Cougars swarm Broncos with offensive onslaught

WSU scored more than 10 runs for the second straight game



After Santa Clara scores 5 runs in an inning due to numerous mistakes by Washington State, senior first baseman James Rudkin chases down the Bronco runner Friday evening at Bailey-Brayton Field.

COLIN CONNOLLY, Evergreen reporter

WSU baseball brought the offense again in game two of a series with Santa Clara University on Saturday afternoon.

The Cougars (12-20, 5-10) won the game by a final score of 11-3, putting up all their runs in the first five innings.

Senior left-handed pitcher Scotty Sunitsch got the start for WSU and went six innings, giving up just three runs. Head Coach Marty Lees said Sunitsch kept the Broncos at bay and helped the Cougars build a lead.

“We got a great start by Scotty,” he said.

The scoring started for the Cougars in the bottom of the second inning, when a two-run home run left the bat of sophomore catcher Cal Waterman.

WSU scored four more in the third inning, highlighted by a two-run, inside-the-park home run by sophomore outfielder Danny Sinatro. It marked the first inside the park home run by a Cougar since 2013.

“I got a little help with the wind and got to do what I love most: run,” Sinatro said.

Two more runs in the fourth inning and three in the fifth gave WSU an 11-0 lead. The Broncos showed a little bit of life in the sixth, scoring all three of their runs on a solo home run by sophomore catcher Jake MacNichols and a two-run shot by redshirt sophomore designated hitter Ryan McCarthy.

Junior right-handed pitcher Nick Strange replaced Sunitsch in the seventh inning. Strange threw three scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and earning his first save of the year.

Sinatro said the Cougars tried to jump on the Broncos early, and succeeded.

“This series, everything [has] come together,” he said. “It feels good.”

WSU put together a 13-hit game, the second big offensive night in a row for the team. Lees said he has seen some good at-bats from the Cougars and they are being more aggressive.

The Cougars have already won the series, but Sinatro said they want to do what they haven’t been able to do yet this year: get a series sweep.

“Whenever you have the opportunity to sweep a team,” he said, “it’s always fun.”

First pitch for the series finale is set for 1 p.m. Sunday at Bailey-Brayton Field.