After losing the series to Oregon State, Washington State continued their lengthy road trip in the Sin City against the UNLV Rebels on Tuesday and Wednesday for some non-conference action. The Cougs took Tuesday’s game, but dropped the series finale Wednesday. Nevertheless, WSU improves their record to 12-5.
Game 1: WSU 10 – 5 UNLV
WSU improved their overall record to 12-4 for the first time since 2008. UNLV put up the first run of the game in the bottom of the first, but WSU’s offense and pitching teamed up well on the Rebels and the Cougs took game one of the short, two game road series.
Redshirt-junior catcher Jake Meyer hit a go-ahead two-run home run to help propel WSU to their 12th win on the season. Sophomore second baseman Preston Clifford had two hits of his own, and junior first baseman Kyle Manzardo got on base via a single, extending his on-base streak to 41 consecutive games, which is now just one behind Brady Everett’s record of 42 (2005).
Sophomore RHP Grant Taylor made his season debut Tuesday as the starter, but it was sophomore LHP Ethan Ross who got the win. Altogether, six WSU pitchers struck out ten UNLV Rebels, allowing five earned runs over the nine innings.
Game 2: WSU 8 – 15 UNLV
Pitching woes killed the Cougs in the series finale. During the second and third innings, WSU pitching gave up nine runs on five walks and six hits. No Cougar pitcher was able to go more than two innings in game two, where eight were used in total. Those eight gave up 14 total walks to Rebel hitters.
After three, WSU was down 9-1. But thanks to some WSU offense, the Cougs came back and almost retook the lead with a six-run fifth, but due to the pitching struggles, game two was too far out of reach. Despite the loss, junior first baseman Kyle Manzardo was able to tie Brady Everett’s record of 42 consecutive games on-base. Infielders Gunner Gouldmsith and Kyle Manzardo and outfielders Keith Jones II and Collin Montez all tallied multi-hit games.
Up Next: WSU (12-5, 1-2) finishes the nine-game road trip in Tempe, facing the Arizona State Sun Devils (12-5, 4-2) for three conference games. Those three games will be played Friday-Sunday (3/26 – 28) on the Pac-12 Networks.
(Photo via WSU Athletics)