Washington State scored three runs in the eighth inning and three in the ninth to surge to today’s 6-5 baseball victory over Hawaii at Les Murakami Stadium.
The Cougars salvaged a split of the four-game series to improve to 3-5. The Rainbow Warriors fell to 7-3.
UH left-hander Brandon Ross was cruising through seven scoreless innings. He was removed at the start of the eighth, with a 4-0 lead, after exceeding his target pitch count of 80. He threw 97 pitches.
But the usually reliable bullpen imploded. The UH relievers entered with a 1.42 ERA. But the Cougars tagged the UH bullpen for seven hits and six runs in the final two innings.
“It’s a bad loss,” UH coach Mike Trapasso said. “You’ve got to make pitches for nine innings, and we didn’t. … We have to make better pitches. We were ahead in counts, and didn’t execute the pitches. And we threw too many elevated pitches. The bullpen lost it. They won it (Saturday) night, they lost it today.”
Tyler Best, who batted leadoff and played right field in place of ailing Scotty Scott, went 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI for the ’Bows. Ryder Kuhns, a former Saint Louis School quarterback, made his UH debut, scoring a run and driving in another.