Cougars stumble in Spokane

WSU pitchers did not allow Bulldogs to score a run after fourth inning



Freshman infielder Mason De La Cruz leaps over California Freshman infielder Darren Baker in an attempt to tag him out at second during a game against California at Bailey-Brayton Field

RYAN BLAKE, Evergreen reporter

WSU baseball lost 7-4 against Gonzaga University on Tuesday at the Patterson Baseball Complex in Spokane.

Freshman left handed pitcher Michael Newstrom made his first career start for the Cougars (10-19). He came into the game with a 3.52 ERA in 11 appearances out of the bullpen.

Newstrom only pitched one inning, giving up one run, a hit and a walk as the Bulldogs (18-16) took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first.

The Cougars answered in the second inning with a run of their own. Freshman outfielder Collin Montez and sophomore infielder Dillon Plew led off the inning with back-to-back walks and senior first baseman James Rudkin followed with a single to right center field to score Montez from second.

Redshirt sophomore right-handed pitcher Davis Baillie relieved Newstrom in the bottom of the second inning. Baillie gave up a leadoff home run to Gonzaga redshirt senior first baseman Nick Brooks. The Bulldogs added two more runs on two singles, a double and a triple to give them a 4-1 lead they would not relinquish.

Freshman left-handed pitcher Bryce Moyle took over for Baillie in the bottom of the third and gave up a leadoff home run before striking out the next three batters.

In the fourth inning, Moyle allowed a single and a walk before being relieved by redshirt senior right-handed pitcher Collin Maier with two outs. Maier gave up a single and threw wild pitch to allow both runners to score and make it 7-1 Gonzaga.

WSU continued to stay in the game offensively. Senior outfielder JJ Hancock led off the third inning with a single to extend his on-base streak to 17 games. Junior infielder Justin Harrer followed with a two run homer for his eighth of the year, the most since first baseman Taylor Ard hit 12 in 2012.

The Cougars loaded the bases with no outs to begin the sixth inning on a double by freshman outfielder Brody Barnum and singles by Rudkin and Plew. But WSU was only able to plate one run on to cut the Bulldogs lead to 7-4.

WSU pitchers held Gonzaga scoreless from the fifth inning on despite giving up runs in each of the first four innings. The Bulldogs looked to score in the fourth when they attempted a squeeze bunt but were stopped when junior catcher Robert Teel tagged the runner out at home.

Gonzaga retired WSU batters in order in the top of the ninth inning to hold on for the victory.

The Cougars return home to face Santa Clara University for a three-game series starting 5 p.m. Friday at Bailey-Brayton Field.