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Baseball defeats Gonzaga, football takes the field for spring practice day 6

A pinch hit home run pushed Cougar baseball past their I-195 rivals, while Cougar football put on the pads for an up and down day on the practice field.

James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

It was a busy day on the Palouse for WSU sports. It started Tuesday afternoon when WSU football took the field for their 6th spring practice and ended late Tuesday night with a good win for WSU baseball over at Bailey-Brayton Field.

Spring Practice

The receivers didn't have the greatest start to practice, but they picked it up later on. "We dropped some in drills," Leach said following practice, "But we caught it well in team [practice]."  Jacob Thorpe of the Spokesman Review was at practice and offered more on the performance of the receiving corps.

The Cougars spent some time working on deep routes with the constraint that the receivers must catch the ball over their outside shoulders. The receivers didn't take to the drill, only successfully pulling off the maneuver and completing the catch two of the first nine times.
So, after the receivers dropped the ball (yeesh) during the early drills, they started to heat up during the WR vs. DB drill. Dom Williams made a nice play early to pluck a ball high out of the air before Charleston White could make an attempt on it and Daniel Lilienthal, one of the team's strongest receivers, ripped a ball away from Sinchak. Gabe Mark even made a beautiful outside-shoulder grab on the same route the unit struggled with earlier. Lilienthal and Marks each followed with impressive end zone catches once the offense moved into the red zone, with Marks laying out to make the catch despite getting the wind knocked out of him for awhile.

On the subject of quarterback play, Leach had nothing but good things to say about the performance of his gunslingers in his post practice interview.

They all did well. Hilinski's learning the offense, getting sharper and sharper. I thought... you know... Bender's really explosive as far as... You know, his team period is his best period, when he plays decisive. And then Falk just overall manages the team. He's not really a guy that ever really hits two bad shots in a row.

Leach also added that he felt the team "played hard" and "had a lot of enthusiasm." So, you know, it was like most Leach press conferences.

Cougar Football Continues Spring Practice, Day 6 - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
Washington State football continued spring practice Tuesday afternoon with a two-hour workout in helmets and shoulder pads on Rogers Practice Field and in Martin Stadium. Also including practice video and video from Leach's media session.

WSU receivers redeem themselves, and then some | The Spokesman-Review
Washington State's receivers struggled mightily early in Tuesday's practice. That didn't last long.

WSU spring football: Graham Harrell imparts knowledge to Cougars’ QBs and receivers - - April 8, 2015
You can make the quarterback an outside receivers coach, but you can’t get the outside receivers coach to stop teaching the quarterbacks. Or something like that.


On Tuesday the Cougars went into the 6th locked in a 1-1 game with Gonzaga, but they didn't leave the 6th that way.

After a Wes Hatten single, and an Ian Sagdal intentional walk, Patrick McGrath pinch hit for Wes Leow and the junior infielder came up big with a big fly over the left field fence. Those would be all the runs that the Cougs would need and they'd tie up the 2 game season series with Gonzaga with a 4-2 victory. The victory also gave Donnie Marbut his 300th win as WSU's manager.

WSU's starter Scotty Sunitsch pitched 5 innings of 2 hit, 1 run ball and received a no decision. The game was closed out by Ian Hamilton who gave up 2 hits and 1 run in his inning of work, but managed to shut the door for his 8th save of the season.

The Cougs will return to the friendly confines of Baily-Brayton on Thursday when they welcome Washington for a 3 game series. All 3 games can be seen on the Pac-12 Networks.

Patrick McGrath’s Three-Run Blast Lifts Cougars - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
Patrick McGrath’s pinch-hit, three-run home run in the sixth proved to the be the difference as Washington State defeated Gonzaga 4-2 in a nonconference game Tuesday at Bailey-Brayton Field. Including links to highlights and a Donnie Marbut post game interview.