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Comeback falls short for Cougar baseball at Gonzaga

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Kyle Manzardo came up big in the 9th, but it wasn’t enough in a 7-5 WSU loss in Spokane

WSU Baseball Team Huddle
WSU Athletic Communications

The last time WSU and Gonzaga met up, it wasn’t pretty for the Cougs. The Zags took an early 9-0 lead, thanks in part to a seven walk fifth inning from WSU pitching, and that ended up being the final in five innings after a serious injury to a Gonzaga player.

On Tuesday, the teams wrapped up their season series in Spokane and things started slowly for WSU. The 21st ranked Bulldogs scored four runs in the first inning and appeared poised for another run-away win. But the Cougs were able to slowly fight their way back.

Kyle Manzardo drove in a run in the third inning, then Jack Smith made it a two-run game with an RBI double in the sixth.

The Zags were able to answer in the bottom of the sixth. They scored three more to extend their lead to 7-2. But Washington State had one final push in them... Or, specifically, Kyle Manzardo had one final push in him.

The Junior drove in another run in the seventh to make it a 7-3 game. Then, in the ninth, he drove in two more with double into the gap to cut the lead down to two and bring the tying run to the plate. But that was all the Washington State offense could muster in a 7-5 loss.

The WSU offense was clearly the story in this one. Mazardo led the way with three hits and four RBI, while Smith and Jake Meyer each picked up a pair of doubles. The good news is the Cougs racked up 13 hits. The bad news is that the team also stranded eight runners on base, including three that were left on third base.

On the flip side, it was a bit of an adventure on the mound for WSU. Tyler Hoeft got the start, giving up four runs in 1.2 innings of work. From there, eight WSU pitcher made their way out of the bullpen, to varying levels of success. Connor Barison threw 2.1 innings, allowing just one hit, while Bryce Moyle ended up throwing four pitches, all balls, before getting the hook.

The loss seals a season sweep for Gonzaga over Washington State.

Next up, the Cougars will return home to resume Pac-12 play. They looking to knock off another nationally ranked team as ninth ranked Oregon comes to Pullman. That series will start Friday in Pullman and WSU will be streaming each game on their website.

Ninth-Inning Rally Held Off at No. 21 Gonzaga - Washington State University Athletics
WSU will host No. 8 Oregon this weekend.

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