The Washington State baseball team held their first home games of the season after cancelling their four game series with Sacramento State last weekend. With almost two weeks off, the Cougars had plenty of time to prepare themselves to take on Saint Mary’s of California this past weekend. They walked away with a few great plays and a split series
The home crowd was not all that big as Spring Break had just started in Pullman, but the Cougars did all they could do to entertain those that made their way out. The Cougs wont return home until the end of this month as they head to the warmer states of California and Arizona the next few weeks.
What Happened Last Weekend?
Things started off good for the Cougars as they took the home opener 7-6 in great comeback fashion. Down by three heading into the 7th inning, Jack Smith opened things off with a double which was followed up with Cal Waterman taking first after being hit by a pitch. Blake Clanton reached on an infield single to load the bases up for Dillon Plew who found the gap in right field to drive in all three runners to tie the game up at 6.
The game stayed knotted up until the 11th inning when the Cougars had Clanton on third and Plew on first. Plew took off for second and forced an errant throw which allowed Clanton to walk into home for the win.
They weren’t so lucky in the second game of the series when the Cougars had a chance to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth inning but were called for interference on the play. With the bases loaded and down by one with one out, Smith lined the ball to the shortstop and Saint Mary’s was unable to turn the double play. The umpire however ruled interference on the play and ruled Smith out which ended the game at 4-3.
With Scotty Sunitsch on the mound in the third game of the series, two senior Cougars went yard twice to help their fellow senior pitcher out. James Rudkin started things off in the second inning and Clanton followed suit in the bottom of the sixth. Sunitsch was feeling it all afternoon as he threw for 7 innings giving up one unearned run, five hits, and one walk while striking out two.
Waterman helped turn the Cougars first triple play in almost 20 years in the third game of the series when he made an impressive dive to catch a bunt and threw to first to double up the runner. Rudkin, who was at first then threw over to Andres Alavarez at second to wrap up the impressive play.
The Cougars could not make contact with the ball in the final game of the series as Saint Mary’s pitcher Ken Waldichuk struck out 12 in his seven innings and gave up just two hits and three walks. Cougar pitcher Cody Anderson didn’t have a bad day himself either as he threw seven innings giving up seven hits and two runs on four strike outs and four walks. In the final frame, Justin Harrer went opposite field with a triple and was able score on a wild pitch to give the Cougars their only run of the game.
Batter of the Weekend:
This weeks batter of the weekend goes to Blake Clanton who stepped in for the Cougars as as the DH in games two and three and was a pinch hitter in the first and final games. Clanton went 4 of 7 on the weekend, scored four times, had 3 RBI’s and managed five walks. He also had one homerun and struck out twice.
Pitcher of the Weekend:
If it was possible I would give this to Saint Mary’s pitcher, Waldichuk who struck out 12 in 7 innings. But I cant, so I’m going to go with Ryan Walker who threw in two games over the weekend and finished with 4.2 innings giving up just one hit and two walks while striking out five.
The Cougars will head to Long Beach, California on Wednesday to take on Long Beach State before heading to Los Angeles to start Pac-12 play against UCLA this coming weekend.
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