Three-Run Eighth Inning Gives Cougs Series Win over USC
PULLMAN, Wash. (May 1, 2022) – Nate Swarts broke a tie game with a two-run single in the eighth inning as Washington State beat USC 5-3 to clinch the series at Bailey-Brayton Field Sunday afternoon.
WSU (19-23, 9-15 Pac-12) received five shutout innings from starter McKabe Cottrell who struck out four while Kodie Kolden and Justin Van De Brake each collected two hits. Swarts entered the game as a pinch-hitter earlier in the game and delivered the go-ahead two-run single in the eighth inning. Reliever Dakota Hawkins earned the win after working the final two innings.
The Cougars claimed their second straight series after taking two of three at No. 10 Oregon last weekend, have won three of their last four series and notched their first series win over USC since 2014.
USC dropped to 21-20 overall and 6-15 in conference play.
KEY MOMENTS OF THE GAME
In the first inning, USC nearly pushed a run across on a single to left field but outfielder Van De Brake delivered a strong throw to home plate to get the runner for the third out. In the bottom of the inning, Jacob McKeon and Van De Brake each singled home runs for a 2-0 lead.
Cottrell worked around a couple USC threats in the third and fourth innings before retiring the side in order in the fifth inning.
In the sixth, USC put runners on first and third with nobody out and were able to push a run across on a sacrifice fly to right field against the Cougar bullpen. USC evened things up in the seventh after a walk, a deep fly out to right field that saw the runner tag and move to second before an RBI-singled back up the middle scored the tying run.
In the eighth, McKeon walked, Van De Brake followed with a bunt single out of reach of the first baseman and Elijah Hainline worked a walk to load the bases with nobody out. Swarts greeted a new USC pitcher with a single back up the middle to score McKeon and Van De Brake. One batter later, Kyle Russell pulled an RBI-single over the shortstop to push the lead to 5-2.
USC hit a solo homer in the ninth but Hawkins retired the next batter to seal up the win and series.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
McKeon extended his hitting streak to 10 games and on-base streak to 14 games
Van De brake extended his hitting streak to 9 games and on-base streak to 16 games
Hawkins improved to 3-0
WSU recorded its 7th last at-bat win of the season
The Cougars will host Utah Valley for a three-game series beginning Friday.