Eighth inning rally by Cougars falls short

WSU has lost four games this season by one run



Sophomore left-handed pitcher AJ Block follows through with his pitch during a game against Saint Mary’s on March 8 at Bailey-Brayton Field.

RYAN BLAKE, Evergreen reporter

WSU baseball fell 5-4 to University of Arizona on Friday, extending its losing streak to six games.

Sophomore left-handed pitcher A.J. Block started on the mound for the Cougars (4-13, 0-4). He allowed three runs over four innings on six hits and two walks while striking out four.

The Wildcats (12-9, 1-3) scored runs in the first, second, fourth, sixth and seventh innings to build a 5-0 lead over the Cougars.

WSU spread four hits and a walk over the first seven innings and failed to capitalize on its opportunities.

The Cougars scored four times in the eighth inning to shrink Arizona’s lead to just one run. Senior outfielder Derek Chapman led off the inning with a single. Junior infielder Andres Alvarez was then struck with a pitch and sophomore infielder Dillon Plew was walked to load the bases.

Junior infielder Justin Harrer stepped to the plate and singled to right field to bring in Chapman and Alvarez.

Senior outfielder Blake Clanton followed by reaching first base on a ground ball and later advanced to second on a wild pitch. This put runners on second and third with two outs, as senior first baseman James Rudkin stepped up to bat. He singled through the left side to score Plew and Clanton.

The Cougars’ rally came to a close when senior outfielder J.J. Hancock struck out with runners on first and third to end the inning with the score at 5-4.

WSU looked to complete the comeback in the top of ninth. With one out, junior catcher Robert Teel reached second on a throwing error by the Wildcats. Senior outfielder Danny Sinatro followed with a hit-by-pitch to put runners on first and second.

Alvarez struck out before Teel was thrown out at third base attempting to steal, sealing the Wildcats victory.

The Cougars have now lost four games this season by one run. The second game of the series is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. Saturday.