Cougars Hit Four Homers to Even Series at No. 10 Oregon
EUGENE, Ore. (April 23, 2022) – Washington State hit a season-high four home runs and the bullpen buckled down to seal up a 10-8 win and even the series against No. 10 Oregon at PK Park Saturday afternoon.
The Cougars (15-22, 6-14 Pac-12) received a career-high four hits from Jacob McKeon, three hits and three runs scored from Jack Smith while McKeon, Bryce Matthews, Kyle Russel and Collin Montez each hit home runs. McKeon and Matthews both homered for the second straight game.
Dakota Hawkins earned the win with 3.1 innings of relief while Chase Grillo picked up the save after recording the final four outs.
WSU jumped out to an 8-1 lead after four innings and held off Oregon, the Pac-12's top hitting team, who dropped to 26-12 overall and 11-6 in conference play.
The Cougars will go for their second series win over a Top-10 team in the last three weeks after taking two of three at No. 9 Arizona two weekends ago.
KEY MOMENTS OF THE GAME
In the first inning, Smith went the other way for a two-out double down the right field line and McKeon followed with a two-run homer to centerfield. Montez made it 4-0 with a two-run home run to right field in the second inning and added another run on Elijah Hainline's RBI-fielder's choice groundout in the third inning.
In the fourth, Mathews homered for the second straight day, this time a two-run line drive shot to right-centerfield and McKeon followed with an RBI-single back up the middle in the fifth for an 8-1 lead. Oregon answered with three runs on a hit-by-pitch and three hits make it a 8-4.
In the fifth, Oregon loaded the bases and pushed two runs across on a bases-loaded walk and RBI-groundout to make it 8-6.
WSU added a run with a Smith RBI-single in the sixth and another run with Russell's solo homer in the seventh for a 10-6 lead. Oregon answered with a two-run homer in their half of the seventh to make it a two-run game.
In the eighth, Oregon put runners on first and second with two outs but Grillo ended the threat with a strikeout.
In the ninth, Grillo sealed up the win with a pair of groundouts and a popout to Kodie Kolden at shortstop.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Jack Smith doubled in the 1st inning to extend his on-base streak to 21 games
WSU hit a season-high 4 home runs
Elijah Hainline saw his 14-game on-base streak end
The series wraps up Sunday at Noon.