Cougars outlast Zags

WSU has won four of its last six games


RYAN PUGH | Daily Evergreen file

Then redshirt junior left-hander Damon Jones pitches in a game against Cal State Northridge on March 25, 2017 at Bailey-Brayton Field in Pullman.

RYAN BLAKE, Evergreen reporter

Home runs by junior infielder Justin Harrer and junior catcher Robert Teel helped lead WSU baseball to a 4-3 victory over University of Gonzaga on Tuesday in Pullman.

Head Coach Marty Lees said there were things the Cougars (8-15) could have done better, but he liked the way his team performed overall.

“I felt good about it,” Lees said. “When it was all said and done we played great defense, we made the pitches we had to make, even though there were some stressful ones.”

WSU jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Junior infielder Andres Alvarez drew a seven pitch walk to reach first base, stole second and then reached third on a throwing error. Harrer followed with a two-run line drive homer to left field.

Freshman left handed pitcher Bryan Moyle made his first career start after seven appearances out of the bullpen.

Moyle allowed the Bulldogs (13-14) to load the bases with one out in the top of the second inning. Gonzaga scored on a sacrifice fly to left field before Moyle got a batter to groundout to escape the inning with WSU leading 2-1.

Freshman right-handed pitcher Hayden Rosenkratz came on in relief in the third and worked a scoreless inning. He allowed Gonzaga to load the bases with one out in the fourth before getting a double play to get out of the inning unscathed.

Sophomore left-handed pitcher A.J. Block took over in the fifth inning. He walked the first batter on four pitches before giving up a single.

A fielder’s choice put runners on first and third with one out. Block was called for a balk while attempting to pickoff the runner at first, allowing a runner to score and tying the game at two.

With junior right-handed pitcher Nick Strange on the mound in the seventh inning, Gonzaga senior infielder Jake Vieth homered off the scoreboard in left centerfield to give the Bulldogs a 3-2 lead.

The Cougars responded quickly, tying the game at three in the bottom of the seventh. A single, an error and an intentional walk loaded the bases with one out for WSU. Freshman outfielder Collin Montez stepped to the plate and hit a sacrifice fly to right field to score sophomore infielder Dillon Plew from third and even the score.

Gonzaga threatened in the eighth inning. After the first two batters were retired, the Bulldogs loaded the bases on a hit by pitch, a walk and a single. A shallow fly ball to left field looked like it would fall to the ground, but Harrer made a diving catch to keep the game tied.

Teel leadoff the bottom of the eighth inning with a home run to right field and senior right-handed pitcher Ryan Walker sealed the victory with a scoreless ninth inning.

Teel said it was exciting to be the deciding factor in a tight game.

“It was a fastball high and out, and I knew the wind was blowing out to right,” Teel said, “so that’s all I was trying to do in my approach — throw one out to right field, and it caught the wind and went out.”

WSU has now won four of its last six games and will look to continue its success at 6 p.m. Friday when they play University of Oregon in Eugene.