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Late offense leads WSU to season series clinching victory over Gonzaga

Things were looking bleak for the Cougs... Until they weren’t.

Ashley Davis

The offense has been a key piece to WSU’s success on the diamond this season, especially recently. Led by Jonah Advincula and Sam Brown, the Cougs have consistently been able to deliver from the plate. The team had racked up eight or more hits in each of their last 12 games dating back to mid-April. But that streak seemed like it might be in trouble through the first two-thirds of Tuesday night’s game against Gonzaga in Pullman.

Through six innings, Gonzaga’s pitching staff kept the Cougs in check. Bulldog starter Kai Francis and reliever Matthew Mueller combined to allow just three hits and a single walk while striking out eight WSU batters. The Cougs, who entered the 7th trailing 3-0, knew they needed an answer. And they delivered in a big way.

After a leadoff double by Cam Magee, Elijah Hainline got the Cougs on the board with an RBI single to cut the lead to two. A throwing error added another one for the Cougs before Advincula put his team on top (with some more help from the GU defense).

Jacob McKeon would add one more with a single back up the middle to cap off the five-run frame.

The Zags would re-take the lead in the eighth, but the Cougar offense would answer again. Magee started things off with a leadoff base hit for the second inning in a row. Then, just like he did in the 7th, Hainline delivered another big hit.

That play at the plate would be reviewed and upheld to confirm the 6-6 tie score. The next batter, Jake Harvey, then attempted to bunt Hainline over when the Gonzaga defense struck again. Another error, one of four from the Zags on the evening, allowed Hainline to score and put WSU on top for good. The Cougs would go on to add a couple more in the frame and seal a 9-6 victory.

In all, the WSU offense exploded in the final innings of the game. They were helped by a few GU defensive miscues, but the Cougs used those to their advantage, putting up 9 hits and 9 runs in the 7th and 8th alone to clinch the season series over their rivals from Spokane. Overall, five players recorded multi-hit nights while McKeon and Hainline each picked up a pair of RBI apiece.

Next up, Washington State will continue their four-game homestand with another rivalry matchup on the Palouse. The Cougs will welcome Washington into Bailey-Brayton Field in front of a likely packed crowd on graduation weekend. Game one of the series starts Friday night at 7 p.m. and all three games will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Networks.

Cougars Rally Late to Clinch Series Over Gonzaga - Washington State University Athletics
Washington State scored five runs in the seventh and four in the eighth to clinch the season series with a 9-6 win over Gonzaga at Bailey-Brayton Field Tuesday evening.

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