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WSU Puts Tying Run On in Ninth But Falls to USC

May 15, 2021

LOS ANGELES (May 15, 2021) – Washington State put the tying run on base in the ninth inning but the USC bullpen held on and the Cougar dropped a 3-2 decision at Dedeaux Field Saturday afternoon.
WSU (23-22, 10-16 Pac-12) received a pair of doubles from Kodie Kolden, two hits from Jacob McKeon and an RBI-single from Jake Meyer. Cougar starting pitcher Zane Mills worked into the seventh inning, struck out six and allowed three runs with just two earned.
Senior reliever Michael Newstrom retired the only batter he face in the seventh in his 31st appearance of the season, tying the WSU record set by Matt Bower (2014) and Sam Triece (2015).
USC improved to 22-21 overall and 10-13 in conference play after scoring a pair of two-out runs in the fourth inning and a pair of pitchers combined to post a scoreless ninth inning to clinch the series.
USC used three-straight two-out hits to push a pair of runs across in the fourth inning and added another run in the fifth after two singles, an error and a sacrifice fly for a 3-0 advantage.
In the seventh, the Cougars received one-out singles from Jacob McKeon and Jack Smith before Jake Meyer bounced a single back up the middle to score McKeon. Following a walk and a fly out, Kolden worked a walk and Jack Smith scored to make it a one-run game. With the bases loaded and two outs, USC went to the bullpen and ended the threat with a flyout to left field.
WSU received a two-out single from McKeon in the eighth inning but he was stranded after a popout to shortstop ended the inning. The Cougars saw pinch-hitter Nate Swarts reach after he was hit by a pitch with two outs in the ninth inning but a Trojan reliever ended the comeback attempt with a game-ending fielder's choice groundout to shortstop.
Kyler Stancato made his 2nd career start, started in LF
Kyle Manzardo saw his 23-game on-base streak end
WSU dropped to 2-5 in one-run games this season
The series wraps up Sunday at 1 p.m.