Baseball

Cougars Take One of Three From 13th-Ranked Arizona

The Cougars took on Arizona this past weekend in sunny Pullman. WSU shocked the No. 13 team in the nation in game one with an offensive masterpiece. Game two and three saw more of a level battle with Arizona winning both games. WSU’s record now sits at 17-14 overall, 5-10 in conference play. Here is a recap of all three conference games against Arizona.

Game 1: WSU 21- 2 Arizona

A blowout against a strong Arizona ball club was not expected by most, but the Cougars dropped a 21-spot on the Wildcats to take game one of the three-game series. The offense was phenomenal, but let’s not forget the gem spun by starter Brandon White and company.

White’s record improved to 5-2 after going five plus innings, striking out three, and only giving up two runs. Three other Cougar relievers worked together to shutout the Wildcats after White exited.

Now let’s dive into one of the best offensive performances WSU has seen in quite some time. WSU collectively had 23 base-hits, tying for the sixth-most in program history, the most since 2010. WSU scored 15 runs in the first three innings. Overall, the 21 runs scored by the Cougars tied the ninth-most runs in school history, and the most against a Pac-12 school since 2002.

Chase Silseth, Arizona’s starting pitcher, was handed his first lost on the season at the hand of the Cougs. Third baseman Jack Smith had his best career day, going 4-4 with two doubles and three RBIs. Jacob McKeon (two doubles, HR, six RBIs), Kyle Russell (double, two RBIs), Jake Meyer (triple, double, RBI) and Justin Van De Brake (three RBIs) all collected three hits. Collin Montez and Kodie Kolden both had two hits of their own and five RBIs combined.

Game 2: WSU 8 – 13 Arizona

Arizona got back to their winning ways on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. The Cougars got off to a strong start and were up 2-0 in the second inning, but Arizona was able to tie it up and run away with it throughout the remainder of the contest.

Starter Zane Mills was tagged with the loss in this one, evening his record as a pitcher at 3-3. He went five and a third innings, allowing eight earned runs on 11 hits, striking out seven. Michael Newstrom was solid in relief, but Connor Barison was not able to put away the Wildcats in a close late-game contest, giving up five in the ninth.

Justin Van De Brake (2-4) and Collin Montez both went yard in the second inning. Jake Meyer scored and walked twice. Kodie Kolden, Kyle Manzardo and Van De Brake all had doubles in game two of three.

Game 3: WSU 8 – 14 Arizona

Eerily similar to game two, a second consecutive slugfest at Bailey Brayton went the Wildcat’s way again in the series finale. Pitching for the Cougars was mediocre at best, and even though WSU’s bats were solid, Arizona’s hitters were thriving as well.

Tyler Hoeft got the nod as the starter. He gave up three earned runs in only two and a third innings. It was Dakota Hawkins who was given the loss in the finale. It was the long ball that hurt the Cougars, giving up four on the game (two solo, two two-run homeruns)

Justin Van De Brake and Tristan Peterson were the two standouts on the offensive side. Van De Brake had five RBIs, including a three-run homer which brought the game within three runs in the eighth inning. Peterson went 3-4, scoring three times. Every WSU player recorded at least one hit in the game except for pinch hitter Keith Jones II, who only got one at-bat.

Up Next: WSU (17-15, 5-10) heads to Berkley to take on the California Golden Bears (18-16, 5-7) for a three-game series next weekend.

(Photo via WSU Athletics)

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