MESA, Ariz. – (May 24) Behind stellar pitching and advantageous moments on offense, Seattle University knocked off top-seed Grand Canyon, 3-2, to remain in the winner's bracket of the 2018 Western Athletic Conference Baseball Tournament at Hohokam Stadium in Mesa, Ariz., Thursday.
Jake Prizina (8-1) was brilliant on the mounding, retiring 13 consecutive batters in the midst of a six-strikeout, four-hit, one-walk, 6.2-inning performance. He would give way to Zach Wolf, who would surrender two hits and one run, but close out a 1-2-3 ninth to secure the win.
The fourth seeded Redhawks (34-21) will face third seed New Mexico State in the winner's bracket semifinal game at 7 p.m. Friday as the top two seeds both fell for the second straight year.
GCU (33-23) starter Jake Wong walked a pair in the first, but got out the jam with a ground out. But in the second, the Redhawks would take advantage of two Lopes' fielding errors to push a pair of runs across home plate.
Curtis Perrin led off by reaching on a fielding error by first baseman Ian Evans. Perrin would advance to second on a Connor O'Brien single to left and score as Dawson Day reached on a throwing error by Wong on an intended sacrifice bunt. Kyler Murphy would follow with a ground out RBI to second that scored O'Brien.
The Redhawks added a third unearned run in the fourth when O'Brien led off with a single and advanced to second on a fielding error by right fielder Quin Cotton. The rookie moved to third in a Murphy ground out and scored on Justin Mazzone's single through the left side.
Wong would settle in to retire six straight, and 12 of the final 13 Redhawk batters he faced. He finished with 11 strikeouts in eight innings.
The Lopes would get on the board in the seventh as a walk, wild pitch and two hits pushed one run across the plate. Wolf would replace Prizina for the final out of the inning, a quick 2-0 ground out to second.
Wolf ran into some trouble himself in the eighth as the surrendered back-to-back hits to open the inning. A sacrifice bunt moved the runners over and one run would score on a ground out to short before Wolf induced a fly out to right field to preserve the Redhawk lead, 3-2.
Wolf wold go on to retire the side in the ninth, including a line-out to centerfield to end the game. The save was Wolf's ninth of the season and 26th of his career.