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Cougar Baseball misses a great opportunity

One darn inning away!

Good morning, and Happy Mother’s Day to all of you moms out there. For those of you whose mom is still living (probably most of you), I hope that opening sentence wasn’t your first clue as to the day’s significance. If it was, get off the electronic device and go grab a card and flowers immediately. Or just make a phone call. Up to you.

Your Washington State Cougars baseball team must have (hopefully) saved the bouquets for Sunday afternoon, as the result on Saturday was one that not even a mother could love. After falling behind early, the Cougs rallied behind the big bat of Kyle Manzardo, whose fourth inning, three-run home run put WSU ahead 4-3. After the teams exchanged jabs over the next few innings, the Cougars had emerged with a 6-4 lead, and were a mere three outs away from another win over a ranked team. That’s when the proverbial wheels came off.

Any time you hold a slim lead and start a defensive half of an inning by hitting a batter, giving up a single and throwing a wild pitch, it’s probably a sign that things are going to end badly. UCLA’s top of the ninth became just that, as WSU suffered death by a thousand paper cuts - there were no extra-base hits - with some hit batters sprinkled in. After using only three pitchers on Friday, WSU coach Brian Green could not pull the right levers while trying to hang on for a win Saturday as he used seven different pitchers, including three in the ninth alone. In all, WSU threw 199 pitches. I’m no expert, but that seems like a lot!

The worst part is that another win over a ranked team was there for the taking, and now that we’re getting down toward the end of the season, the Cougars need these kinds of wins to bolster any chance they have at making the NCAA tournament. WSU now stands at 10-13 in the Pac-12 - good for ninth place - and 23-18 over all.

There’s good news and bad news in terms of the schedule. The good news is that every game currently on the schedule is winnable, as WSU has three-games sets with the USC Trojans and Washington Huskies, both of whom sit below the Cougars in the standings. There’s also one midweek game against Portland - 4th place in the WCC - as well as a three game series against “TBD.” You’d think that would be set by now, but apparently not. Aside from the trip to L.A., all games are at home, which is great.

So let’s get the rest of the season started off well with a series win on Sunday, Cougs. First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m., and you can stream it through WSU’s website.

Baseball

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The Cougars (23-18, 10-13 Pac-12) took a 6-4 lead into the ninth inning but UCLA evened the series with three runs on four hits and a pair of hit-by-pitches.

Basketball

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This Week in Parenting

Seeing as how it’s Mother’s Day, the boys showered Mrs. Kendall with love, affection, gifts, breakfast in bed and bottomless mimosas. Well, either that or they managed to sneak in a “Happy Mother’s Day” between episodes of Bob’s Burgers and concocted some sort of poster that they hung for her in the kitchen. There was a neighborhood brunch that may or may not have violated local policy, but since she’s vaccinated Mrs. Kendall happily took part. Then it was back to reality, or in this case, baseball practice.

The boys were excited for baseball this weekend because they both got new bats for the first time in probably four years. The key, I told them, it to actually use it to hit the ball, which the 12 year-old doesn’t seem to be a fan of when facing live pitching. Put him in BP with the coach on the mound, and he’s Mickey Mantle. Put him in a live game against a 14 year-old and he resembles Han Solo in carbonite. I don’t know what the answer is, but the journey continues.

May 7 was also Military Spouse’s Day, which I learned on May 7, because that’s just the kind of guy I am. Military spouses are the true backbone of the force, and Mrs. Kendall is no different. While idiots like yours truly are off in far-flung places for months at a time, it’s up to the spouse to keep everything humming along back home, to include playing the role of both parents with little-to-no relief. In our case, Mrs. Kendall playing the role of mom and dad usually results in a more positive outcome on most days, as I’m not around to screw up a schedule or misplace a water bottle. But let me tell you, Mrs. Kendall is going through it right now, as are many others. So here’s to all of them, who sacrifice so much while their significant others are away.

Non-Sports

How ‘Crash’ Propelled Dave Matthews to the Stratosphere - The Ringer
With an un, oo, un oo ee oh, Dave Matthews Band released their second studio album, ‘Crash,’ 25 years ago and never looked back.

They Hacked McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines—and Started a Cold War | WIRED
Secret codes. Legal threats. Betrayal. How one couple built a device to fix McDonald’s notoriously broken soft-serve machines—and how the fast-food giant froze them out.