BENJAMIN MICHAELIS | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE
A change in scenery didn’t slow down the WSU baseball team Thursday. The Cougars blew out University of Nevada, Reno, 16-2 on the road in the first of a three-game series.
The series between the two teams was moved to Reno due to snow in Pullman.
Once again, freshman infielders Kyle Manzardo and Kodie Kolden shined on the field. The pair drove in a combined seven runs to help lead the Cougars (3-6) past the Wolf Pack (6-2).
Freshman right-handed Brandon White started the game for the Cougars. He pitched four innings, allowing two earned runs and five hits while striking out two batters.
The Cougars got off to a fast start in the top of the first inning. Manzardo grounded out to first base to score on junior infielder Dillion Plew from third base, giving WSU an early 1-0 lead.
Nevada responded in the bottom of the inning with an RBI single to tie the game up.
With two outs in the second inning, sophomore outfielder Brody Barnum hit his first home run of the season to give WSU its second run of the game. The Cougars would later load the bases but sophomore outfielder Jared Thurber was thrown out at home, ending the team’s scoring chance.
WSU blew the game wide open in the third inning, scoring four runs to take a 6-1 lead. Thurber drove in a pair of runners on a bases-loaded single and Barnum and Kolden each had an RBI.
This forced Nevada to take out starting senior left-handed pitcher Dalton Gomez after three innings.
The Wolf Pack would score their only other run of the game in the bottom of the fourth inning on a solo home run to left-center field.
The Cougars brought in freshman right-handed pitcher Zane Mills after the fourth inning. He earned the win in the game, throwing 2 2/3 innings of no-hit baseball.
WSU tallied four runs in the sixth and seventh innings to take a commanding 14-2 lead. The Cougars got their first two runs in the sixth after Nevada walked five-straight WSU batters. Kolden drove in the other two runs on a single to score Manzardo and senior catcher Rob Teel.
Sophomore infielder Garrett Gouldsmith hit a two-run homer to open the scoring for the Cougars in the seventh. Manzardo came to the plate two batters later and blasted a two-run home run of his own to complete the scoring for WSU in the inning.
Thurber scored on a passed ball in the eighth inning to secure the 16-2 victory for the Cougars.
Mills, redshirt junior right-handed pitcher Davis Baillie and sophomore left-handed pitcher Bryce Moyle combined to no-hit the Wolf Pack in the final five innings of the game.
Kolden went 2-6 with three RBI, Manzardo finished 1-4 with four RBI and Gouldsmith hit .500 and drove in three runs.
First pitch for the second game of the series is set for 1 p.m. Friday at Peccole Park.