Baseball

Slugfest in St. George, WSU Sweeps Away Dixie State in Four-Game Series

Game 1: WSU 6 – 3 Dixie State

Washington State moved up to 4-1 overall after taking down the Dixie State Blazers in game one. The game was played in front of a crowd of 347 fans, and WSU had two three-run innings to help propel them over Dixie State.

As if you did not assume already, Kyle Manzardo extended his “three-year” consecutive game hit streak to 22 games after recording three hits. SS Kodie Kolden also stepped up big at the plate with three hits of his own, including two RBIs. The Blazers were up 3-0 through 7, until Kolden, and sophomores Brady Hill and Preston Clifford all checked in with an RBI each. The following inning, third baseman Jack Smith, RF Collin Montez and Kolden each brought in three more runs collectively.

Five Cougars helped take down the Blazers on the mound. Sophomore LHP Ethan Ross started and gave up one earned on three strikeouts, but what hurt him was his lack of control, and six walks. RS-junior RHP Will Sierra came in to help Ross, striking out six and giving up two runs, where only one was earned.  Senior LHP Michael Newstrom got the win, and senior RHP Brody Barnum got his first save of the 2021 season. All together in game one, WSU struck out 13 Dixie State hitters.

Game 2: WSU 19 – 5 Dixie State

An offensive explosion backed by four home runs helped WSU take game two of the four game series. Those four bombs came from Kodie Kolden (three-run homer), Kyle Manzardo (grand slam) and Collin Montez (two HRs, 3 RBI total). Kolden went 5-5 with six RBIs, continuing his impressive start to his junior campaign. Manzardo passed Cougar-legend John Olerud’s record after achieving a base hit in 23 consecutive games.

Junior RHP Zane Mills started for WSU, and went seven innings, including 13 Ks, only allowing one earned.

Game 3: WSU 15 – 1 Dixie State

Yet another offensive masterpiece put together by the Cougs, winning their third straight over Dixie State. RF Collin Montez and 1B Tristan Peterson each had three hits. DH Kyle Manzardo, Catcher Jake Meyer and Peterson all went yard. SS Kodie Kolden and Manzardo each had three RBIs, and Peterson added four himself. Yet again, Manzardo reached base safely via a base hit, extending his streak to 24 games, becoming the second longest consecutive game hit streak in WSU baseball history.

Junior RHP Brandon White was on his game through six strong innings on the bump. He had eight strikeouts, and only gave up one hit.

Game 4: WSU 10 – 3 Dixie State

It’s the first road series sweep since 2006, and first four-game road series sweep since 1993 and I bet you can guess who helped with that. Kyle Manzardo had a double and went yard again (extending streak to 25 games with at least one base hit), as well as Collin Montez, who went 3-5 at the dish.

Junior RHP Dakota Hawkins started and got the win for the Cougs. He went five innings, giving up two earned runs, while striking out five Blazer hitters.

WSU moves to 7-1 overall, and if you haven’t bought in yet to this team, time is running out. The offense is scary explosive and the pitching has been rock solid through the first two road series wins.

Next up: Four games against Seattle U (4-3). The first two games will be played in Bellevue, at Bannerwood Park, and the final two will be played at Husky Ballpark in Seattle.

(Photo via WSU Athletics)

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