Baseball wins game four, ties series

WSU makes comeback in final two innings to defeat Rainbow Warriors

Then-freshman+infielder+Jack+Smith+follows+through+with+his+swing+as+he+watches+the+ball+during+the+game+against+St.+Mary%27s+on+March+8+2018+at+Bailey-Brayton+field.

OLIVER MCKENNA | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

Then-freshman infielder Jack Smith follows through with his swing as he watches the ball during the game against St. Mary's on March 8 2018 at Bailey-Brayton field.

The Cougar baseball team won a thriller against the University of Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors 6-5 on Sunday.

WSU (3-5) came back from a 4-0 deficit in the 8th inning and outscored Hawai’i (7-3) 6-1 in the final two innings.

The Rainbow Warriors started the game with four runs in the first three innings. Junior starting pitcher Tanner West allowed six hits and had two strikeouts in 2.1 innings pitched. West allowed three earned runs and one unearned run off his own fielding error.

Hawai’i junior starting pitcher Brandon Ross held the Cougars to two hits through seven innings of play. Ross recorded five strikeouts and allowed two walks.

The Cougars hitting improved in the eighth inning. Two singles from redshirt sophomore catcher Jake Meyer and freshman outfielder Brady Hill led off the inning.

One batter later, junior infielder Jack Smith lined a double to the left field gap scoring both Meyer and Hill. Sophomore first baseman Kyle Manzardo followed Smith with an RBI double and cut the score to 4-3.

Hawai’i added a run in the bottom of the eighth, but the Cougars would not back down. With one out in the ninth inning, Meyer and Hill once again got the WSU offense going with back-to-back singles.

The Cougars loaded the bases after freshman second baseman Preston Clifford drew a walk. Three pitches later, Smith drove in his third RBI of the night hitting a single that scored junior pinch runner Gianni Tomasi.

The next at-bat, Manzardo hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Hill and tying the game at five. After Hawai’i changed pitchers, junior outfielder Justin Van De Brake grounded out in a fielder’s choice scoring Clifford and putting the Cougars up 6-5.

Junior pitcher Hayden Rosenkrantz came in and pitched a one-two-three inning in the bottom of the ninth to seal the win for the Cougars. Senior pitcher Owen Leonard picked up the win and Rosenkrantz earned a save.

The Cougars’ next matchup comes against Rutgers University this weekend. The first game of the three-game series against Rutgers is at 11:10 a.m. PST Friday at Peoria Sports Complex in Peoria, Arizona.