After allowing the University of Washington to take the early lead, Seattle University put together a five-run fourth inning, and the Redhawk pitching shut down the Husky offense, as Seattle U defeated #7 Washington, 6-3, Tuesday evening at Husky Ballpark.
Chase Fields (Ontario, Ore.) led off the game with a single up the middle and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Michael McCann (Vancouver, Wash.). Back-to-back walks drawn by Landon Cray (Chimacum, Wash.) and Brian Olson (Black Diamond, Wash.) loaded the bases, and Cullen Hendrickson (Auburn, Wash.) followed with a single to center field that scored Fields. However, the Redhawks could not take further advantage of the bases-loaded situation, as Washington starter Will Ballowe earned a strikeout and a lineout to end the Seattle U threat.
Washington (29-11-1) answered back in the bottom of the first inning, starting when Andrew Ely reached on an error committed by Seattle U starter Grant Gunning (Snohomish, Wash.). With two outs, Brian Wolfe sent a single through the right side of the infield, advancing Ely to third, and Trevor Mitsui would drive Ely in with a single through the left side, tying the game at 1-1.
The Huskies put together a two-out rally in the second inning, starting with a single to center field by Erik Forgione. Forgione would steal second base and come around to score on a single to left field by Braden Bishop, who advanced to second on the throw home. Ely laced a single to right-center field, scoring Bishop to increase the Washington lead to 3-1.
In the top of the fourth inning, with Husky reliever Brandon Choate on the mound, Grant Newton (Bend, Ore.) and Cash McGuire (Kent, Wash.) notched back-to-back singles, and Fields sacrificed both runners into scoring position with a bunt. McCann sent a single through the left side, driving in Newton, and Cray drew another walk to load the bases with just one out.
After a force out at the plate, Hendrickson smashed a ball off the wall in right field for a bases-clearing triple, putting the Redhawks on top. Brock Carpenter (Milton, Wash.) followed with a single to left field, scoring Hendrickson and increasing the Seattle U lead to three runs.
Gunning faced the minimum over his final five innings, allowing just one hit after the second inning, and that runner was erased on a double play. He threw a season-high 90 pitches, 61 of them for strikes, as he went seven innings and earned two strikeouts without giving up a walk.
Andrew Olson (Enumclaw, Wash.) came on in the eighth inning and allowed the leadoff batter to reach base in each of his two innings, but both times that runner did not advance past first base as Olson would retire the next three hitters in order. Olson earned his first save of the season as Seattle U clinched the season series over Washington for the first time since the Redhawk program returned to varsity status in 2010.
Fields went 4-for-4 at the plate, while Hendrickson continued his hot hitting with a 3-for-4 performance with four runs batted in. Bishop and Mitsui led the Huskies with two hits apiece, while Alex Nesbitt and Trevor Dunlap kept Washington close with four innings of one-hit relief.
“We jumped up early and had a chance to separate with more runs, but their guy pitched his way out of it. They hit back on us, but we felt comfortable that Grant’s control would come around, and it did, as he made some great pitches,” Seattle U head coach Donny Harrel said. “We put ourselves in a good situation, and Cullen gave us the big hit. Anytime a senior can be on the mound at the end against a good team, it’s a good sign, and Andrew closed it out for us tonight.”
Seattle University (21-19, 9-6 WAC) welcomes WAC newcomer Grand Canyon to Bannerwood Park this weekend for a three-game series, starting Friday, May 2, at 6 p.m. The game on Saturday, May 3, will be played on Eddie O’Brien Day, with tickets costing $3 each as well as $3 hot dogs being available, and the first 100 fans through the gate will receive a replica baseball card featuring the late Seattle U Athletic Hall of Famer.