Seattle University jumped on the board early, and its pitching held Oakland University at bay as the Redhawks clinched the weekend series over the Golden Grizzlies with a 7-1 victory Sunday afternoon in a non-conference collegiate baseball game at Bannerwood Park.
After a nine-minute rain delay in the bottom of the first inning, Michael McCann (Vancouver, Wash.) and Sheldon Stober (Kent, Wash.) earned back-to-back singles. Sean Sutton (Coeur d’Alene, Idaho) followed with a triple deep into the gap in right-center field that drove in both runners to give the Redhawks the early lead.
In the bottom of the second inning, Lucas Denney (Goldendale, Wash.) led off with a single, and Jeffrey Morgan (Auburn, Wash.) reached base on an Oakland error. Cameron Sterne (Shoreline, Wash.) sacrificed both runners into scoring position, and Dalton Hurd (Bend, Ore.) followed with a single up the middle to score both Denney and Morgan, increasing the Seattle U lead to 4-0.
Nick Meservey (Scottsdale, Ariz.) struck out six batters the first time through the Oakland lineup, but Ryan Fitzgerald earned a one-out single to center field in the third inning. As a rain shower entered the area, Meservey started having control issues, walking three straight batters with two outs, with the free pass to Ian Yetsko forcing in Fitzgerald. However, with the bases still loaded, Meservey induced a popout to stop the Oakland rally.
The Redhawks broke the game open in the fifth inning, starting with a leadoff single by Stober, who advanced to second on a deep flyout to left field and took third base on a wild pitch. Griffin Andreychuk (Nanaimo, B.C.) drove in Stober with a single to left-center field, Denney drew a walk, and Morgan was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
Sterne hit a chopper to relief pitcher Connor Fannon, but his throw to first base was high, allowing Sterne to slide into first base safely and Andreychuk to score. After missing the strike zone in his first two pitches to Hurd, Fannon was replaced by Jonah Lakatos, but Hurd still drew a walk, scoring Denney in the process.
Meservey earned his second victory of the season despite allowing three hits and six walks in five innings, as he finished with nine strikeouts. The Redhawk bullpen kept Oakland off the scoreboard, as Connor Moore (West Richland, Wash.), Tyler Oldenberg (Boise, Idaho), and Zach Wolf (Dana Hills, Calif.) gave up just three hits in four combined innings of work, striking out four batters without any walks.
“Nick pitched in tough conditions today, but it was good for him to battle through that situation. It was good for us to score early. I thought our offense stayed consistent throughout the weekend, and our bullpen was really good in the series,” Seattle U head coach Donny Harrel said.
Stober led the Redhawk offense with a 3-for-5 performance, scoring two runs during the day, while Denney went 2-for-2 with a walk and two runs scored. Hurd drove in three runs for the Redhawks, who earned their eighth victory out of their last nine games.
Seattle University (8-4) is scheduled to travel south to face the Portland Pilots Tuesday, March 8, starting at 4 p.m. The Redhawks return to Bannerwood Park for a series against the Minnesota Golden Gophers, beginning Friday, March 11, at 5 p.m.