In a reverse of Friday’s opening game of the weekend series, San Jose State enjoyed most of the offensive production and held Seattle University at bay, as the Spartans evened the series with a 7-1 victory over the Redhawks Saturday afternoon in a Western Athletic Conference baseball game at Municipal Stadium.
San Jose State (14-28, 8-9 WAC) took the early lead in the bottom of the first inning as Andre Mercurio, Sheldon Daquioag, and Matt Carroll notched consecutive singles, with Carroll’s hit driving in Mercurio. Seattle U would earn the equalizer in the top of the third inning as Cash McGuire (Kent, Wash.) hit a solo home run just over the left field wall to make the score 1-1.
The Spartans threatened to score in the bottom of the third inning, as Daquioag and Carroll notched back-to-back singles, and Jacob Valdez reached on a Redhawk fielding error to load the bases with one out. Seattle U starter Garrett Anderson (Kennewick, Wash.) was able to pitch out of the jam with a strikeout and a lineout to keep the game in a 1-1 tie.
Seattle U had chances to score in both the fourth and fifth innings, as the first two batters in each inning reached base. With runners on first and second in the fourth, a failed sacrifice attempt and a double play killed the scoring opportunity, while a close play at the plate did not go the Redhawks’ way in the fifth, and San Jose State starter D.J. Slaton escaped the inning with a strikeout and a bases-loaded groundout.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Daquioag led off with a double off the base of the left field wall. Anderson retired the next two batters, but Nick Schulz found the gap in right-center field for a double, driving in Daquioag to put the Spartans ahead, 2-1.
Anderson allowed a leadoff single to Kalei Contrades and a sacrifice bunt advancing Contrades to second base in the sixth inning before being taken out. Michael Gerlach greeted Redhawk reliever Evan Ewing (Spokane, Wash.) with a double down the left field line, driving in Contrades to extend the Spartan lead.
San Jose State broke the game open off Seattle U pitcher Will Dennis (Saratoga, Calif.), as he allowed a bunt single by Mercurio, hit Daquioag with a pitch, and gave up a two-run single to Carroll. Dennis was able to end the sixth inning by inducing a double play, but not before the Spartans pulled ahead, 5-1.
In the bottom of the eighth, the Spartans added to their lead, as Ricky Acosta drew a leadoff walk, Gerlach followed with a single, and both runners executed a successful double steal. With the infield drawn in, Mercurio drove in Acosta with a single up the middle, and Daquioag laid down a bunt single, scoring Gerlach.
The Redhawks tried to start a rally in the top of the ninth, as Brian Olson (Black Diamond, Wash.) and Sean Narby (Auburn, Wash.) were each hit by a pitch, and pinch hitter Steve Kirbach (Kirkland, Wash.) singled to load the bases with one out. San Jose State reliever Kyle Hassna closed out the game with a strikeout and a flyout.
The Redhawks were held to seven hits during the game, with no player earning more than one hit. On the other hand, the Spartans finished with 16 hits, 12 of them coming from the top of the batting order, led by Daquioag with a 4-for-4 performance. Slaton earned the victory after pitching seven innings, while Anderson took the loss after his 5 1/3-inning effort.
Seattle University (16-25, 6-10 WAC) will close the series at San Jose State Sunday, April 28, starting at 12 p.m. Dan Giuliani will broadcast the game on GoSeattleU.com, starting with the pregame show shortly before first pitch. The Redhawks will then return home to prepare for a midweek series against nationally-ranked Oregon, beginning Tuesday, April 30, at Everett Memorial Stadium at 6 p.m. Tickets for that game are on sale through the Everett AquaSox ticket office.