OLIVER MCKENNA | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE
WSU baseball opened up its season with a tough 8-1 loss against Saint Mary’s College in California on Friday.
An ugly start to the game would be enough for the Gaels to knock out the Cougars in game one of a four game series.
Despite senior Andres Alvarez getting on base with a walk, the rest of the Cougars came out flat in the top of the first inning with two flyouts to centerfield and a strikeout.
Junior left-handed pitcher AJ Block had a rough start for the Cougars surrendering four straight hits including a two-run home run to deep center followed by a hit batter before getting a double play.
By the end of the first inning, the Gaels already led by a score of 4-0.
Block would settle down after the first inning and would not give up a hit in the next three innings of play and would pick up a couple of strikeouts.
Through five innings, the Cougars would be held scoreless and Saint Mary’s still led by four runs heading into the sixth. After a harsh first inning, Block did not surrender another run but would only make it four innings.
Saint Mary’s junior left-handed pitcher Ken Waldichuk continued to pitch into the sixth inning only allowing two total base runners.
Though there was a lack of offense for WSU, they were hitting the ball hard and on a line. Unfortunately, the majority of the Cougars hits were going right to a Saint Mary’s player.
WSU’s top recruit of the 2019 class Brandon White, a right-handed pitcher drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers last year in high school, came in during the sixth inning and made quick work in his collegiate debut retiring all three batters faced.
Waldichuk continued to harass the Cougars with his mix of pitches. Through seven innings, Waldichuk had retired 16 straight hitters.
A big seventh inning for the Gaels would put WSU’s chances of winning out of reach as they would tack on four runs off of White to build an 8-0 lead.
In the ninth inning, WSU scored a run off of a throwing error to finally get on the board.
The Cougars will look to bounce back Saturday in a doubleheader against the Gaels. The first game will start at 10 a.m. and the second at 2 p.m.