Cougars dominate Scarlet Knights

Manzardo, Van De Brake, Montez combine for six hits; Mills records 10 strikeouts in 7.2 innings



Then-freshman left-handed pitcher Bryce Moyle throws a pitch during the game against Gonzaga on April 3 2018 at Bailey-Brayton Field.

Donovan Blas, Evergreen baseball reporter

WSU Baseball secured game one of the three-game series against the Rutgers University Scarlet Knights in Peoria Sports Complex in Peoria, Arizona, 9-2. 

The Cougars (4-5) offense shined recording nine runs and eight hits. Sophomore pitcher Zane Mills recorded ten strikeouts and gave up two runs and five hits though 7.2 innings. 

In the top of the second, the Scarlet Knights (4-4) had runners on second and third due to an error by sophomore first baseman Kyle Manzardo, a walk and a sacrifice bunt.  

A single to right field brought in a run and put a runner on third making the game 1-0. An RBI groundout brought in another run giving Rutgers a 2-0 advantage. 

In the third, WSU answered back with two consecutive walks and a sacrifice bunt putting runners on second and third. 

Manzardo hit an RBI groundout to bring in WSU’s first run of the game making it 2-1. 

In the bottom of the fourth, WSU led-off with a double from junior right fielder Collin Montez and a sacrifice bunt advanced him to third base.

An RBI groundout from sophomore shortstop Kodie Kolden brought in a run tying the game at 2-2. 

After Mills gave up two runs and a hit in the second inning, he controlled the game giving up zero runs, four hits and struckout seven batters.

In the fifth, WSU advanced a runner to third by an error, a wild pitch and a ground out. Junior third baseman Jack Smith then hit an RBI groundout giving WSU a 3-2 lead.

A Manzardo single and an error by the right fielder put Manzardo in scoring position. Junior left fielder Justin Van De Brake hit an RBI single making the game 4-2. Montez kept the Cougars scoring with an RBI triple to give the team a 5-2 lead. 

In the sixth, the Cougars had two outs and a runner at third. An RBI single from freshman second baseman Preston Clifford made the game 6-2. 

In the top of eighth, WSU made a pitching change bringing in junior Brody Barnum for Mills. 

WSU loaded the bases after Clifford got hit by a pitch. Smith and Manzardo reached on consecutive fielding errors from the pitcher.

An RBI groundout from Van De Brake brought in Clifford to extend the lead 7-2. With an RBI sacrifice fly and RBI single, two more runs were brought in making the game 9-2. 

In the ninth, Rutgers put a runner on first with one out, but Barison quickly stopped the Scarlet Knights with two consecutive strikeouts ending the game.