Washington State’s bats came alive in a series opening 14-5 win over Utah Thursday. The Utes pitching was no match for the Cougs, who had their highest scoring game of the season.
WSU got rolling early and lead 3-0 after the third inning. WSU starting pitcher Hayden Rosenkrantz had problems of his own, however, and Utah took a 5-3 lead in the fifth. The Cougs responded immediately as James Rudkin and JJ Hancock both hit two run home runs in the bottom half of the fifth to put WSU up 7-5.
The Cougs built on their lead later in the game to put it out of reach for the Utes. Blake Canton and Justin Harrer hit back to back long balls in the seventh while Hancock added a two run double in the eighth.
WSU has struggled at the plate at times this year, and it’s nice to see the team ending the season on a high note. The performance was so impressive that they broke out the “Grit Helmet” for the first time. A real blue collar, bring your lunch pail to work type of performance by the Cougs.
The two Pac-12 cellar dwellers will play again Friday at 4 p.m. before wrapping up the series, and the season Saturday at noon. Scotty Sunitsch will start for WSU on Friday and Parker McFadden is slated to take the mound on Saturday. Both games will be played at Bailey Brayton Field and can be watched on the Pac-12 Network.
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