WSU baseball invades Tri-Cities for BYU showdown


Junior outfielder Yale Rosen looks on during a home game against Cal, Sunday, April 5.

The city of Pasco is about to experience a heat wave. The WSU Cougars travel from Bailey-Brayton Field to play a single game tonight against the Cougars of Brigham Young University. 

The game, called the Cougar Diamond Classic, will count as a home game for WSU. It will also be the team’s next chance to continue its six-game winning streak. 

Heading into the Cougar Diamond Classic, the Cougars hold fourth place in the Pac-12, a testament to their recent hot streak. 

“We just have to worry about BYU and play good baseball on Tuesday, and then we’ll have an opportunity to play a great Oregon State team,” Head Coach Donnie Marbut said.

BYU won a three-game series last weekend against the University of the Pacific, but the BYU Cougars are fresh off of a loss in the third game of that series. They enter the Cougar Diamond Classic with a 12-21 record. 

Offense has come easily for BYU this season, as the team has averaged almost five runs per game with an average of .288. Six hitters, who have all played in at least 24 games this season, are hitting above .300, and junior Dillon Robinson has posted a .430 average and a .538 slugging percentage. 

WSU’s starting pitching staff was stalwart against the California Golden Bears, giving up two runs total over three games. Even though the final game of that series went into extra innings and required the services of more pitchers than normal, senior starter Jason Monda doesn’t think pitching will be an issue heading into Tuesday. 

“I think we should be fine,” Monda said. “Our first two starters, Joe and Tanner, did an awesome job going late in the game. I thought we did a good job of starting pitching this week and saved our bullpen, so we should have some guys that are able to throw some innings on Tuesday.”

Even if the pitching struggles, the Cougars will have plenty of support toward the top of their lineup. Junior outfielder Yale Rosen, reigning Pac-12 Conference Player of the Week, went 7 for 10 in the team’s series against California, and sophomore outfielder Trek Stemp went 5 for 13 over the weekend with five runs scored. 

Both Rosen and Stemp have provided reliable defense as well. Neither player has made an error this season. Rosen also remains the only player on the roster to have started all 28 games for the Cougars this season. 

The first pitch of the Cougar Diamond Classic is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at Gesa Stadium.