Four games scheduled, two and a half games played. Snow continuously interrupted the WSU baseball team’s four game series against Nebraska Omaha during the weekend.
The series was originally scheduled as a Friday doubleheader and two single games each on Saturday and Sunday. After slight rescheduling on Friday, the Saturday game was postponed until Sunday due to snow, creating another doubleheader.
On Sunday the two teams made it into the bottom of the fifth, with WSU leading 5-0, before having to call the games due to snow once more, postponing the finish of the doubleheader until Monday at noon.
Threat of snow pushed the start time of the doubleheader on Friday from 2 p.m. up to noon. WSU swept the doubleheader, taking the first game 13-4 and the second 12-6 — improving their record to 3-2 on the season.
The scoring started early for the Cougs in game one, putting up five on Nebraska Omaha starting pitcher Matt Tew without ever recording a hit before chasing him from the game after only recording two outs.
WSU scored five in the first inning, two in the third, one in the fifth and five more in the seventh to wrap up their first home win of the season.
WSU starting pitcher J.D. Leckenby went five innings for the Cougs in game one, allowing zero earned runs on seven hits with six strikeouts and two walks. Leckenby recorded the win and set a career best with his six strikeouts.
“Last game I went out with a good mental aspect but I didn’t go out physically, I don’t think I prepared well enough,” Leckenby said. “It was good to come out here this week and dominate like I can, get my confidence up and get that first win.”
The Cougar offense collected 13 hits in game one with four players getting multiple-hit games; senior Kyle Johnson, redshirt junior Taylor Ard, sophomore Collin Slaybaugh and freshman Ian Sagdal all recorded two hits in the opener.
Senior Derek Jones hit the first home run of the season for the Cougs in the seventh inning of the first game, blasting a three run home run to straightaway center. The home run was the 33rd of Jones’ career, moving him into a tie for sixth in the WSU all-time list.
“I worked the count to 3-2 and I knew I had to stay loose and just trust my swing like I always do,” Jones said. “He came with a fastball kind of low and middle and I just put a good swing on it. I was telling the guys, putting a ball over the wall in centerfield is not usually something players do, so I was pretty happy about it.”
In game two, WSU sent redshirt freshman Scott Simon to the mound to face off against Steven Schoonover from Nebraska Omaha.
Simon went 6.2 innings for the Cougs, giving up six earned runs on eight hits while striking out four and issuing no walks.
After scoring one in both the first and third innings, the WSU offense struck hard in the middle innings, scoring three in the fourth, one in the fifth and four in the sixth.
Sophomore outfielder Nate Blackham continued his white-hot start to the season with three hits, four runs and an RBI in the nightcap.
Ard, who led the Pac-12 Conference in home runs last season with 10, got his first dinger of the year with a solo blast off the scoreboard in left-center during the fifth inning.
Making his first collegiate start in game two was freshman P.J. Jones, who went 2-3 with one run and three RBI’s.
“Offensively we did what we were supposed to do, so it’s something to build on,” WSU Head Coach Donnie Marbut said. “On the pitching we gave up too many hits, in my opinion and defensively we weren’t clean. We got to get better and we got to play nine innings as well as your team can play.”
The Cougars hope to finish off the series Monday with the third game resuming in the fifth inning at noon with the second game to continue 30 minutes after the first concludes.