Seattle University stayed within striking distance the entire game, but a key play in the fifth inning allowed Texas State to pull ahead, and the Bobcats would go on to defeat the Redhawks, 4-2, Thursday evening in a Western Athletic Conference baseball game at Bobcat Ballpark.
Chase Fields (Ontario, Ore.) led off the game with a double down the left field line and stole third base, but he was stranded there as Texas State starter Taylor Black collected a strikeout, a flyout, and a groundout. In the second inning, Grant Newton (Bend, Ore.) led off with a single through the right side of the infield, but he was erased on a double play.
After retiring the first five Bobcat batters in order, Seattle U starter Ted Hammond (Shoreline, Wash.) allowed back-to-back singles in the second, but he recovered by inducing an inning-ending flyout. Hammond had some control problems in the third and fourth innings, hitting a batter in each inning, but he did not allow any runs to score in either frame as the Bobcats stranded three runners on base combined in those two innings.
Brian Olson (Black Diamond, Wash.) led off the fifth inning with a single to right field, and then he advanced to second when the throw from Bobcat catcher Tyler Pearson to second base was off target as Olson took off on a hit-and-run. Olson reached third base on a sacrifice bunt by Cash McGuire (Kent, Wash.) and scored the first run of the game on a groundout hit by Cullen Hendrickson (Auburn, Wash.).
Texas State (10-15, 3-1 WAC) responded in the bottom of the fifth inning when J.D. Stinnett led off with a single. After Hammond retired the next two batters, Garrett Mattlage smacked a ball off the wall in right field for a triple, driving in Stinnett with the game-tying run. After Cody Lovejoy drew a walk, Ben McElroy hit a fly ball that Redhawk rightfielder Sean Narby (Auburn, Wash.) could not hold in his glove, allowing both Mattlage and Lovejoy to score to give the Bobcats a 3-1 lead.
With one out in the top of the sixth inning, Nate Roberts (Silverdale, Wash.) drew a walk, and Narby would keep the inning alive with a two-out walk. Newton sent a hit up the middle, scoring Roberts to cut the Bobcat lead in half, 3-2. However, Texas State would reestablish its two-run lead in the bottom of the sixth on a leadoff home run by Colby Targun.
Fields led off the eighth inning with a walk and advanced to second on a passed ball, but he was caught in a rundown on a grounder to shortstop, and the next two Redhawk batters were retired by Texas State reliever Donnie Hart. Newton started the ninth inning with a single to left field, but Bobcat closer Hunter Lemke induced a double play from Olson, and he would follow that by retiring McGuire on a groundout for his second save of the season.
Black picked up the victory for the Bobcats, allowing four hits, three walks, and two runs in 7 1/3 innings of work, picking up three strikeouts along the way. Hammond took the loss for the Redhawks, giving up five hits, three walks, and four runs in five innings on the mound. Jake Chutney (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.) and Evan Ewing (Spokane, Wash.) kept Seattle U in the game with three innings of scoreless relief.
Seattle U was held to five hits in the game, three of them coming from Newton as he went 3-for-4 during the contest. Targun finished the game 2-for-3 at the plate, the only Bobcat to pick up multiple hits along the way.
Seattle University (10-14, 2-2 WAC) continues the three-game series with Texas State Friday, March 29, at 3 p.m. local time (1 p.m. Pacific time), with the final game of the weekend set scheduled for Saturday, March 30, at 11 a.m. Central time (9 a.m. Pacific time). The Redhawks will return to Bannerwood Stadium in Bellevue to begin a six-game homestand Tuesday, April 2, against the Washington Huskies starting at 6 p.m.