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Hawkins, Cougar Bullpen Leads WSU To Series Win at Cal

Apr 25, 2021

BERKELEY, Calif. (April 25, 2021) – Three Washington State pitchers combined to allow just four hits in a series-clinching 4-3 victory over California at Evans Diamond Sunday evening.
The Cougars (19-15, 7-11 Pac-12) claimed the final two games of the series to clinch their second straight conference road series and first series in Berkeley since 2015. Sunday's game was originally scheduled for Noon but was pushed back to 6 p.m. due to rain in the Berkeley forecast throughout the morning and afternoon.
Washington State received five impressive innings from right-handed starter Dakota Hawkins who struck out five to earn the win while three pitchers combined to strike out 11 and did not allow a free pass. Left-handed reliever Michael Newstrom allowed one hit and struck out three in 1.2 innings while sophomore righthander Grant Taylor retired all seven batters he faced, three via strikeout to record his first career save.
Kodie Kolden tallied two hits and scored twice while Jacob McKeon had a two-run double to help the Cougars snap a four-series skid to Cal who dropped to 19-19 and 6-9 in Pac-12 play.
In the third inning, Kolden doubled to right-centerfield with two outs, later moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on the play as the Cal catcher's throw sailed wide and Kolden raced home for the 1-0 lead.
In the fourth inning, Collin Montez singled through the left side and Jack Smith was hit by a pitch before McKeon drove an 0-2 pitch into the left-centerfield gap two score both runners for a 3-0 advantage.
Hawkins cruised in the opening innings, recording four strikeouts while retiring the first 10 hitters he faced before Cal got on the board with a one-out solo home run to right field in the fourth.
The Cougars added another run in the fifth as Kolden singled to left and Kyle Manzardo pulled a single over the first baseman to put runners on the corners. Kolden came home on a fielder's choice groundout by Montez for a 4-1 WSU lead. Cal made it a one-run game with a two-run homer to right field in the fifth.
The Cougar bullpen did the work the rest of the way as Newstrom fired a scoreless sixth inning and way to Taylor with two outs and a runner on the third in the seventh inning. Taylor ended the threat with a groundout to second and retired the next six hitters to seal up the one-run win.
Jacob McKeon's double in the 4th inning extended his on-base streak to 20 games
Grant Taylor earned his 1st career save
WSU did not allow a free pass for the 2nd time in 2021 (Seattle U 3/5)
The Cougars head to Gonzaga for a Tuesday night matchup before returning home to host Oregon next weekend.