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Arizona Cougs Enjoyed Big Weekends in the Desert

Apr 13, 2022

By Nick Oldham

The Washington State baseball team flipped their season around this past weekend after taking two out of three games on the road against the No. 9 Arizona Wildcats. The series win proved to be a momentum shifter as the Cougars head into their final stretch of the season.
"With the confidence we have right now and just the vibe around the team, dugout, clubhouse, and everything else, it should be a good time moving forward," redshirt junior catcher Jake Meyer said.
Along with Meyer, sophomore pitcher Kolby Kmetko, junior first baseman Jacob McKeon, and sophomore outfielder Kyler Stancato are all Arizona-natives and have contributed to wins this season in their home state. Including their four-game neutral-site series against Long Island in late February, the Cougars are 5-2 in the Grand Canyon State this season.
The four teammates, who are all from the Phoenix Metropolitan Area, said it's nice to travel down south to play in some nice weather, but the best thing is being able to reconnect and play in front of loved ones.
"It's a little bit closer to the heart being able to play in front of your family and friends, but you're still going out on the same field and playing for your teammates," McKeon said. "But it's satisfying being able to play the game you love in front of the people you care most about."

Not only was the series an opportunity for the Arizona-natives to play back home, but it was also the first time Meyer played in Tucson since transferring from Arizona after his freshman season. Meyer redshirted as a Wildcat before going on to play one season at Central Arizona College.

Meyer didn't disappoint in his return to Hi Corbett Field, as he collected four hits and drove in two runs. He said he enjoyed being back but didn't feel the need to circle the series on the calendar heading into the weekend.
"It was a lot of fun to play against that team because I still have some friends on the team and stuff," Meyer said. "I tried not to treat it any different and just go about it just like any other game."
The Cougars did not get off to the start they would have hoped for, but they said the biggest area of difference from this past weekend versus earlier in the season was they played loose and didn't overthink anything.
"We didn't go into the series thinking 'We need to win here,'" Kmetko said. "We just played our game and ended up playing really well in all three areas: defense, offense, and pitching."
McKeon said the biggest thing the team should continue to build off of is their consistency at the plate. The Cougars 19 runs and 32 hits against Arizona were both the most they've had in a series since the last time they were in Arizona against Long Island.
The Cougars have their eyes back on the state of Arizona, which will play host to the Pac-12 Baseball Tournament from May 25-29. The goal from the beginning of the season was to be one of the top eight teams who qualify for the championship event, but the team now feels like they have as good of a chance as ever.
"We have to use that big series win to gain some momentum to get into the [Pac-12 Tournament] at the end of the year," Stancato said. "We just need to keep playing baseball and have some fun."
The Cougars get to come back to Bailey-Brayton Field this weekend for a three-game series against the California Golden Bears. Check back with for a full recap of the Thursday through Saturday series.
For more information on the Washington State baseball team, follow @WSUCougarBSB on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.