The Washington State University baseball team (11-12, 1-5) dropped its weekend series against the Stanford Cardinal (13-7, 2-1) 1-2.
The Cougs took the first game of the series on Friday 10-8 thanks to a huge late-inning push where the WSU lineup scored eight runs in the eighth inning.
Junior Adam Conley (cq) took the mound for WSU in the first game and lasted 5.1 innings, giving up eight runs (six earned) on 11 hits while striking out three and issuing two walks.
Relieving Conley, and eventually recording his first collegiate win, in the sixth inning was freshman Kellen Camus (cq). Camus threw two and two thirds innings of shutout ball, only giving up two hits while striking out four and issuing one walk.
Giving Camus the win was the WSU lineup in the eighth inning, exploding for eight runs off three separate Stanford pitchers. The offensive onslaught was capped by a Derek Jones (cq) three-run home run off Cardinal reliever Chris Reed (cq). The bomb from Jones would end the scoring for the night.
“Jones gets all the credit for the home run and he deserves it,” Head Coach Donnie Marbut (cq) said in a press release. “But we had contributions from a lot of guys tonight. Stetson Olson (cq) worked a walk, Paul Clingan (cq) put a ball and play and his hustle kept the inning alive and Kellen Camus got some huge outs for us out of the bullpen.”
The home run from Jones moved him into a tie for ninth place on the WSU all-time home run list; it was the 28th of his career.
After the come-from-behind win on Friday, WSU would fell flat on Saturday, dropping game two to the Cardinal 22-3, being outhit 25-7 and committing two errors.
Getting the start and only going one and two thirds innings before being chased was WSU senior James Wise (cq). Wise gave up eight runs (seven earned) on seven hits in his short time on the mound.
In total the Cougs would use five relievers to piece together a game that got out of hand early. Stanford scored two runs in the first, seven in the second, two in the fourth, five in both the fifth and sixth and one in the eighth.
After being delayed three hours prior to the start of the game, an additional 34-minute delay was taken during the fifth inning.
The Cougs would come back to play another competitive game on Sunday, barely dropping the rubber match 4-3. The close game was due in large part to the Cougs ability to take advantage of four Cardinal fielding errors and numerous base-running gaffes.
Making his third start of the year, redshirt senior Chad Arnold (cq) took the hill for WSU looking to secure a series win. Arnold would go four and two thirds innings, surrendering only one earned run on five hits while striking out six.
Arnold put up zeroes through the first four innings before getting into a jam with two outs in the fifth, leading to him being relieved by redshirt sophomore Anthony Drobnick (cq).
“You can’t ask for more than what Chad has given us, except for more of a pitch count,” Marbut said. “I know he wanted to stay out there longer, he’s just not the type of guy where we’re going to put our worries of winning a ballgame over Chad’s health. Right now, Chad is what’s right about our program.”
The Cougs were held scoreless through the first five innings on Sunday, until pushing two across in the sixth and one more in the seventh. The Cougs would threaten again in the eighth, with two on and one down, until Stanford closer Chris Reed forced Stetson Olson (cq) into a rally killing double play.
“We just haven’t played consistent baseball yet,” Marbut said. “We played much better today, but against a good team like Stanford, you cannot play from behind all weekend.”
Next the Cougs will head to Spokane on Tuesday to play game two of a season three game series against rival Gonzaga. First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.