The Seattle University offense came alive midway through the final game of the weekend series, but UC Irvine rallied in its final at-bat to defeat the Redhawks, 8-4, Sunday afternoon in a non-conference collegiate baseball game at Anteater Ballpark.
Seattle U scored first in the top of the fourth inning as Sheldon Stober (Kent, Wash.) led off with a double down the left field line, his second double of the game, and came around to score on a single by Sean Sutton (Coeur d’Alene, Idaho). UC Irvine pulled ahead in the bottom of the fifth inning when Griffin Mazur led off with a double and scored on a single by Keston Hiura, who then advanced to second on a wild pitch and came around to score on a double by Mitchell Holland.
The Redhawks put together their biggest offensive inning of the weekend in the sixth inning, starting with back-to-back singles by Sutton and Dalton Hurd (Bend, Ore.). After a sacrifice bunt by Jack Reisinger (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) advanced both runners into scoring position, Jeffrey Morgan (Auburn, Wash.) drove in Sutton with a single through the left side of the infield.
Jake Taylor (Boise, Idaho) came up as a pinch hitter and drew a walk to load the bases, and then Michael McCann (Vancouver, Wash.) drew a two-out walk to force in Hurd with the go-ahead run. Stober reached base on an infield single, driving in Morgan to increase the Redhawk lead to 4-2.
Austin Hansen (Mukilteo, Wash.) came on in relief of Redhawk starter Nick Meservey (Scottsdale, Ariz.) in the bottom of the fifth and retired nine of the first 10 batters he faced, including five strikeouts. With two outs in the eighth inning, he hit Adam Alcantara and Parker Coss with back-to-back pitches, and then he was removed from the game while facing Wyatt Castro.
Ky Dye (Everett, Wash.) replaced Hansen, walked Castro to load the bases, and then gave up a two-run double to Cole Kreuter, a two-run single to Hiura, and an RBI single to John Brontsema. Connor Moore (West Richland, Wash.) came on in relief of Dye and allowed a double to Holland before finally ending the Anteater rally.
The Redhawks attempted to put together a ninth-inning comeback, as McCann drew a leadoff walk and Brock Carpenter (Milton, Wash.) hit a one-out single through the left side of the infield. However, UC Irvine reliever Calvin Faucher earned a strikeout and induced a flyout to finish the game.
Neither starter factored into the decision, as Meservey allowed four hits, four walks, and two runs in 4 2/3 innings of work, while UC Irvine starter Cameron Bishop gave up eight hits, two walks, and four runs in 5 1/3 innings on the mound. Chris Vargas earned the victory for the Anteaters after 2 1/3 innings of perfect relief with two strikeouts.
UC Irvine (14-6) was led offensively by Hiura, as he went 3-for-4 with a walk, two runs scored, and three RBI. Stober was the leading hitter for the Redhawks, going 3-for-5 with a run scored and an RBI as Seattle U outhit the Anteaters, 10-8.
Seattle University (11-8) returns to Bannerwood Park in Bellevue for a five-game homestand, starting with a single game against the Oregon Ducks Tuesday, March 22, at 5 p.m. The Redhawks then open Western Athletic Conference play with a three-game series against CSU Bakersfield Thursday through Saturday, March 24-26, followed by a midweek game against the Portland Pilots Tuesday, March 29.