Cougars Take One from Trojans, Lose Series in Los Angeles

After losing the final two against UCLA and dropping the non-conference game to Portland, WSU headed to the Golden State, to take on a tough USC team. The Cougars dropped the first two of the three-game series but salvaged one in the finale. WSU (24-22, 11-16) has one more series to go in the 2021 season and it is the Apple Cup, that will be played at home at the end of next week, into the weekend. Here is a recap of all three games against the USC Trojans.

Game 1: WSU 6 – 8 USC

The Trojans had a six-run fourth inning, and that was too much to topple, even with a late-game WSU rally.

Brandon White saw his record drop to 5-4 overall after losing the opener as the starter. He went five innings, allowing six earned runs on nine hits, striking out and walking four Trojans. The bulk of USC’s runs came off of White, with two relievers doing a solid job after White’s exit, only allowing one run, and giving WSU a shot to come back.

WSU was able to bring the tying run to the plate in several late innings, but it wasn’t quite enough to overcome the eight runs that USC put up. The top three batters in the WSU lineup all put up multi-hit performances (Kodie Kolden, Kyle Manzardo, Tristan Peterson). Manzardo had two RBIs and Peterson went yard again, adding three RBIs in game one.

Game 2: WSU 2 – 3 USC

Much like game one, WSU was able to make a push at the end, putting the tying run on in the final inning, but once again, losing a close one, their fifth loss in a row.

Also like game one, the starting pitcher saw their record fall to 5-4, and this time it was Portland-native Zane Mills. He went six plus innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on seven hits, striking out six. The bullpen was strong again, keeping it close with help from Connor Barison and Michael Newstrom. Newstrom appeared for the 31st time this season, tying Matt Bower and Sam Triece for the most in WSU history.

Shortstop Kodie Kolden had himself two doubles and an RBI, right fielder Jacob McKeon had two singles and catcher Jake Meyer had an RBI single, but it was not enough in game two.

Game 3: WSU 13 – 2 USC

The finale was a great one for the Cougars. WSU put up 13 runs on 20 hits to snap their five game losing streak and gain a little momentum ahead of the UW series.

WSU starter Grant Taylor earned the win after a solid performance in game three. He went five innings of five hit ball, allowing one earned on three strikeouts and no walks. Three relievers helped the Cougars get back to their winning ways. Michael Newstrom broke the WSU record for appearances in a season with 32!

An offensive masterpiece in the finale. Kodie Kolden had four hits, three Cougars had three-hit games, and two more had two-hit games. The outfield put on a show in the contest. Left fielder Nate Swarts had three hits, including a double and four RBIs. Center fielder Collin Montez and right fielder Jacob McKeon each had two RBIs.

Up Next: WSU (24-22, 11-16) finishes the regular season against UW (17-27, 3-18) for three at home, Thursday-Saturday, May 27th-29th.

(Photo via WSU Athletics)

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