After a hard-fought 2-0 victory in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, Seattle University had opportunities to come from behind and complete the sweep, but Oakland University salvaged a split with a 5-4 win in the second game at Bannerwood Park.
Game One: Seattle U 2, Oakland 0
In the third inning of the first game, Cameron Sterne (Shoreline, Wash.) led off with a walk, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Dalton Hurd (Bend, Ore.), took third base on a long flyout to right field by Sheldon Stober (Kent, Wash.), and scored on a single to center field by Sean Sutton (Coeur d’Alene, Idaho).
Sutton led off the sixth inning with a walk, advanced to second on a single by Brock Carpenter (Milton, Wash.), and came around to score on a single to center field by pinch hitter Cash McGuire (Kent, Wash.). Carpenter reached base all three times he appeared at the plate during the seven-inning game by going 2-for-2, including a double, as well as being hit by a pitch.
Tarik Skubal (Kingman, Ariz.) earned his third victory in as many starts, although he struggled throughout his five-inning outing, allowing three hits and five walks while striking out just four Oakland batters. Austin Hansen (Mukilteo, Wash.) gave up a leadoff single in the sixth inning before retiring the next six hitters in order for his first save of the season.
Game Two: Oakland 5, Seattle U 4
Oakland (4-7) jumped on the board in the first inning of the second game, as Ben Hart and Mike Brosseau earned back-to-back singles and advanced into scoring position on a groundout. With two outs, Ian Yetsko smashed a double to center field, driving in both runners, and then he would score on a single to center field by Tyler Pagano.
Seattle U starter Janson Junk (Federal Way, Wash.) settled down, retiring the Golden Grizzlies in order in the second and third innings before stranding Yetsko in the fourth inning after a leadoff double. Junk gave up an infield single with two outs in the fifth inning, but then he picked up a strikeout to stop the Oakland threat.
In the bottom of the fifth, Michael McCann (Vancouver, Wash.) led off with a walk, and Stober followed with a single to center field, with both runners moving into scoring position thanks to an Oakland error. Sutton sent a shot into right field for a double that scored both runners, but he was stranded at second base as three straight Redhawk hitters failed to bring home the tying run.
The Golden Grizzlies answered right back in the top of the sixth inning, starting with a double by Zach Sterry. Pagano drove in Sterry with his own double to right-center field, and then Brett Impemba would bring Pagano home with a single down the left field line, ending the day for Junk.
Grant Gunning (Snohomish, Wash.) came into the game and kept the Redhawks close with 3 2/3 innings of one-hit relief, facing the minimum 11 batters as Yetsko was caught stealing to end the eighth inning after sending a single up the middle.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, McCann walked, Stober doubled down the left field line, and Sutton walked to load the bases with nobody out. Oakland reliever Collin Gee induced back-to-back groundouts that yielded just one run, and then he earned a strikeout to end the Redhawk threat with the Golden Grizzlies still ahead, 5-3.
Hurd hit a two-out home run over the left field wall in the eighth inning to bring the Redhawks within one at 5-4. Sutton led off the ninth inning with a walk, and pinch runner Michael Ciancio (Kent, Wash.) advanced to third base on a sacrifice bunt and a wild pitch. After Griffin Andreychuk (Nanaimo, B.C.) walked to put the game-winning run on base, Chris Van Dyke induced a grounder to first base and a flyout to center field to pick up the save for Oakland.
Tyler Palm was credited with the victory for the Golden Grizzlies, allowing five hits, four walks, and two runs, one of them unearned, in five innings of work. The Redhawks had several scoring chances thanks to eight walks and two hit batters during the contest, but they left 13 runners on base as they saw their seven-game winning streak snapped.
Seattle University (7-4) will look to win the weekend series as it faces Oakland for the final time Sunday, March 6, starting at 12 noon at Bannerwood Park. Live stats and a live stream will be available on GoSeattleU.com.