Cougs host Apple Cup on Friday

WSU baseball will face in-state rivals UW in hopes of ending a four-game losing streak



Junior Dillon Plew walks back to the dugout at the end of the eighth inning during a game against the University of Oregon April 12 at Bailey-Brayton Field.

SAM GRANT, Evergreen reporter

WSU baseball faces its in-state rival, the University of Washington Huskies, this weekend for a three-game Apple Cup series at home in Pullman.

The Cougars (8-31-1, 1-16-1) are coming off being swept in three games from No. 2 Oregon State.

Despite the losses, the Cougars gave the Beavers good competition, going 16 innings with them on Saturday’s contest and holding them to only two runs on the series finale on Sunday.

The Huskies (21-18, 7-11) most recently beat Seattle University in a single game 6-1, along with a 2-1 three-game series win against the Arizona State Sun Devils’ ballclub.

The last time the two in-state rivals met, UW took two of the three games against the Cougars, but WSU has a much different team this year.

WSU Head Coach Marty Lees said he was fired up about the Apple Cup series against the Huskies.

“I felt very good about the way we competed all three days [against OSU] in some fashion,” Lees said. “I thought that at the plate, on Friday night was outstanding against, arguably, one of the top five pitchers in the [nation], we just gave up too many runs.”

Freshman left-handed pitcher Tyson Guerrero played a crucial role in extending the game to 16 innings against OSU as he pitched 6 2/3 innings without giving up a run, starting in the ninth.

“I felt pretty good about it,” Guerrero said. “Coming in and pitching from right-field, I felt pretty good about that and felt good doing it.”

Guerrero said he was excited about the way the Cougars played against Oregon State last weekend and was optimistic about the Huskies this weekend.

“We just need to go out there and work harder,” Guerrero said. “We have been getting a lot of losses despite our hard work, but I know a win will come out if we work as hard as we did against OSU.”

Despite the Cougars’ effort, they still came out of the three-game series against OSU without a win, making it their seventh time being swept this season.

“Errors need to be cleaned up,” Guerrero said. “Getting rid of the sloppiness is important too. Playing our cleanest game will help a lot [against UW].

Lees said he was ready for the in-state rivalry series, as it landed on a special weekend for his senior players.

“We go graduation [this weekend too],” Lees said. “Three of our guys and a manager are graduating this weekend, and were on TV, so all the stars are aligned to have a great crowd. I get excited for a series with our in-state rival, especially the Apple Cup.”

This will surely be a competitive weekend between one of the most competitive rivalries in college sports.

“Typically, we go out for the same kids recruiting wise in the Northwest,” Lees said. “A lot of these kids know each other from playing summer and high school ball.”

With graduation going on at WSU and the Cougar players being fresh out of finals week, the atmosphere in Pullman will be unique with the Huskies in town.

First pitch for the three-game series is set to be at 7 p.m. on Friday at Bailey-Brayton Field, with contests on Saturday and Sunday as well.