The Seattle University baseball team got off to a great start, but Texas State roared back to complete the weekend series sweep with a 6-4 victory over the Redhawks Saturday in Western Athletic Conference action at Bobcat Ballpark.
Landon Cray (Chimacum, Wash.) got the game off to a rousing start with a leadoff home run to right field. Nate Roberts (Silverdale, Wash.) followed with a double to left-center field, Ryan Somers (Sammamish, Wash.) walked, and Grant Newton (Bend, Ore.) singled to load the bases with nobody out. Roberts would score on a double play grounder, and Steve Kirbach (Kirkland, Wash.) would lace a single to center field to drive in Somers with the third run of the inning.
Texas State (12-15, 5-1 WAC) broke through in the third inning thanks in part to two Seattle U errors that allowed Morgan Mickan to reach base and advance to third. After Kyle Doyle (Covington, Wash.) walked J.D. Stinnett, Kevin Sah drove in Mickan with a sacrifice fly to left field.
Doyle hit Cody Lovejoy with a pitch, and Garrett Mattlage followed with a double to right-center field, driving in both Stinnett and Lovejoy. Austin O’Neal hit a single into right field, allowing Mattlage to come around and score the go-ahead run.
With one out in the top of the fourth inning, Austen Brand (Tacoma, Wash.) walked, and Cray sent a single through the right side of the infield. Roberts would drive in Brand with a single to tie the game, but Somers would pop up a bunt attempt, and O’Neal would make a diving catch before throwing over to third base to double up Cray, ending the Redhawk opportunity.
The Bobcats would retake the lead when Matt Smith led off the bottom of the fourth inning with a single, advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt and a flyout to center field, and scored on a single by Stinnett. Sah drew a four-pitch walk that ended Doyle’s day, and Lovejoy would greet Redhawk reliever Ben Ruff (Fife, Wash.) with a single to load the bases, but Ruff would retire Mattlage to end the inning, keeping the Texas State lead at one.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Tyler Pearson drew a leadoff walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. Will Dennis (Saratoga, Calif.) came on to replace Ruff, but he walked Sah and gave up a single to Lovejoy that scored Pearson, extending the Bobcats’ lead. Dennis would keep the Redhawks close with 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief.
Texas State starter Kyle Finnegan would settle down after the rough first inning, picking up the victory after allowing nine hits, two walks, and four runs in six innings, earning four strikeouts along the way. Austen Williams pitched two perfect innings before giving way to Bobcat closer Hunter Lemke, who retired the Redhawks in order in the ninth inning for his third save of the weekend.
Doyle took the loss for the Redhawks, giving up five hits, two walks, and five runs, only one of them earned, in 3 2/3 innings on the mound. For the second straight game, Seattle U lost despite outhitting Texas State, 9-8, led by Cray, Roberts, and Cullen Hendrickson (Auburn, Wash.) with two hits apiece. Lovejoy was the only Bobcat hitter with more than one hit in the game, going 2-for-4 with a run scored and a run batted in.
Seattle University (10-16, 2-4 WAC) begins a six-game homestand with non-conference games against Washington Tuesday, April 2, at 6 p.m. and against Portland Wednesday, April 3, at 2:30 p.m. The Redhawks will then play their first WAC home series, welcoming UTSA to Bannerwood Park next Friday through Sunday, April 5-7.