Sticking to our process, sticking with our offense,” Russell said. 

Ace Grant Taylor got the Friday nod yet again for the Cougs. He posted a solid start with a final line of 5.0 innings, five runs, seven strikeouts and two walks. Despite not being on his best game — far from it — Taylor pitched well enough to not spoil the offense’s great night. 

“He gives us confidence and we give him confidence,” Russell said. “He’s been lights out all year.” 

After allowing one run in the top of the first, WSU scored in the bottom of the first after Max Hartman led off the inning with a home run and three singles drove in another. 

In the bottom of the second, the first seven batters got on for WSU, scoring four runs. By the end of the inning, the Cougs had touched home six times and took a commanding 8-3 lead. After adding another run in the bottom of the third, WSU’s bat became quiet for two frames. 

But the sixth inning turned out to be their best. 

Three extra-base hits, two walks and three singles later, the Cougs scored nine runs in the inning, all with two outs. 

Scoring nine runs put WSU ahead 18-6. Both teams scored a pair of runs the rest of the way, but it did little to change the outcome of the 20-8 blowout. 

Despite losing by double digits, the Trojans did not play badly. Overall, they hit .395 (17-for-43) and hit .300 (6-for-20) with runners in scoring position; their biggest downfall came from an inability to extend innings. 

With two outs, USC managed just two hits to the Cougs impressive 10 base knocks. 

Winning keeps the postseason alive for the Cougs and winning by 12 makes a statement. The series continues Saturday for the second game.

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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.