Baseball continues shaky start to season

Cougs drop first game of doubleheader against Gaels, trail in second contest after play was suspended due to darkness



Then-sophomore infielder Dillon Plew watches the ball as he holds his follow-through during game three of the series against California on April 14, 2018 at Bailey-Brayton Field.

KATIE ARCHER, Evergreen reporter

WSU baseball lost 14-8 to Saint Mary’s Gaels in the first game of a doubleheader Saturday at Louis Guisto Field in Moraga, California.

The second game of the doubleheader was suspended due to darkness. The Gaels lead 6-2 in the eighth inning.

In the first game, the Cougars (0-2) leadoff hitter, junior first baseman Dillon Plew, started the game with a stand-up double.

Junior centerfielder Danny Sinatro then hit a sacrifice bunt and the Saint Mary’s pitcher overthrew the throw to first base allowing Sinatro to go to second and Plew to come home for the first run of the game. The Cougars got one more run to go up 2-0 after the top of the first.

The Gaels (2-0) scored on an RBI double by junior outfielder Ryan Novis.  After the first inning, WSU led 2-1 with rain falling.

In the second inning, WSU drew back-to-back walks and freshman third baseman Kodie Kolden laid down a sacrifice bunt to load the bases for Plew.

Plew hit a fly out allowing sophomore outfielder Brody Barnum to score seconds before being tagged. Sinatro hit an RBI single which brought home freshman catcher Anthony Notaro to score.

WSU led 4-1 going into the bottom of the second. The Cougars prevented the Gaels from scoring in the second as the sun came out and rain stopped falling.

In the third, freshman designated hitter Kyle Manzardo connected on a pitch and smashed a home run over the right field fence for his first career home run and first WSU home run of the season. The Cougars led 5-1.

In the fourth, WSU had its first inning without scoring a run going three up and three down.

The Gaels tried to get something going in the bottom of the fourth with no outs and the bases loaded. A long hit to centerfield forced Sinatro to try to make a diving play which he failed to do. This allowed one run to score.

On a bunt, freshman left-handed pitcher Ky Bush flipped the ball to Notaro for the first out of the inning and the bases were still loaded.

The Cougars saw their first pitching change of the game as redshirt junior right-handed pitcher Davis Baillie took over for Bush. Saint Mary’s took the lead scoring seven runs in the fourth inning to go up 8-5.

Sophomore outfielder Collin Montez hit a solo home run over the right field fence in the fifth inning to bring the Cougars within two runs.

In the sixth, Plew hit an RBI single to score Barnum and make it an 8-7 game in favor of the Gaels.

The Gaels lead 8-7 heading to the bottom of the sixth. Cougars had another pitching change. Freshman Connor Barison made his debut with a strike out.

With one out in the bottom of the sixth inning, Saint Mary’s junior outfielder Joe Varanesh hit a stand-up double and later scored to extend the lead.

The Gaels loaded the bases with one out as the rain returned. On a passed ball, the Gaels scored another run.

The game went on a rain delay for over an hour and Saint Mary’s led 10-7. Freshman left-handed pitcher Tyson Guerrero made his debut on the mound after the rain delay. Guerrero got two strikeouts with runners on second and third to end the inning.

In the bottom of the seventh, Saint Mary’s scored a run to make the score 11-7 going into the eight. WSU had another pitching change putting sophomore Michael Newstrom on the mound.

The Gaels would score three more runs in the eighth to take a 14-7 lead into the final inning.lead on a triple to center field. The Gaels finished the eight leading 14-7.

Montez would blast another ball out of the park in the ninth inning to secure his second home run of the game but it wasn’t enough as WSU fell 14-8.

The Cougars got off to a fast start in the second game, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first inning. The Gaels would score one run in the bottom of the inning to make it 2-1 in favor of WSU.

The Gaels added two runs in the second and three in the fourth to take a 6-2 lead.

Freshman right-handed Zane Mills made his collegiate debut in the fourth inning. He struck out five batters over 3.1 scoreless innings.

Before the eighth inning started, the game was suspended due to darkness. The game will resume at 11 a.m. Sunday and the series finale will follow.