Coming off of a series loss to the Stanford Cardinal, WSU baseball will look to end their season on a strong note. With four games remaining on the season and a record of 23-27 (13-14), the chances of a winning season have dissipated for the Cougars. However, with a strong push and by winning their remaining four games, they can reach .500 for the first time since the 2012 season. With the RPI ranking them 122nd as of May 13th, the chances of a postseason birth for the Cougars are slim despite being tied for sixth in the conference with Stanford.
The Cougars finished the Stanford series on a positive note defeating them 10-1 Sunday afternoon. Nick Tanielu led the way for the Cougar offense going 4-4 in the victory. Next up for the Cougs is the conclusion of their road trip against the Seattle University Redhawks (25-25) before returning home for the final series of the season against the Arizona State Sun Devils (30-21).
In a battle tested season for the Cougars, ending the season on a strong note will give them positive momentum going into next season. This season the Cougs have reeled off winning streaks of five and six games, only to have three four game losing streaks in the process. Head Coach Donnie Marbut was suspended six games and missed a crucial series against the Washington Huskies earlier in the season after he allegedly “sprayed” an umpire’s face during the Cougar’s loss at Oregon earlier this season.
Despite the streaky season and inconsistencies, the Cougars have an opportunity to finish the season at .500 and more importantly finish with a record above .500 in conference play if they can pull off a sweep against an always-talented ASU squad. If they can manage a sweep, they may have an outside shot at playing in the postseason for the first time since the 2010 season. Even if they don’t make the postseason, finishing strong is important for the team’s success next season.
The Cougs may not have had the season they were hoping for when the season began, but proving to themselves and the fan base that they can finish with a .500 record despite an adversity driven season will go a long way towards returning to the top of the Pac-12 and more importantly, the postseason.