Washington State finished their 2021 season on a high note, taking down the rival Huskies in two out of three games. The Cougars concluded their season with a 26-23 overall record, their first winning record since 2015. In conference play, WSU won 13 games, which was also their most since 2014. After a few games originally scheduled against UW were postponed in March, the games were played these last few days in Pullman. It is always nice to win against the Huskies, and it is certainly big things ahead for Brian Green’s squad. Here is a recap of the season’s last series win against UW.
Game 1: WSU 8 – 1 UW
Junior Brandon White ended his solid pitching season on a very strong note. White (6-4, W) went six innings of three-hit ball, allowing one run (unearned) on six strikeouts. Michael Newstrom came in and worked two scoreless innings, adding onto his season-leading total in appearances.
Senior third baseman Jack Smith continued his success in game one. Smith was 3-4 at the dish, with two RBIs and a run scored. Second baseman Preston Clifford went big fly for hist first on the season. Left fielder Nate Swarts (two doubles, two RBIs) and short stop Kodie Kolden (RBI) both had multiple hits. Speaking about Kodie Kolden, he was named a Brooks Wallace Award semifinalist (1 of 30), an award given to the best shortstop in the nation.
Game 2: WSU 7 – 14 UW
Cougars dropped the middle game by a touchdown on Friday. Zane Mills was Friday’s starter, who finished his year at an even 5-5 record. He was only able to go three innings, giving up six earned on six hits. Walks killed the Cougars in this one. Throughout the five pitchers used, 13 walks were issued to the Huskies. Three defensive errors were also committed by the Cougs.
Despite the loss, five Cougar hitters recorded multi-hit games. Kodie Kolden, Kyle Manzardo, Jacob McKeon (two RBIs), Nate Swarts and Preston Clifford all had two base hits on the day.
Game 3: WSU 9 – 1 UW
A sunny season finale went the Cougars way in front of 560 faithful fans. A masterpiece on both sides of the ball was a great way for WSU to finish their solid, much-improved season.
It was Taylor Grant who started and got the win for the Cougs. Finishing his season with an undefeated 3-0 record, he went five plus innings, allowing one earned on four hits, striking out four Huskies. Three relievers were used in the finale, shutting out UW (which is always a beautiful thing to say).
Outfielder Collin Montez and designated hitter Tristan Peterson were the stars of Saturday’s midday show. They each tallied three base hits, and a double. Peterson and Kyle Manzardo had two RBIs, respectively.
Season Standout: Offense
Junior Kyle Manzardo – .365 avg, .640 slug %, 43 runs, 72 hits, 19 doubles, 11 home runs, 60 rbi
Season Standout: Starter
Junior Zane Mills – 5-5, 4.15 era, cg, 80.1 ip, 83 so, 50 runs (37 earned), 22 bb
Season Standout: Reliever
Senior Michael Newstrom – 2-1, 2.89 era, 34 app, 28.0 ip, 32 so, 17 bb
(Photo via WSU Athletics)