In a game that spanned over two days due to rain, Seattle University fell behind early and put together some offense after the resumption, but Grand Canyon University was able to hold on for a 10-6 victory over the Redhawks in a Western Athletic Conference collegiate baseball game that concluded Sunday at Bannerwood Park.
David Walker led off the game Saturday with a bunt single and, after a 28-minute rain delay, advanced to third base on a single by Paul Panaccione. Chad De La Guerra drove in Walker with a sacrifice fly to center field, but Seattle U starter Connor Moore (West Richland, Wash.) was able to retire the next two Antelope batters to cut the scoring threat short.
With one out in the third inning, Walker reached base on a Redhawk fielding error, and Panaccione followed with a double to right field. De La Guerra drew a walk to load the bases, and Josh Meyer reached on a fielder’s choice, driving in Walker. Michael Pomeroy sent a single into right field that scored Panaccione to increase the Grand Canyon lead to 3-0.
The Redhawks put together a two-out rally in the bottom of the third, as Chase Fields (Ontario, Ore.) doubled down the left field line and Michael McCann (Vancouver, Wash.) drew a walk. Landon Cray (Chimacum, Wash.) hit a line drive destined for right field that probably would have scored Fields, but the ball hit McCann as he was heading towards second base, ending the Redhawk threat. In the bottom of the fourth, Brian Olson (Black Diamond, Wash.) led off with a single and Brock Carpenter (Milton, Wash.) doubled to put two runners in scoring position with one out, but Grand Canyon starter Coley Bruns pitched out of the jam.
Grand Canyon (25-19, 14-7 WAC) broke the game open with four runs in the top of the fifth inning, loading the bases with two singles and a walk off Moore before he was replaced by Grant Gunning (Snohomish, Wash.). Pomeroy greeted Gunning with a double to right field, scoring Panaccione and De La Guerra, and Ben Mauseth followed with an RBI single that scored Meyer. Pomeroy would score as Seattle U turned a double play, giving the Antelopes a 7-0 advantage.
As rain started to fall in the bottom of the fifth, Cash McGuire (Kent, Wash.) was able to reach second base when his fly ball was mishandled. The umpires called for the tarp and, after waiting for two-and-a-half hours, everyone agreed to halt the game and resume it on Sunday.
After working on the field Sunday afternoon to get it ready for play, the Redhawks were determined to spend some time on it, as McCann and Cray drew back-to-back walks to load the bases, followed by another walk from Antelope reliever Kyle Detwiler, this time to Olson, to force in McGuire with the first Seattle U run of the game. Cullen Hendrickson (Auburn, Wash.) hit a shot right into the glove of Pomeroy, who was able to turn the double play to end the Seattle U scoring opportunity.
With two runners on and two out in the sixth inning, Fields laced a double to left field, driving in both Grant Newton (Bend, Ore.) and Colin Peterson (Bellingham, Wash.). McCann followed with a single to right field that scored Fields, cutting the Redhawk deficit to 7-4.
Grand Canyon put together a two-out rally in the top of the eighth, as Pomeroy drove in De La Guerra with a single through the right side, and Meyer would score on a bases-loaded grounder hit by Garrett Jeffries. Pinch hitter Sam Finfer (Bellevue, Wash.) led off the bottom of the eighth with a walk, and he would eventually score on a single to right field by McCann.
Both teams scored a single run in the ninth inning, ending an offensive showcase that featured 26 combined hits, 16 of them from the Antelopes. Grand Canyon stranded 13 runners on base, while Seattle U left 11 men on the basepaths. Pomeroy led all players with a 4-for-6 performance with four runs batted in, while Panaccione and De La Guerra earned three hits apiece.
Bruns pitched well for the Antelopes, allowing just four hits, two walks, and one unearned run in four innings of work, but the suspension of the game ended his chance to finish the fifth inning and earn the victory. Malcolm Purdy picked up the win for Grand Canyon, giving up two hits and one unearned run in the final two innings, striking out two Redhawk batters.
Moore took the loss for Seattle U after allowing eight hits, two walks, and six runs, four of them earned, in four innings on the mound. McCann went 2-for-2 with three walks and two runs batted in, while Fields and Carpenter also collected two hits apiece.
Seattle University (22-21, 10-8 WAC) heads to Orem, Utah, next weekend for a key three-game WAC series against Utah Valley University, starting Friday, May 9, at 6 p.m. local time (5 p.m. Pacific time).