Cougar Bats Back Taylor to Even Series with USC
PULLMAN, Wash. (April 30, 2022) – Washington State starting pitcher Grant Taylor worked seven innings as the Cougars evened the series with a 4-2 win over USC at Bailey-Brayton Field Saturday evening.
Taylor recorded a career-high eight strikeouts and allowed just two earned runs on five hits in seven innings to earn the win. WSU (18-23, 8-15 Pac-12) collected 10 hits led by a three-hit effort from Justin Van De Brake along with two-hit games from Bryce Matthews and Jacob McKeon.
Matthews and Van De Brake each drove in a run for the Cougars who scored twice in the second, received a Van De Brake go-ahead RBI-single in the fifth and added a Matthews RBI-singled in the eighth. Reliever Caden Kaelber retired all five batters he faced to earn his fourth save of the season
USC dropped to 21-19 overall and 6-14 in conference play.
KEY MOMENTS OF THE GAME
In the first inning, USC loaded the bases with a pair of singles and a hit-by-pitch and scored on a two-out balk call.
In the second, WSU answered with a pair runs as the USC first baseman fielded a ground ball and threw home but the throw was low and Justin Van De Brake touched the plate. Kyle Russell followed with an RBI-groundout to give WSU a 2-1 lead. USC evened things up with a solo homer to left field in the third inning.
In the fifth, Smith won an 11-pitch battle with a two-out single through the left side, McKeon followed with a single to right field and Van De Brake followed with a two-out single back up the middle to score Smith for the go-ahead run.
Taylor settled in after the early USC runs and retired the last nine hitters he faced, ending the sixth and seventh innings with strikeouts.
In the eighth, USC put runners on first and second with out against the WSU bullpen but releiver Caden Kaelber entered the game and ended the threat with a pair of flyouts. WSU added a run in the bottom of the inning after a walk, a fielding error and a two-out RBI-single through the left side by Matthews for a 4-2 lead.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Bryce Matthews doubled in the 1st inning to extend his hitting streak to 7 games
McKeon extended his hitting streak to 9 games and on-base streak to 13 games
WSU has collected double-digit hits for the 7th straight game
The series wraps up Sunday at 12:05 p.m. on Pac-12 Washington.