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Cougar Offense Leads Way in Win at Utah

Apr 9, 2021

SALT LAKE CITY (April 9, 2021) – Washington State collected 15 hits in a 12-7 series-opening win over Utah at Smith's Ballpark Friday evening.
Five Cougars recorded multiple-hit games led by three-hit performances from senior third baseman Jack Smith and freshman second baseman Kyle Russell to helped WSU claim its third straight win and improved to 15-10 overall and 3-7 in Pac-12 Conference play.
Playing in his first conference game, Russell recorded a career-high three hits, scored twice and drove in three runs including a two-run double. Senior right fielder Collin Montez doubled and tripled and scored twice while redshirt-junior catcher Jake Meyer scored three times. Cougar junior starting pitcher Brandon White improved to 4-2 after working six innings and struck out five.
Washington State scored in five straight innings beginning with a three-run third, added three more in the fourth, two in the fifth, one in the sixth and pulled away with three runs in the seventh. The Utes dropped to 7-16 overall and 3-7 in league play.
The Cougars loaded the bases with nobody out in the second but Utah kept them off the board with a strikeout and inning-ending double play. In the third, WSU put runners on the corners with nobody out before left fielder Jacob McKeon brought home a run with a sacrifice fly to centerfield, Montez followed with an RBI-triple down the right field line and the lead grew to 3-0 as Tristan Peterson brought Montez home with a sacrifice fly to right field.
WSU put up another three runs in the fourth inning for a 6-0 lead as Meyer doubled to right-centerfield and one batter later, Russell brought him home with an RBI-single to right field, senior shortstop Kodie Kolden followed with a long RBI-triple to centerfield and then scored on a Kyle Manzardo sacrifice fly to left field.
In the bottom of the fourth, Utah put runners on first and third with nobody out but White kept them off the scoreboard with a shallow fly out to left field before ending the inning with a 6-4-3 groundball double play.
WSU opened up an 8-0 lead in the fifth inning as Russell pulled the first pitch he saw down the left field line for a two-out two-run double. The Utes put two runs on the board with a two-run double in their half of the fifth and the Cougars answered with a run on a Peterson RBI-single to centerfield but the Utes came right back with two more runs on a two-out bloop double into centerfield.
The Cougars pulled away with three runs in the seventh after loading the bases as two runs came home on a fielder's choice ground ball that was thrown away by the Utes on the play and Manzardo later drove in another run with a sacrifice fly to left field that pushed the lead to 12-4.
Utah scored a run on a Cougar error in the seventh and later loaded the bases but reliever Michael Newstrom ended the threat with a groundout to first base.
Jacob McKeon walked in the 1st inning to extend his on-base streak to 13 games
Collin Montez tripled in the 3rd inning, his 2nd straight game with a triple
Jake Meyer matched a career-high with 3 hits
Reliever Michael Newstrom made his Pac-12-leading 16th appearance of the season
Kyle Manzardo drove in 2 runs to push his team-leading RBI total to 31
The series continues Saturday at 3 p.m. (PT).