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Mills Fires 8 Innings, WSU Takes Opener Against Seattle U

Mar 5, 2021

WSU-Seattle U 1 BOX | Highlights | Brian Green Postgame | Zane Mills Postgame | Full Game Replay | Boxscore

PULLMAN, Wash. (March 5, 2021) – Washington State received eight dominant innings from junior starting pitcher Zane Mills who struck out seven in the 6-1 series-opening win over Seattle U in front of socially-distanced coaches/player families and guests at Bailey-Brayton Field Friday evening. 

The series was originally scheduled to be played in Seattle but was moved to Pullman with inclement weather forecasted for the Seattle area.

WSU improved to 8-1 for the program's best start since the 2010 club opened 9-0. The Cougars received three-hit games from seniors Collin Montez and Jack Smith while Smith also drove in two runs. Junior Kyle Manzardo homered in the third inning to extend his hitting streak to 26 games dating back to the final game of 2019, the second-longest streak in program history behind only Shawn Stevenson's top mark of 28 set during the 1997-98 seasons.

Mills improved to 3-0 after striking out seven and allowed just one unearned run on six hits in a career-high eight innings. Senior lefthander Michael Newstrom worked a scoreless ninth, his Pac-12 leading sixth appearance of the season.

The Cougars jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first after graduate senior Tristan Peterson doubled to right field and later scored on a Montez two-out RBI-single. Both teams traded runs in the third inning as Seattle U benefitted from a two-out passed ball on a strikeout that would have ended the inning the hitter who struck out reached on the passed ball. The next batter singled to right-centerfielder for a 2-1 lead but Manzardo answered for the Cougars with an opposite-field solo shot over the left field fence.

Mills settled in after a rough third inning, retiring 13 straight at point and pushed his strikeout total to seven while working through eighth innings. The Cougars pushed the lead to 3-1 with a two-out RBI-single from Kodie Kolden through the left side in the fifth inning before a two-out RBI-single to right field by Jack Smith in the sixth pushed the lead to 4-1. With Mills cruising, the WSU offense add two more runs in the eighth on another Smith RBI-single and another run came home on the play on a Redhawk error.

Manzardo homered in the 3rd inning to extend his hitting streak to 26 games and his on-base streak to 35 games
Collin Montez recorded his 3rd-straight 3-hit game, extended on-base streak to 9 games
Mills has pitched 6+ innings in 6 straight starts

The series continues Saturday at 2:05 p.m.