The Seattle University offense collected 17 hits during the afternoon, pressuring Portland throughout the day as the Redhawks defeated the Pilots, 8-4, Friday in collegiate baseball action at Joe Etzel Field.
Chase Fields (Ontario, Ore.) started the game with an infield single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. After a single by Brian Olson (Black Diamond, Wash.) advanced Fields to third base, Sean Narby (Auburn, Wash.) laced a double to center field to drive in Fields with the first run of the game. Olson attempted to score when a pitch got past Portland catcher Beau Fraser, but Travis Radke covered home and was able to tag out Olson, keeping the score 1-0.
Portland (3-11) tied the game in the bottom of the first inning as Brian Frattali, Cody Lenahan, and Jeff Melby loaded the bases with three consecutive singles, and Fraser followed with a sacrifice fly to left field to drive in Frattali. Seattle U starter Andrew Olson (Enumclaw, Wash.) settled down, retiring 13 consecutive Pilot batters over the next four innings.
Meanwhile, the Redhawks took the lead for good in the second inning when Cash McGuire (Kent, Wash.) led off with an infield single, Nick Latta (Tacoma, Wash.) followed with a single to left field, and Ben Ruff (Fife, Wash.) hit his first home run of the season, a three-run blast over the left field wall. In the top of the third inning, McGuire singled to left field and Ruff doubled to right field to put runners on second and third, followed by a Radke wild pitch that allowed McGuire to score, extending Seattle U's lead to 5-1.
In the top of the fifth inning, Narby led off with a walk, stole second base, advanced to third on a flyout, and scored on a double by McGuire. Portland answered in the bottom of the fifth with two-out singles by Michael Lucarelli and Kramer Scott, followed by a double by Frattali that drove in both Pilots, cutting the Redhawk advantage to 6-3.
Ben Grubb hit a leadoff home run to center field in the seventh inning, bringing the Pilots to within two at 6-4. Will Dennis (Saratoga, Calif.) came on in relief and pitched the final 2 2/3 innings, retiring all eight batters he faced to earn his first career save. Andrew Olson picked up his first collegiate victory after 6 1/3 innings of work, allowing nine hits and four runs while striking out two batters.
Seattle U scored single runs in the eighth and ninth innings, with a single by Narby bringing in Fields in the eighth and Grant Newton (Bend, Ore.) lacing a triple to right field in the ninth, scoring pinch runner Chris Jaeger (Carmel, Calif.) after Ryan Somers (Sammamish, Wash.) led off with a double down the right field line.
Six Redhawks enjoyed multiple-hit games, led by Fields and McGuire with three hits apiece. Ruff went 2-for-3 with a double, a home run, and three runs batted in, and Somers's two hits were both doubles. Frattali and Melby each went 2-for-4 to lead the Pilots offensively.
Seattle University (4-10) continues the three-game series against Portland Saturday, March 9, at 1 p.m. at Joe Etzel Field. Dan Giuliani will broadcast the game live on GoSeattleU.com, starting with the pregame show at approximately 12:40 p.m.