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Cougar baseball drops series opener against Utah

It was a heartbreaker in Salt Lake City

WSU Athletics

After an excellent pitching performance at Utah Thursday, the Cougs found a unique way to lose in extra innings.

Utah’s first two batters reached base in the bottom of the tenth inning, but it looked like relief pitcher Ryan Walker was going to get Washington State out of the jam. However, a fly ball was misplayed with two outs and two on, and Utah won the opening game 2-1 on a walk off.

While losing on an error always stings, WSU’s inability to get a hit with runners on base is what doomed them. In the sixth and eighth innings the Cougs loaded the bases only to come up empty both times.

It wasn’t until the ninth, when Dillon Plew drove home JJ Hancock, that WSU was able to get on the board. The Cougars missed a chance to take the lead in the same frame as two men were left stranded on base.

Starting pitcher Damon Jones came in with an era of 6.60 but had a strong outing. The junior pitched five innings with four strikeouts and gave up a lone run. The bullpen then kept a clean sheet other than the unearned run to end the game.

WSU’s offense will need to capitalize better on their opportunities if they want to take a game or two from the Utes this weekend. Outside of Cody Anderson, whose era is 2.47, the Cougs starting pitching has been unreliable. No other pitcher to start a game has an era below 5.00.

The offense has been good enough to keep them games though, and they’ve scored the fourth most runs in the Pac-12. There’s production up and down the lineup. Every batter with more then 100 at bats this year has an on-base percentage of at least .356.

The Cougs and Utes will play in Salt Lake City Friday and Saturday, with both games starting at 10:30 a.m. Anderson will start for WSU Friday, while the starter of the series finale is yet to be announced.

*****

Baseball:

Utah takes series opener, beating WSU 2-1 in 10 innings - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com
Washington State dropped the opening game of the series at Utah 2-1 in 10 innings after a game-ending error allowed the winning run to score at Smith's Ballpark Thursday afternoon.

Utah Takes Series Opener in 10 Innings - WSUCougars.com | Washington State University Athletics
Washington State dropped the opening game of the series at Utah 2-1 in 10 innings after a game-ending error allowed the winning run to score at Smith's Ballpark Thursday afternoon.

Football:

Ryan Leaf to his 21-year-old-self: You don’t know (stuff) | The Spokesman-Review
On the eve of the 2017 NFL Draft, the second-highest draft pick in Washington State history laid bare his soul.

2017 NFL draft sleepers who will exceed expectations | SI.com
Call me a West Coast homer if you want (hey, we need more of those), but I'm a believer in the Pac-12's all-time receptions leader (316), who also recorded 37 touchdown catches (second in conference history) and 3,453 receiving yards (seventh).

Rowing:

Cougars Host Top-Ranked Huskies in Final Pac-12 Tune Up - WSUCougars.com | Washington State University Athletics
No. 14 Washington State rowing is home to face the nation's top team, and cross-state rival, Washington...racing is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. at Wawawai Landing on the Snake River.

Women’s Golf:

Alivia Brown Selected to NCAA Regionals for Second Time - WSUCougars.com | Washington State University Athletics
For the second time in three years, junior Alivia Brown of the Washington State University women's golf team has been selected to compete as an individual at the NCAA Division I Women's Regionals.