After starting out the season hot, the Washington State baseball team has now dropped six straight games including all three against USC this past weekend. The bats have been dead while the pitching has not been able to keep runners off the bases the past few weeks.
Friday’s game against the Trojans ended with a 13-3 loss behind big 4th and 5th innings that saw the Trojans bring home 11 runs in the two innings. The Cougs had 5 hits but struggled against Trojan starter Tyler Stromsborg who struck out 10 in his seven innings of work.
During the 6-1 loss on Saturday, the Cougs did not give up a big inning but instead gave up at least a run in every other inning. Early in the game it looked like it would be competitive as they had runners on second in each of the first two innings but a 2-run second and 2-run fourth inning for the Trojans ended that. All seven of the Cougs hits came within the first four innings with the bullpen really locking things down for the Trojans.
Sunday was more of the same, a few runs here and there in a 6-3 loss but no big inning blow-up like they have had in the past. Caden Kaelber was on the mound for the Cougs and struggled as he gave up seven hits and gave up five runs in his six innings of work.
Up next for the Cougs is a Wednesday matchup against Linfield who is in the same boat looking for a win. They have dropped their last 5 and sit at 9-15 on the season. According to both Linfield and WSU’s website, the two teams have never played each other which is a little surprising given the history of Linfield’s baseball program and the fact that they are a 6 hour drive from one another.
After the game against the Wildcats, the Cougs will welcome UCLA to town this weekend with the hopes of getting back on track in conference play. The Bruins sit at 19-5 on the season and are coming off of two losses against Washington this past weekend. The first of the three-game series is scheduled to begin Friday at 6:00 pm while Saturday’s game is scheduled for 4:00 pm and the finale on Sunday at 12:00 pm. All three games will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks.
The guard announced Monday through Twitter that he is declaring for the NBA draft and entering the NCAA transfer portal. Bamba will gather feedback from professional teams over the next two months while preserving his collegiate eligibility and considering transfer options. June 1 is the deadline for college players to withdraw from the NBA draft pool.
This season marks Klay Thompson’s 13th in the NBA. The 11th pick in the 2011 NBA draft out of Washington State hasn’t played in Pullman for some time but the Cougars remain near and dear to his heart.