BENJAMIN MICHAELIS | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE
After being on the road for three straight weeks, Cougar baseball returned to Pullman on Friday where they picked up a 3-1 win against Cal State Northridge in their home opener.
Freshman right-handed pitcher Brandon White got the nod for WSU (5-7). He’s been nothing short of phenomenal this season with a 1-0 record in three appearances including seven innings of no hit baseball against Santa Clara.
The Cougar defense backed up White to get the first inning off on the right foot as senior infielder Andres Alvarez turned a quick double play to get him out of the inning.
Junior infielder Dillon Plew lined a single to center field in the bottom of the first but WSU couldn’t get him home and the game would remain scoreless through one inning of play.
A fantastic catch from freshman outfielder Koby Blunt in his collegiate debut would highlight the second inning for the Cougars.
Through three innings, White managed to give up just one hit and made the Matadors (7-7) lineup look silly trying to swing at his fastball.
The offense broke through early in the bottom half of the third inning. Freshman infielder Kyle Manzardo launched a flyball to center field to score Plew, sophomore outfielder Collin Montez lined an RBI single and senior catcher Rob Teel collected his second hit of the day to give the Cougs a 3-0 lead.
Redshirt senior infielder Kyle Barret put the Matadors on the board in the fourth with an RBI double down the left field line to reduce WSU’s lead to two runs.
The Cougar defense continued to make one great play after another including a full extension diving play by sophomore infielder Garrett Gouldsmith to close the top half of the fifth.
White would be done for the day after five innings, giving up one run on three hits and striking out three.
After six innings, the bats went silent on both ends with neither team able to produce any sort of offense as the score remained 3-1 WSU.
Cal State Northridge also looked dominant on defense. Despite a rough third inning, both the infield and outfield made multiple highlight reel plays and the pitching looked sharp.
Freshman right-handed pitcher Zane Mills came in during the seventh inning and struck out the side.
CSUN senior right-handed pitcher Walker Armstrong continued to pitch through seven innings but the CSUN offense couldn’t get anything going.
Armstrong would complete the eighth inning throwing 130 pitches but the Matadors would drop the series opener.
The Cougars will face CSUN 1:05 pm Saturday at Bailey-Brayton Field in the second of a three game series.