WSU baseball opens season with pasting of UC Davis


DAVIS, Calif. — Junior first baseman Kyle Manzardo blasted a three-run home run in the fifth inning, then the Washington State baseball team iced its season opener Friday with a five-run ninth inning in an 11-1 nonconference rout of UC Davis at Phil Swimley Field.

“We got a lot of contributions from the enitre lineup,” coach Brian Green said. “We got a lot of quality at-bats. It was an awesome team win. There was a lot of really positive signs, and we want to highlight those.”

Junior shortstop Kodie Kolden went 3-for-6 with a triple, two runs scored and an RBI for the Cougars, who finished the truncated 2020 season 9-7 and was picked to finish 10th in the Pac-12 Conference this year. Junior catcher Jake Meyer had two hits, a run scored and three RBI; freshman second baseman Kyle Russell was 2-for-5 with a double, a run scored and two RBI; sophomore center fielder Brady Hill had two hits, including a double, a run scored and two RBI; and senior designated hitter Tristan Peterson went 2-for-4 with a double, two runs scored and an RBI.

Colton Evans paced the Aggies went two hits.

UC Davis cobbled together a run in the bottom of the first, but WSU tied the game in the third on a ground out by Russell. The Cougars took the lead for good in the fifth as Russell led off with a double, Kolden followed with a single and stole second. Then Manzardo swatted his first homer of the season to right to put WSU up 4-1.

“He hit a (two-strike) change-up out, and that was a big (hit) at the time,” Green said.

The Cougars added single tallies in the seventh and eighth before the explosion in the ninth. Peterson doubled home a run with one out, then Meyer had a two-out, two-run single. Russell and Kolden then each produced run-scoring singles for the final margin.

Junior right-hander Zane Mills picked up the win, allowing five hits, three walks and an unearned run in 6 1/3 innings. He struck out three.

Kaden Riccomini took the loss, allowing five hits, one walk and four runs (all earned) in 3 1/3 innings. He struck out three.

The two teams meet again in a doubleheader at 11:30 a.m. today at the same site.

Washington State 001 030 115—11 13 0

UC Davis 100 000 000—1 6 1

Mills, Newstrom (7), Barison (7) and Meyer; Erwin, Riccomini (4), Rodriguez (8) and Campagna.

W—Mills (1-0). L—Riccomini (0-1).

WSU hits — Kolden 3 (3B), Peterson 2 (2B), Hill 2 (2B), Russell 2 (2B), Meyer 2, Manzardo (HR), VanDeBrake (3B).

UC Davis hits — Evans 2, O’Boy (2B), Jackson (2B), Smith, Campagna.

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