Cougs look to extend one-game win streak

WSU travels to USC for first of seven-game road trip to finish out April

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Cougs look to extend one-game win streak

Junior infielder Dillon Plew crouches at first base as he watches the pitch during the game against Stanford on April 13 at Bailey-Brayton Field.

Junior infielder Dillon Plew crouches at first base as he watches the pitch during the game against Stanford on April 13 at Bailey-Brayton Field.

OLIVER MCKENNA | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

Junior infielder Dillon Plew crouches at first base as he watches the pitch during the game against Stanford on April 13 at Bailey-Brayton Field.

OLIVER MCKENNA | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

OLIVER MCKENNA | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

Junior infielder Dillon Plew crouches at first base as he watches the pitch during the game against Stanford on April 13 at Bailey-Brayton Field.

KURIA POUNDS, Evergreen reporter

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WSU will start off its road trip with a stop in southern California to face USC in a three-game series starting Thursday.

The Cougars (8-25, 1-11) are coming off their first conference win against Oregon, Sunday at Bailey-Brayton during Mom’s Weekend.

Coming off a five-game losing streak with a victory against the Ducks, the Cougs hope to start the road trip off strong against the Trojans (15-20, 6-9).

USC lost a series against Utah in Salt Lake this past weekend and then won at home against Pepperdine.

Head Coach Marty Lees said he is expecting the team to perform the way they played on Sunday.

“I’d like to look into this next week 2 feet off of what we did on Sunday,” Lees said.

Lees said he is proud of his team for sticking to their roots and not giving up after the ninth inning against the Ducks.

The Cougars have struggled on the road this year, with a 4-19 record in their contests. Their upcoming road trip will consist of seven games, so it will be challenging for the team to lock down wins.

Lees said the momentum can get started with this series against the Trojans, but the previous victory over Oregon was the kicker for the team.

“It’s a one-game, so after this weekend if we can get a couple more wins, then I can start saying momentum,” Lees said.

WSU is still looking for its first Pac-12 series win this season, but taking one of three against Oregon was a great step toward a series win, which would be its first since March.

Lees said freshman right-handed pitcher Brandon White will start Thursday night, junior left-handed pitcher AJ Block will take the mound Friday and freshman left-handed pitcher Tyson Guerrero will start in the series finale Saturday afternoon.

In Guerrero’s last start on Sunday, he started out strong with three no-hit innings and helped the Cougars keep a comfortable 3-1 lead. Unfortunately, there were some bullpen problems and with a 7-3 lead in the top of the ninth inning, a grand slam forced the game into extras, with WSU somehow winning by a game-winning wild pitch.

Redshirt-junior right-handed pitcher Davis Baillie said he expects to see some more positive energy in the dugout and bullpen after their win on Sunday.

“We have good starts out of all our starters, we expect that every weekend and I think we’ll definitely see that this coming weekend,” Baillie said.

First pitch for the series opener is set for 6 p.m. Thursday at Dedeaux Field. The three-game series can be seen live on the USC Live Stream.