Baseball team bags win in first game at Bailey-Brayton

12 runs in first inning allow Cougars to control game against Purple Eagles

Junior+left-handed+pitcher+Tanner+West+pitches+on+Thursday+evening+at+Bailey-Brayton+Field.

TONY NGUYEN

Junior left-handed pitcher Tanner West pitches on Thursday evening at Bailey-Brayton Field.

DONOVAN BLAS, Evergreen baseball reporter

The Cougars won their first home game of the season in a dominating fashion, putting up a double digit 16-7 victory over the Niagara University Purple Eagles Thursday night.

WSU (6-6) showed up to the plate recording 16 runs and 19 hits and every starter, except for the pitcher, got a hit against the Purple Eagles (5-5). 

“We set the tone in the first inning, it’s strange to have that many hits in the first inning,” head coach Brian Green said. 

Junior left fielder Justin Van De Brake went 3-4 from the plate with his second grand slam of the season, a double, seven RBIs and a single, putting him a triple shy of the cycle. 

“I honestly wasn’t doing anything different; I just did what I normally do,” Van De Brake said. 

In the bottom of the first, WSU found ground early having runners on first and third by an error from the shortstop and a single. Sophomore first baseman Kyle Manzardo then hit an RBI single to put a runner on third and make the game 1-0. 

Junior right fielder Collin Montez reached first base from an error by the second baseman putting runners on first and third and bringing in a run making it 2-0. 

A two RBI double from Van De Brake would make the game 4-0 in WSU’s favor. A follow up RBI single from redshirt sophomore catcher Jake Meyer would make the game 5-0. 

A sacrifice bunt and a single put runners in scoring position. Then sophomore second baseman Garrett Gouldsmith hit a sacrifice fly, making the game 6-0. 

Cougars had bases loaded from a single and a walk. Manzardo hit a two RBI double to make the game 8-0. With bases loaded again due to a walk, Van De Brake hit his second grand slam of the season, extending the lead 12-0. 

In the top of the third, the Purple Eagles answered with a leadoff double and an RBI single, making the game 12-1. With a runner on third from a single and error on junior third baseman Jack Smith, Niagara then hit a two RBI single to make the game 12-3.

However, the Cougars responded in the bottom of the third with Montez’s third homer of the season, making the game 13-3. With runners on first and second due to a hit by pitch and walk, an RBI single from Gouldsmith made the game 14-3. 

In the top of the sixth, Niagara had runners on first and second from a single and a walk. A fly out and RBI single made the game 14-4.

In the bottom of the sixth, a single and a walk put runners on first and second. A fielder’s choice put runners in the corners. An RBI single from Van De Brake made the game 15-4. With bases loaded from a walk, sophomore shortstop Kodie Kolden hit an infield single to make the game 16-4. 

In the top of the ninth, the Purple Eagles led off with a homer, making the game 16-5. Then after an error by Smith and three walks, a run was brought in making the game 16-6. Then an infield RBI groundout made the game 16-7. The Cougars ended the game with an out at home plate and a ground out for the win.

WSU looks to take game two of this four-game series at 3:05 p.m. PST on Friday at Bailey-Brayton Field in Pullman.