BENJAMIN MICHAELIS | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE
WSU baseball will continue its season this Thursday when they travel to Silicon Valley to take on Santa Clara in a four-game series.
Both WSU (0-4) and Santa Clara (0-3) were swept in their season opening series and are still searching for their first win of the season.
The Broncos lost all three of their season-opening games at home against San Jose State after having their games postponed due to inclement weather. Santa Clara was outscored in the series 32-18, including a 20-10 loss in the series finale Monday.
The Cougars dropped all of their games against Saint Mary’s in Moraga, California this past weekend. They were outscored 37-13.
Head Coach Marty Lees said the team has a lot to improve on after playing sloppy against the Gaels.
“We didn’t throw a lot of strikes, we hit too many people [and] we gave up too many base-hits with two outs,” Lees said. “So, we got to fix that completely.”
WSU had an ERA of 10.13 in its series against Saint Mary’s, placing them 257th in the nation out of 278 teams.
Despite the high ERA, Lees said several pitchers had strong outings, including redshirt junior left-handed pitcher Isaac Mullins, freshman right-handed pitcher Zane Mills and sophomore right-handed pitcher Hayden Rosenkrantz.
“We had some guys who made some pitches, but not the continued success we wanted,” Lees said.
WSU currently has a batting average of .164 and has driven in 13 runs off of 20 hits and 11 RBI’s.
Snow has been affecting WSU’s ability to practice outside and forced them inside to the batting cages only.
“There is no practice,” Lees said. “We’ve been inside for the last two, three weeks.”
Santa Clara is batting .280 and has four home runs so far this season.
Due to the quick turnaround between road series, Lees said he hasn’t even had a chance to look at the Broncos stats and understand their strengths and weaknesses.
“We’ll not know much until we really get there,” Lees said, “but we’re really more focused on us executing our plan.”
Santa Clara has 15 freshmen on its 46-man roster while WSU boasts 17 freshmen on its 37 player squad.
Junior outfielder Danny Sinatro said getting the freshman reps earlier on in the season will help them grow as a team.
“We’re relying on a lot of young guys, especially pitching, and taking that experience we got in the first series,” Sinatro said.
Sinatro had a batting average of .214, with three hits, three runs and one RBI in the opening series.
Sinatro was impressed with the performance of freshman infielders Kyle Manzardo and Kodie Kolden against the Gaels.
Manzardo boasts a .214 batting average this season and had three hits, two RBI’s and his first career home run in the second game of the series against Saint Mary’s. Kolden is hitting .231 with three hits and one run.
Sinatro said the team is ready for Santa Clara and optimistic about the rest of the season.
“I’m just excited to get back out there and prove what we can do,” he said.
WSU will have to watch out for Santa Clara’s leading hitter, freshman infielder Matthew Calhoun, who is batting .143.
The Cougars will battle Santa Clara in a four-game series starting 6 p.m. Thursday at Stephen Schott Stadium.