Baseball Preview: WSU vs. Gonzaga

By Nate Hanson

The Cougs return to the diamond after a couple of days off to finish a nine-game homestand. WSU (16-10, 3-3) will host Gonzaga (16-10-1, 4-2) for the second time this season. The Bulldogs won the first meeting two weeks ago 10-8.

WSU salvaged a win in the final game of a three-game series against then-No.23 ranked Stanford. Jason Monda led the Cougs with a two-run home run, while also picking up the win in relief of Scott Simon who threw 4 2/3 innings. It was a fitting performance for the Baseball America preseason third-team All-American as it came on the day the Cougs retired John Olerud’s #18. Of course, the award for the best two-way player in the country is named after Olerud.

Nick Tanielu continues to tear the ball apart as his batting average is up to .424. The redshirt freshman, who also has 2 HR and 19 RBI, went 3 for 5 in the previous matchup against the Bulldogs.

Gonzaga led that previous game 7-0 after five innings before the Cougs put up a furious comeback. However, the closest WSU would get was one run before Arturo Reyes was able to put the game to bed for his first save of the season.

Cody LeBrun led the Zags by going 3 for 3 with 3 RBI. Clayton Eslick and Zach Abbruzza each had 2 RBI as well.

WSU will travel to Utah to take on the Utes for a three-game series this weekend before facing BYU in a non-conference matchup April 8. Gonzaga will also hit the road for a three-game series against the Portland Pilots. The Cougs and Bulldogs will battle each other for the third and final time of the season on April 16 in Spokane.

Starting pitchers have not yet been announced for tonight’s game. First pitch is scheduled for 6 PM tonight at Bailey-Brayton Field.

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