WSU on the road at Utah

Cougars look to climb out of last place against the Utes, both teams lost games Tuesday



Freshman right-handed pitcher Brandon White gets the start against No. 1 UCLA at Bailey-Brayton Field on May 12.

KATIE ARCHER, Evergreen reporter

WSU baseball will face the Utah Utes at Smith’s Ballpark in Salt Lake City for a three-game series starting at 10:30 a.m. PST Thursday.

Both teams are sitting at the bottom of the Pac-12 standings with Utah (12-32, 4-23) just ahead of WSU (10-37-1, 2-21-1). The Cougars have a chance to move out of last place in the conference.

WSU comes off a 20-13 road lost to the Utah Valley Wolverines Tuesday night. The Cougars got their offense going early in the game and scored six runs in the second inning. They had a lead 13-8 going into the seventh inning.

The Wolverines scored eight runs in the seventh and four runs in the eighth inning for the win. Utah Valley shut out WSU the last three innings of the game.

The Cougars recorded a season high of 18 hits during the game. Junior outfielder Danny Sinatro, freshman infielder Kyle Manzardo and sophomore infielder Jack Smith each gave WSU three hits.

No. 1 UCLA swept the Cougars at home last weekend. Against UCLA on Sunday, WSU scored 10 runs and made 12 hits during the game. Sinatro said he liked the offensive production and pitching.

“We got a lot of young guys with a lot of talent and we got some veterans with a lot of talent,” Sinatro said. “I just like our odds every single game.”

Head Coach Marty Lees said team played good defense against UCLA but pitching needs to improve before the Cougars face Utah, because they have the talent on the mound.

“We have a good pitching staff,” Lees said. “They have not performed to what they can, but I still believe that they’re going to be one of the best around here, shortly. I believe in that every time they go pitch.”

The Utes are on an 11-game losing streak. University of Washington swept them in Seattle last weekend. They lost at home against Brigham Young 10-3 Tuesday night.

Utah led 2-1 going into the eighth inning. BYU scored five runs in the eighth inning and four more in the ninth inning. The BYU Cougars recorded 14 hits and the Utes had 11 hits.

First pitch of the series is at 10:30 a.m. PST Thursday at Smith’s Ballpark in Salt Lake City. Friday and Saturday’s games will start at 10:30 a.m. PST as well. Games can be watched on the Pac-12 Networks.