Eighth inning rally not enough as WSU falls to Oregon

Cougs score six runs late, lose 11-8 to Ducks



Freshman right-handed pitcher Trevor Ichimura throws a pitch during the game against Oregon on Friday at Bailey-Brayton Field.

SIGMUND SEROKA, Evergreen reporter

A six run eighth inning wasn’t enough as WSU baseball fell to Oregon 11-8 on Saturday at Bailey-Brayton Field.

The defeat means the Cougars (7-25, 0-11) remain winless in conference play through 11 games.

Head Coach Marty Lees said he is not happy with his team’s performance through two games against Oregon (21-12, 7-4) and both losses have been equally as tough.

“They all stink,” Lees said. “Every. Single. One of them.”

Junior left-handed pitcher AJ Block started for the Cougars. Block held the Ducks batters at bay until the top of the third inning when Oregon outfielder Tanner Smith hit a home run to give the Ducks a 1-0 lead.

The problems began for WSU in the top of the fourth when they gave up two runs, one from a dropped fly by junior center fielder Danny Sinatro and then a second run from a missed fielding opportunity by junior third baseman Dillon Plew.

Through four innings, the Cougars had only three hits and no runs.

In the top of the fifth, Oregon sophomore outfielder Evan Williams hit a home run to increase the Ducks lead to 4-0.

The top of the sixth could be considered the nail in the coffin for WSU as Oregon junior shortstop Spencer Steer hit a grand slam to extend the lead to 8-0.

Sophomore left fielder Collin Montez hit a double to left-center field in the bottom of the sixth to bring home Sinatro and score the first run of the game for the Cougars.

Freshman designated hitter Kyle Manzardo then hit a single to center field to score Montez and pull the Cougars within six runs.

Oregon answered right away as freshman third baseman Sam Novitske hit a two RBI single to give the Ducks a 10-2 lead in the top of the seventh.

WSU managed to get the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth to set up Manzardo for a three RBI double to right-center field to bring the score to 10-5 with only one out on the board.

Freshman catcher Koby Blunt then hit an RBI single and Plew pulled out a two run double to bring the Cougars within two runs of the Ducks at 10-8.

Oregon freshman second baseman Max Foxcroft hit a one run double to give the Ducks an 11-8 lead in the top of the ninth to seal the victory.

Lees said the team played better Saturday but couldn’t avoid simple errors that cost them the game.

“We continue to do senseless things,” Lees said. “The three errors in one inning … there’s two freebies right there where we’re just out of an inning and it’s 1-0. We just continued to give up runs.”

The Cougars will look to avoid being swept in the series finale 12:05 p.m. Sunday at Bailey-Brayton Field.