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Cougar baseball welcomes Santa Clara for weekend series

WSU will try to bounce back after a loss to Gonzaga

Dean Hare/WSU Photo Services

Spring has finally reached the inland northwest this week, and hopefully that will be enough to bring the Washington State baseball team out of hibernation. The slumping Cougs will take on Santa Clara for a weekend series starting Friday.

After dropping two of three against Cal last week, the Cougs fell 7-4 to Gonzaga on Tuesday. Luckily, WSU will get a break from the brutal Pac-12 schedule to face a West Coast Conference foe this weekend.

Santa Clara has a record of 16-18 this year and is just 4-11 in conference play. The Broncos knocked off Cal earlier this week but had lost 10 straight before that game. Their two best starting pitchers, Freddie Erlandson and Steven Wilson, will pitch Friday and Saturday and have ERA’s below 3.60.

WSU’s manager Marty Lees has tinkered with his struggling rotation all season and will send out Isaac Mullins, Scotty Sunitsch and Hayden Rosenkrantz this weekend. Sunitsch is unquestionably the ace of the staff with a 2.83 ERA in eight starts. Mullins and Rosenkrantz have come out of the bullpen most of the year but are being asked to step up as others have been inconsistent.

On offense, the Cougs are led by Blake Canton and Justin Harrer. Canton brings an OPS of .880 into the series while Harrer will look to his team leading total of eight home runs.

WSU and Santa Clara will begin their series at Bailey-Brayton Field, Friday at 5 p.m. They’ll continue play Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. If nothing else, it looks like it will be a beautiful weekend to watch some baseball.



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Mata’afa is undersized for a NFL defensive end but he was also on the small side for the position he played in the middle of Washington State’s line and that worked out alright. His quickness and power are best suited for the edge and his motor isn’t affected by the cold. I have the Bears picking Mata’afa in the fourth round at pick No. 105.

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