Cougs up, Knights down

Donovan Blas, Evergreen baseball reporter

WSU baseball continues its win streak with a game two win of the three-game series 10-2 against the Rutgers University Scarlet Knights in Peoria, Arizona.

In the victory, the Cougars (5-5) continued their offensive fire, putting up 10 runs along with 11 hits. In the third, junior left fielder Justin Van De Brake hit a grand slam, the first of the season for the team.

From the mound, senior pitcher A.J. Block recorded 10 strikeouts and gave up two walks, one run and four hits. He got his first win of the season (1-1) and second career win through six innings pitched.

In the top of the second, Rutgers (4-5) started off with the bases loaded on two singles and a walk with one out. Senior second baseman Kevin Welsh hit an RBI single to give the Scarlet Knights an early 1-0 lead.

However, in the bottom of the second, WSU answered with Van De Brake on first due to a walk, and he scored on an RBI double from junior catcher Tyler Lasch tying the game 1-1.

In the bottom of the third, the Cougars had bases loaded produced by two walks and a single.

Van De Brake then hit his grand slam to give the Cougars a 5-1 lead. Van De Brake finished 2-4 from the plate with five RBIs, two runs and a home run.

In the fourth, the Scarlet Knights looked to bounce back with runners on second and third with no outs. Block came back and retired the next three batters with strikeouts.

WSU’s momentum shifted into the bottom of the sixth with a runner on third due to a single and error on the pitcher.

An RBI fielder’s choice put junior designated hitter Gianni Tomasi on second from an error by second base and bring in a run, making the game 6-1.

In the seventh, sophomore pitcher Connor Barison relieved Block. Rutgers put a runner on third from a triple, which was brought in by a wild pitch, making the game 6-2.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Cougars added on to their lead with an RBI single from sophomore shortstop Kodie Kolden, extending the lead 7-2.

From a wild pitch, another run was brought in for WSU to make the score 8-2.

In the bottom of the eighth, WSU had runners on first and second off two walks. Van De Brake added an RBI single making the game 9-2.

A flyout and wild pitch brought in WSU’s final run of the game giving them a 10-2 lead.

In the ninth, Rutgers had runners on second and third from two singles. But WSU closed the game with two strikeouts and a groundout.