Baseball falls short against Bruins

Cougars scored two runs in final inning to narrow lead, left 13 runners on base in game



Freshman infielder Jack Smith follows through with his swing as he watches the ball during the game against St. Mary’s Thursday afternoon at Bailey-Brayton field.

RYAN BLAKE, Evergreen reporter

WSU baseball dropped its Pac-12 opener 6-5 to No. 16 University of California, Los Angeles, on Friday.

Junior infielder Andres Alvarez doubled to lead off the top of the first inning before eventually scoring on an error by the Bruins (11-4) to put the Cougars (4-10) on the board first.

The Cougars scored again in the second inning when consecutive singles by senior outfielder J.J. Hancock and senior first baseman James Rudkin put runners on the corners. Hancock would later score on a passed ball to give WSU a 2-0 lead.

WSU loaded the bases in the third inning and sophomore infielder Dillon Plew scored on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Hancock to extend its lead to 3-0.

Redshirt sophomore left-handed pitcher Isaac Mullins started on the mound for WSU. Mullins ran into trouble in the third inning when the Bruins put runners on second and third with one out. A single cut the Cougars lead to 3-1 before an ensuing double tied the game at three.

The game remained tied until the bottom of the sixth when the Bruins took a 6-3 lead. UCLA scored three runs after three singles and a double off sophomore left-handed pitcher A.J. Block.

WSU threatened in the seventh inning with runners on second and third base but failed to convert. The Cougars again looked poised to score in the eighth after loading the bases with two outs, but left the bases loaded.

WSU finally closed the gap in the ninth inning after junior infielder Justin Harrer homered and sophomore catcher Cal Waterman hit a groundout to make it a 6-5 game with two outs and a runner on second.

Junior first baseman Wyatt Segle would then hit a pop up to end the Cougars’ comeback hopes and give the Bruins the victory.

The Cougars outhit UCLA 12-10 in the game but stranded 13 runners on base in the loss.

The three-game series continues 2 p.m. Saturday at Jackie Robinson Stadium in Los Angeles.