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Cougars Take Rubber Game, Clinch Series at Utah

Apr 11, 2021

SALT LAKE CITY (April 11, 2021) – Washington State clinched a series win over Utah with a 5-3 victory at Smith's Ballpark Sunday afternoon.
 
The Cougars (16-11, 4-8 Pac-12) claimed Friday's opener and held off a couple late-inning threats Sunday to clinch their first conference road series since 2017 and post the first conference series win under head coach Brian Green.
 
Washington State received two hit-games from shortstop Kodie Kolden and first baseman Kyle Manzardo who both scored twice while right fielder Collin Montez drove in two runs. Four WSU pitchers combined to allow just two earned runs as junior Dakota Hawkins picked up the win with four innings of relief and redshirt-sophomore Caden Kaelber picked up his first career save after striking out two in the ninth.
 
Utah dropped to 8-17 overall and 4-8 in conference play.
 
KEY MOMENTS OF THE GAME
In the opening frame, Kolden reached on an error and Manzardo punched a single the other way into left field and one batter later, Kolden scored on a Montez RBI-single to second. A couple pitches later, Manzardo raced home on a Utah wild pitch for a 2-0 lead.
 
In the fourth, Utah loaded the bases with nobody out and the Cougars went to the bullpen where Hawkins did a solid job, allowing just one run on a sacrifice fly to keep the WSU lead.
 
In the sixth, Utah put a runner on second after a single and balk but Hawkins ended the threat with a groundout to first base, preserving the three-run advantage.
 
In the eighth, the Cougars loaded the bases following a single, walk and hit-by-pitch and Keith Jones II was also hit by a pitch, allowing a run to score for a 5-1 advantage. In the Utah eighth, a pair of singles started the inning and the Utes used a two-out RBI-groundout to cut the WSU lead to 5-2.
 
In the ninth, Utah pushed a run across after a pair of singles and a Cougar error and later put runners on second and third with two outs but Kaelber struck out the final hitter to seal up the win.
 
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Freshman RHP Tyler Hoeft made his 1st career start, worked 3 innings, struck out 2
Senior LHP Michael Newstrom made his team-leading 17th appearance, worked scoreless 8th
 
NEXT UP
The Cougars host Gonzaga Tuesday at 3:05 p.m.
 
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