The Seattle University baseball team held the lead three times, but Washington State came back each time, eventually pulling ahead thanks to a four-run eighth inning as the Cougars held on for an 8-5 victory Tuesday night in the Cross State Showdown at Paul Thomas Sr. Baseball Stadium.
Cody Bartlett led off the eighth with a single, and Paul Clingan reached base when SeattleU relief pitcher Max Whieldon (Trabuco Hills, Calif.) could not pick up his sacrifice bunt attempt. After a strikeout, the two runners advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a single to right-center field by Shea Vucinich to give Washington State its first lead of the game. Matt Fanelli hit a home run to left field to add insurance runs, and Adam Conley pitched a perfect ninth inning to pick up his seventh save of the season for the Cougars.
Seattle University scored first when, with two outs in the second inning, Bryndon Ecklund (Montesano, Wash.) singled and Riley Tompkins (Lynnwood, Wash.) was hit by a pitch. Skip Spencer followed with a double to center field that drove in both runners to give the Redhawks a 2-0 lead. Washington State responded with two runs on three hits and a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the second to tie the game at 2-2.
In the third inning, Doug Buser (Orinda, Calif.) doubled to right-center field and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Sean Narby (Auburn, Wash.) hit a two-out single to drive in Buser, Nate Roberts (Silverdale, Wash.) reached on an error, and Ecklund singled up the middle to score Narby and give the Redhawks a 4-2 advantage. However, single runs by the Cougars in the fourth and sixth innings brought the game into another tie at 4-4.
Nick Latta (Tacoma, Wash.) led off the seventh inning with a single and a stolen base. With two outs in the inning, Narby again came through with an RBI single to put SeattleU ahead, 5-4. The Redhawks had a chance to increase the lead in the eighth inning with runners on first and third and one out, but Washington State (18-11) brought in reliever Paris Shewey, who posted back-to-back strikeouts to end the threat.
Arlo Evasick (Chimacum, Wash.) started the game for SeattleU, pitching 5 2/3 innings and allowing eight hits, four walks, and four runs, three of them earned, while striking out three batters. After Conor Spink (Eagle River, Alaska) faced two batters, Whieldon pitched the final two innings, taking the loss after giving up three hits and four runs.
Seattle University (4-23) begins a weekend series against the University of Nevada Friday, April 16, with a 6 p.m. scheduled start. Live stats and live audio for all three games against the Wolf Pack will be available on GoSeattleU.com.