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WSU baseball drops game, series on Senior Day

Another year, another losing record

Washington State Photo Services/Dean Hare

In a game that proved to be a microcosm of the entire season, the WSU baseball team lost the rubber match of its final series Saturday, falling to Utah 12-11. Why was it a microcosm? Going into the game, WSU had lost eight conference games and 13 games overall by two or fewer runs.

On Saturday, despite battling back several times, they lost, again by one run, 12-11. How did it end? WSU loaded the bases, but grounded into a season-ending double play. Of course it ended that way. The Cougs were nothing if not resilient. At one point, they trailed 7-2, only to rally and make it 7-6. They fell further back at 9-6, but tied the game at nine in their half of the 7th.

Once again, Utah stretched the lead, pushing three across in the eighth on a three-run home run to take a 12-9 lead. Once again, the Cougars rallied, this time scoring two in the eighth to close within a run. After holding Utah scoreless in the top of the ninth, WSU had one final shot to win the series and end to season on a positive note.

When the first two batters reached base, and stood on second and third with nobody out, things were looking pretty good. They would advance no further. Following a James Rudkin strikeout and an intentional walk to Blake Clanton, Justin Harrer stepped in with a chance to send the seniors off in style. It was not to be, as he grounded into the aforementioned double play, ending WSU’s season.

The one positive note? The Cougs didn’t finish last! Despite losing two of three to the Utes, WSU finished half-a-game ahead of Utah because of, well because of that time they tied Oregon State. Hooray? Marty Lees’ squad ended the season at 16-33-1 overall, 8-21-1 in the Pac-12. They lost a bunch of close games, and now lose a bunch of seniors. Even the most optimistic fans among us would be hard-pressed to see good days ahead for WSU Baseball, at least in the near-term. Oh well. Go Cougs anyway.

Enjoy your Memorial weekend, and take a little time to think about all of those Gold Star families out there, and what they’re going through not just on Memorial Day, but every day they don’t get to see a loved one who died fighting for those who wouldn’t or couldn’t fight for themselves.


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Best beer I had this week: A little background for this one - I’m sure most of you have had a going-away party or two at your office. They usually involve lunch, maybe a cake, and hopefully some adult beverages. When you work with a bunch of Navy SEALs and Army Green Berets, this is what a going-away can look like:

Thursday, we said “goodbye” to my boss, a Navy Captain and SEAL. He arranged for us to set up in 8-person teams, jog half-a-mile along the beach, pick up a 350 lb. Zodiac boat, carry it another half mile to a boat launch, then row over two miles to the finish line. When we got done, I was soaked in a combination of sweat and seawater. Despite the fact that I exercise regularly, the next morning was a very painful one. Such is life in your 40s.

One consolation was that we were in last place (of five boats) when we hit the water, and finished in second. There was one other, much better consolation. The finish line was located at the bar, and that first Cigar City Jai Alai IPA tasted like liquid gold.

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