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

Oregon Ducks score seven in eighth inning to beat WSU 8-4

Wilford spins 7.0 quality frames, nightmare eighth-inning plagues Cougs
Connor Wilford throwing a pitch in the snow against Rhode Island, March 2, in Pullman, Wash.

As the sun set, the hits began to fall, Friday at PK Park in Eugene, Oregon.

The Cougs entered the eighth inning with a slim 2-1 lead after WSU starter Conner Wilford and Oregon starter Grayson Grinsell had spun quality starts up to that point.

Facing senior right-hander Brock Moore, Alan Shibley pinch hit for Casen Taggart with the bases loaded and sent the ball sailing to center field for a two-RBI single.

With a 4-1 lead, all the Cougs needed was six more outs.

They sent Wiflord back out to protect his lead. What followed ensured WSU baseball (21-32, 9-21) would lose its final series of the season to No. 20 Oregon (37-16, 19-11) 8-4.

Wilford, making his final start in the Crimson and Gray was excellent for WSU, making perhaps his best start of the season (through 7.0 innings).

Through 7.0 innings, Wilford allowed one earned run on six hits with six strikeouts and one walk with one hit by pitch.

Through three batters faced in the bottom of the eighth, he allowed a single, hit a Duck with a pitch and a two-RBI double to Jacob Walsh that ballooned his earned run count to three on six hits with two hit-by pitches. Walsh scored on the WSU bullpen’s watch, but counted against Wilford’s final line.

With a one-run lead, the Cougs turned to their pen. Kaden Wickersham got the chance to get three outs with a man already at second.

He hit his first batter and then Oregon bunted to advance both runners into scoring position.

Freshman Maddox Molony singled up the middle to score both. Oregon 5  WSU 4.

Now trailing by two, WSU turned to freshman reliever Rylan Haider to get the final two outs to get out of the inning.

Haider hit his first batter as well and then allowed Bryce Boettcher, the hometown hero from South Eugene High School, to hit a three-run home run. Oregon 8 WSU 4.

Haider struck out Ryan Cooney before allowing another single.

Andrew Baughn entered, needing to find one more out. He had a base stolen out from under his nose and allowed a single before forcing Walsh to fly out to finally end the inning.

The Cougs went quietly 1-2-3 in the ninth in a series of line or flyouts and WSU lost any chance it had at the Pac-12 baseball tournament.

Joey Kramer cranked another solo shot in the fifth inning and Kyle Russell walked aboard and scored on a Logan Johnstone single in the sixth.

WSU lost a far less interesting game the next day on Oregon’s senior day.

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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.
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.