Seattle University used another two-out rally to build a significant lead, and the Redhawks were able to hold off the Bakersfield Roadrunners for an 8-5 victory Friday night in Western Athletic Conference collegiate baseball action at Bannerwood Park.
After Bakersfield starter James Barragan retired the first five Redhawk batters in order, Grant Newton (Bend, Ore.) broke through with a single deep into the hole at shortstop, and Colin Peterson (Bellingham, Wash.) followed with a single to right field. Cash McGuire (Kent, Wash.) drove in Newton with a single, and Griffin Andreychuk’s (Nanaimo, B.C.) single scored Peterson.
Chase Fields (Ontario, Ore.) added his own single through the left side of the infield, scoring McGuire. Michael McCann (Vancouver, Wash.) produced the big hit of the second inning with a double to right-center field, driving in both Andreychuk and Fields. Landon Cray (Chimacum, Wash.) notched the team’s seventh straight hit with a single to left field, but McCann was thrown out at the plate trying to score from second base, ending the inning.
“We have had success this year not giving up on an inning after two outs, but to get five runs and seven hits in a row was a little surprising,” Seattle U head coach Donny Harrel said.
Bakersfield (23-31, 14-12 WAC) responded in the top of the third inning, as Ross Hough led off with a single to right-center field. After Oscar Sanay notched a one-out single, David Metzgar sent a sinking liner that fell in front of Cray, but the right fielder misplayed the single and the ball rolled towards the outfield wall, allowing Hough and Sanay to come all the way around to score and Metzgar to reach third base. Metzgar would score on a single by Mylz Jones, but the Redhawks avoided any further damage by turning an inning-ending double play.
McGuire extended Seattle U’s lead back to three runs in the fourth inning with a solo home run to left field, his second of the season. Nick Rogowski came on in the sixth inning for Barragan, gave up a single to McGuire, and hit Andreychuk with a pitch. Fields drove in McGuire with a double down the left field line and, after McCann walked to load the bases, Cray was able to reach base on a fielder’s choice, allowing Andreychuk to score.
Seattle U starter Will Dennis (Saratoga, Calif.) worked his way into the seventh inning before being replaced by Andrew Olson (Enumclaw, Wash.), who retired the final batter in the inning with two runners in scoring position. Olson did give up two runs in the eighth inning, but he picked up a key strikeout to end the Roadrunner threat.
Skyler Genger (Kent, Wash.) came on in the ninth inning and walked Metzgar on four pitches to lead off the inning. Genger proceeded to strikeout the next three batters, two of them looking, to preserve the win for Dennis and earn the first save of his collegiate career.
McGuire was the hitting star for the Redhawks, going 3-for-4 with three runs scored and two RBI, while Fields finished with two hits, two RBI, and his conference-leading 24th stolen base of the season. Four different Bakersfield batters earned two hits apiece as the Roadrunners collected more hits than the Redhawks (12-10), but stranded nine runners on base and hit into two double plays.
“Anyone can get hot at this point in the season, so tomorrow is a big game for us. It’s about us keeping momentum as we head down to Mesa for the tournament next week,” added Harrel.
Seattle University (25-24, 13-10 WAC) looks for the series sweep over Bakersfield Saturday, May 17, with a 12 noon scheduled first pitch. At 11:45 a.m., the Senior Day ceremony will start at Bannerwood Park, honoring the five seniors on the 2014 Redhawk baseball roster.