Baseball wins first series, misses sweep

Cougars struggle to conquer the mound and use five pitchers in the final game of the series

Then-sophomore+left-handed+pitcher+A.J.+Block+throws+a+pitch+during+the+game+against+Saint+Mary%E2%80%99s+on+March+8%2C+2018+at+Bailey-Brayton+Field.+The+next+Cougar+baseball+game+will+be+on+Thursday+at+Bailey-Brayton+Field.+++++

OLIVER MCKENNA | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

Then-sophomore left-handed pitcher A.J. Block throws a pitch during the game against Saint Mary’s on March 8, 2018 at Bailey-Brayton Field. The next Cougar baseball game will be on Thursday at Bailey-Brayton Field.

Donovan Blas, Evergreen baseball reporter

After two convincing wins, the Cougars fell short in three-game sweep as they lost 6-1 to the Rutgers University Scarlet Knights at Peoria Sports Complex in Peoria, Arizona.

WSU had its struggles from both the mound and plate. Five players finished with zero hits and four players recorded one hit.

Cougar’s freshman starting pitcher Ethan Ross struggled early giving up four hits, three runs and two walks along with two errors. WSU went through five pitchers within the nine innings.

The Scarlet Knights started off strong with a runner on third due to a single and throwing error from Ross. An RBI double down the right field line brought in a run giving them a 1-0 lead.

With a runner on second, an RBI single brought another run in giving Rutgers a 2-0 lead.

In the second, junior pitcher Hayden Rosenkrantz relieved Ross after he gave up a single, a sacrifice bunt and a walk putting a runner on second.

Rosenkrantz then gave up a run on a walk and hit by pitch making the game 3-0.

The Cougars tried to get going in the bottom of the second by getting a runner on third. An RBI sacrifice fly from redshirt sophomore Jake Meyer brought in WSU’s first run of the game making it 3-1.

In the top of the fifth, junior pitcher Bryce Moyle came in for Rosenkrantz who totaled one hit, two walks and two strikeouts through 2.1 innings.

With two outs in the bottom of the sixth, WSU had runners on second and third from two walks and a hit by pitch. However, a strikeout led to the Cougars leaving the inning with the bases loaded.

After giving up a leadoff single in the seventh, Moyle was replaced by junior pitcher Brody Barnum. Moyle recorded one hit, one run, two walks and one strikeout through 2.1 innings.

With a runner on first, Barnum gave up a walk and two hits by pitches bringing in a run making the game 4-1.

Senior pitcher Owen Leonard replaced Barnum. A wild pitch from Leonard brought in a run making it 5-1 and put runners on second and third. An RBI bunt single brought in a run giving Rutgers a 6-1 lead.

In the ninth, WSU put a runner on first on a single with one out but was stopped by a double play ending the game in a 6-1 loss.

The Cougars return to host their first home series against the Niagara University Purple Eagles at 3:05 p.m. PST Thursday at Bailey-Brayton Field in Pullman.