A walk-off hit-by-pitch helped WSU salvage one of the three games against the No. 24 Stanford Cardinal. The first two games went Stanford’s way, but before hitting the road again Wednesday, WSU was able to snag a conference win yesterday in unique fashion. The Cougars moved to 13-10 overall, and 2-7 in conference play.
Game 1: WSU 3 – 18 STAN
The even 100 fans in attendance at Bailey-Brayton saw an offensive masterpiece, but from the wrong side. Stanford had a total of 22 hits, helping them push a sizeable 18 runs across the plate compared to WSU’s three-run showing.
Brandon White got the nod for the Cougars in game one, where his record dropped to 3-2 overall. White went five innings, giving up seven earned runs on 12 Cardinal hits. Out of the four Cougar pitchers used in game one, none of them were able to give up less than three earned runs apiece.
A pair of WSU outfielders showed some hope for the offense in Thursday evening’s game, but that was about it. Senior Collin Montez had a two-run home run, and junior Jacob McKeon went 2-4 at the dish. Unfortunately for junior Kyle Manzardo, his on-base streak came to an end at 43 consecutive games after failing to reach base, going 0-4.
Game 2: WSU 5 – 7 STAN
Despite Stanford having four defensive errors, a three-run ninth inning helped push the Cardinal enough to take game two. WSU had themselves a one-run lead going into the ninth, but Stanford second baseman Tommy Troy hit a two-run homer off of Dakota Hawkins in the top of the ninth. That proved too little too late for the Cougars, who were not able to produce in the last half inning.
Zane Mills started for WSU on the mound, where he went seven innings, giving up four runs on seven hits. He did have ten strikeouts (third time in career), which is quite impressive versus a powerhouse offensive team in Stanford. Dakota Hawkins was tagged with the loss in the game, moving his record down to 1-4 on the season.
Kyle Manzardo got back on track in game two, going yard in the bottom of the first, which was his seventh on the season. Tristan Peterson had two hits of his own, including the go-ahead RBI single in the bottom of the seventh.
Game 3: WSU 10 – 9 STAN (F/10)
Down 8-3, WSU was able to push across five in the fifth inning, and eventually win the series finale after Tristan Peterson was hit by the first pitch he saw in the tenth, scoring Kyle Manzardo as the game-winning run.
It appears Manzardo bounced back after snapping his on-base streak in game one. After homering in game two, he went 3-4 with two doubles and two RBIs in the final game against the Cardinal. Left fielder Jacob McKeon, designated hitter Tristan Peterson and shortstop Kodie Kolden all had multi-hit games to go along with Manzardo. Those four Cougars mentioned accounted for all eight of the RBIs in the finale.
Eight WSU pitchers were used in the game, and redshirt-junior RHP Will Sierra was given the win after striking out the two batters he faced in the tenth. Altogether, WSU pitching gave up nine runs (seven earned), on ten hits, striking out 14. The outlier was the 15 walks handed to Stanford batters Saturday.
Up Next: WSU (13-10, 2-7) hits the road again to the Beehive state, as they take on Utah Valley for a non-conference show down Wednesday (4/7) and then to Salt Lake City to faceoff for three games against the Utah Utes for a Friday-Sunday series (4/9-11).
(Photo via WSU Athletics)