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Cougar Baseball gunning to sweep UCLA

Good morning. Well ain’t this something? A WSU baseball team that started the season on a somewhat promising note, then began Pac-12 play with a plummet that would make the 2016 Carolina Panthers envious has suddenly taken a drastic turn for the better.

This weekend’s victim is the UCLA Bruins. Saturday, the Cougars rode solid pitching and consistent hitting to beat UCLA 7-3. The game was tight for the first four innings, but the Cougs used the fifth and sixth innings to run away. Following a two-run fifth inning, Shane Matheny drove in two runs to make it a 5-2 ballgame, and JJ Hancock doubled in Matheny. UCLA would not threaten again.

Cody Anderson turned in another quality outing, going five-and-two-thirds innings, allowing only four hits and two runs. Anderson improved his record to 5-2 and lowered his season ERA to 2.72. Colby Nealy was solid in relief, and Scotty Sunitch recorded the final two outs to clinch the win.

In the batter’s box, leadoff hitter Andres Alvarez provided a great spark, collecting three hits and scoring two runs. Shane Matheny and James Rudkin both drove in two runs each, providing more production from their third and fourth spots in the lineup.

Since the Cougars went to Tempe and lost all three games to drop their record to 2-10, they’ve totally redeemed themselves. They have now won eight of 11 Pac-12 games, taking two of three against Washington, Utah and Oregon, and now winning the first two games against UCLA. At 10-13, they sit one game in the loss column behind fourth-place Arizona.

Winter may be coming, however, as the Cougs close out conference season with a road series at highly-ranked Oregon State, followed by a home series against second-place Stanford. For now, they are looking to sweep a UCLA team thought to have a legitimate shot at the NCAA tournament.

First pitch is at high noon, and is televised on the Pac-12 Networks.

One more thing - I’d like to wish my mom and all other moms a Happy Mother’s Day. In true blogger fashion, I don’t know where I’d be if she hadn’t let me send all of these dispatches from a dimly-lit corner of her basement.


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