After a day in which Seattle University had plenty of scoring chances, the Redhawks struggled to put people on base Sunday, as Sacramento State completed the weekend sweep with a 4-3 victory in Western Athletic Conference baseball action at John Smith Field.
Chase Fields (Ontario, Ore.) led off the game with a walk and stole second base. He advanced to third on a single by Cullen Hendrickson (Auburn, Wash.) and came in to score on a single through the right side of the infield by Grant Newton (Bend, Ore.).
In the top of the second inning, Sam Finfer (Bellevue, Wash.) led off with a single through the right side of the infield, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Griffin Andreychuk (Nanaimo, B.C.), and scored when Sacramento State committed an error on a ball hit by Michael McCann (Vancouver., Wash.).
Sacramento State (20-11, 9-0 WAC) broke through in the bottom of the fourth inning thanks to consecutive singles by David Del Grande, Rhys Hoskins, and Will Soto, with Soto’s single driving in Del Grande. After Seattle U starter Connor Moore (West Richland, Wash.) induced a popout for the first out, Scotty Burcham reached on an infield single to load the bases, and all three runners advanced when the Redhawks made an error on an attempted pickoff, with Hoskins scoring the tying run. Moore was able to work out of the jam with a strikeout and a flyout.
The Hornets took the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning when Nathan Lukes reached base on a Redhawk error, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from Kyle Moses, reached third on a wild pitch, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Hoskins. In the bottom of the seventh inning, Moses drew a one-out walk, stole second base, and came around to score on a single down the left field line by Hoskins, increasing the Hornet lead to 4-2.
Seattle U cut into the Hornet advantage in the eighth inning when Austen Brand (Tacoma, Wash.) reached base on an error, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and came around to score on back-to-back flyouts hit by Hendrickson and Brian Olson (Black Diamond, Wash.). However, the Redhawks could not take full advantage of three Sacramento State errors, earning just four hits during the game.
“I am very disappointed in how we competed at the plate. We were aggressive in the first couple of innings, but after that we did not adjust to how they were coming at us. Connor pitched good enough to win, and at some point our offense has to start producing at a higher level,” Seattle U head coach Donny Harrel said.
Moore took the loss after pitching the first seven innings for Seattle U, allowing eight hits and four runs, two of them earned, while striking out four Hornet batters. Jared Paderez earned the win for Sacramento State in a 6 2/3-inning relief effort, giving up two hits, two walks, and two unearned runs. Alex Palsha pitched 1 1/3 innings of hitless relief to pick up his second save of the season.
Seattle University (11-15, 3-3 WAC) returns home to start a five-game homestand Tuesday, April 8, against the University of Washington at Bannerwood Park in Bellevue at 6 p.m. The Redhawks will then host Concordia University Wednesday, April 9, at 4 p.m. before welcoming Northern Colorado for a three-game conference series next weekend, April 11-13.