ST. GEORGE, Utah — Senior outfielder Collin Montez had a double and a home run among his three hits Sunday as the Washington State baseball team finished off a four-game sweep of host Dixie State with a 10-3 thumping in a nonconference baseball game at Bruce Hurst Field.
"We grinded at the plate, and it was just hard to score," WSU coach Brian Green said. "We were barreling up some balls and we were (hitting it) right at them. I thought the guys stayed with it from the start of the game until the end of the game. We were proud of the guys. They kept the pedal down. It's very easy to say we got a series win and let's lay off the pedal. It's hard to get to that finish line and sweep a four-game series, so really proud of the effort of the guys."
The Cougars (7-1) took apart the Trailblazers (0-4) in the series, particularly after a 6-3 win Thursday. WSU put up two of its highest run totals of the season and tallied a total of 50 runs in the set. The Cougars also had 47 hits as a team, including 16 that went for extra bases. WSU also hit a total of nine home runs, all in the final three games.
Montez accounted for three of those long balls, including two in Friday's 19-5 victory. Junior infielder Kyle Manzardo went 2-for-3 in this game, with a double and a home run, two runs scored and three RBI. For the series, he was 9-for-18 with seven runs scored, two doubles, three home runs and 11 RBI.
Manzardo also extended his hitting streak to 25 games and he has gotten on bases at least once in 33 consecutive games, both streaks dating to the 2019 season.
"It was, obviously, a crazy offensive weekend for us," Green said. "We were really feeling good, and we're improving, and that's the most important thing. Our on-base percentage was crazy, with a bunch of (hit batsman) and walks, so we're getting better."
It's the team's best start since 2010,
In this one, the Cougars put it out of reach early thanks to a seven-run second inning. Although Dixie State tallied two runs in the second and one in the sixth, WSU put an exclamation point with three runs in the ninth.
Manzardo keyed the second-inning uprising as he pounded a three-run homer to left-center. Senior Tristan Peterson had a two-run double in the ninth.
Tyler Hollow had three hits and an RBI for the Trailblazers, and Tanner Harper was 2-for-5.
Junior right-hander Dakota Hawkins (1-1) picked up the win for the Cougars, allowing six hits, two walks and two runs, both earned, in five innings of work. He struck out six.
Ben Hart (0-1) absorbed the loss for Dixie State, allowed three hits, a walk and six runs, all earned, in 1 1/3 innings. He walked one.
Washington State starts a run of five consecutive nonconference games against Seattle at 4 p.m. Friday.
Washington State 070 000 003—10 9 1
Dixie State 020 001 000—3 8 0
Hawkins, Barison (6), Moyle (6), Kaleber (8), Newstrom (8), Barnum (9) and Togia, Meyer (8); Hart, Hardman (2), Gerber (6), Holliday (8), Bonner (9) and Spurlin, Harper (7), Dodson (9).
W — Hawkins. L — Hart.
WSU hits — Montez 3 (2B, HR), Manzardo 2 (2B, HR), Peterson (2B), Van De Brake (2B), Kolden, Clifford.
Dixie State hits — Hollow 3, Harper 2, Engel, Hollow, Schulz.