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Cougar Offense Heats Up to Clinch Series over LIU

Feb 26, 2022

Cougar Offense Heats Up to Clinch Series over LIU
PEORIA, Ariz. (February 26, 2022) – Washington State clinched its series against LIU with a 9-2 win at the Peoria Sports Complex Saturday afternoon.
The Cougars (5-3) received a three-hit game from Kyle Russell, a two-run homer form Elijah Hainline and WSU rallied from a 2-0 deficit with a one in the fourth, two in the fifth and three runs in both the sixth and seventh innings. WSU reliever Connor Barison earned the win after retiring all nine batters he faced, six via strikeout, in three no-hit innings as the Cougars claimed three of four from Long Island (LIU) who dropped to 3-5.
LIU caught a couple breaks in the early innings to build a 2-0 lead. In the third, a shallow fly ball hit to left field was lost in the sun by the Cougar leftfielder, resulting in a two-out double and the next batter lined a single to left to take a 1-0 lead. In the fourth, LIU added another run as a ball in dirt on a strike three allowed the inning to continue and WSU later threw a ball away on a first and third situation, allowing the runner from third to score.
In the bottom half of the fourth, WSU took advantage of a couple LIU errors and a walk that loaded the bases and Hainline was hit by a pitch to bring in a run. Barison entered the game with runners on the corners and nobody out in the fifth and delivered a clutch performance, striking out the first two hitters and ended the threat with a groundout to keep it a one-run game.
In the fifth, Bryce Matthews led off with a walk and Jacob McKeon followed with a double to left-centerfield to tie things up. One batter later, Jack Smith gave WSU the lead with a line drive single into left field to score McKeon for a 3-2 advantage.
In the sixth, Matthews punched a single the other way through the left side to score Will Cresswell from second, McKeon followed with a walk and Justin Van De Brake drove a 3-1 pitch the other way down the right field line for a two-run triple and a 6-2 lead.
WSU pulled away with three runs in the seventh, two coming on the two-run homer from Hainline to left-centerfield for a 9-2 advantage.
Russell recorded his 3rd multiple-hit game of the first 8 games
Hainline hit his 1st career homer
Smith has now reach base in 7 straight game
Starter Cole McMillan worked into the 5th inning, struck out 7 and allowed 1 earned run on 5 hits
The Cougars hit the road for four games in Texas next beginning with a Wednesday matchup at Tarleton State.