Cougars toss combined no-hitter

WSU earned first series sweep of opponent this season, outscored Broncos 28-13 in three games



Senior right-handed pitcher Ryan Walker winds up to throw the ball to a California hitter April 14 at Bailey-Brayton Field.

COLIN CONNOLLY, Evergreen reporter

WSU baseball defeated Santa Clara University 5-0 Sunday to complete the series sweep as four Cougar pitchers worked together to throw a no-hitter.

Sunday’s no-hitter marks the second for the Cougars (13-20, 5-10) this season. Senior left-handed pitcher Scotty Sunitsch tossed a solo no-hitter against University of Oregon earlier this year.

This is the first time since 1976 WSU has had two no-hitters in the same season. Head Coach Marty Lees said junior right-handed pitcher Parker McFadden’s tireless hard work finally paid off.

“McFadden was really outstanding,” Lees said. “Couldn’t have asked for anything more.”

McFadden got the start and threw five innings before being relieved by sophomore left-handed pitcher AJ Block. Redshirt senior right-handed pitcher Collin Maier and senior right-handed pitcher Ryan Walker closed out the final three innings for the Cougars.

McFadden said he felt really good starting the game, and when he had to come out, he had the confidence that his bullpen could maintain the bid for the no-hitter.

On the offensive side of the ball, there wasn’t quite the same explosion WSU displayed in the previous two games, but it did what it needed to win the game.

Six walks and seven hits provided the team with enough base runners to get a couple of clutch hits and force some runs across the plate.

“I thought we really took advantage when they walked us six times,” Lees said. “Only seven hits, but we got five runs and that’s what it’s all about.”

McFadden said it took the team a little while, but now they are starting to heat up and play well together in all aspects of the game.

“I have confidence and comfort knowing my guys are playing good defense behind me and swinging really well,” McFadden said.

Lees said McFadden works so hard in the weight room and classroom that it was exciting to see it all come together. He said his teammates were pumped for him all game and everyone was proud of his performance.

Junior infielder Andres Alvarez got six hits and three walks over the weekend series. As the leadoff hitter, Lees said Alvarez set the table for the Cougars and got their offense going.

“He strived to get back to what hitter he is,” Lees said. “He’s getting better counts and being a little more patient. When he gets on, we have a chance to do some damage throughout the order.”

The Cougars will take on Seattle University at 3 p.m. Wednesday in Bellevue before heading to University of Washington to face the Huskies at 7 p.m. Friday for a three-game series.