BELLEVUE, Wash. – Freshman Julian Kodama beat out a two-out single to short as Justin Mazzone scampered across home plate and the Seattle University baseball team walked off for the second time this season, coming from behind to beat Chicago State, 5-4, in Western Athletic Conference play Saturday afternoon at Courter Field on the campus of Bellevue College.
The win moves the Redhawks to 11-34 on the season, 6-14 in WAC play and secures their first conference series win of the season. The Cougars fall to 10-32 overall and 5-15 in the WAC.
"That was a much, much needed win and great perseverance by our guys," said Head Coach Donny Harrel. "We tell our guys with two strikes to just get a ball in play and see if the defense will make a play or give us a chance, and Julian did that."
Trailing 4-1 headed into the final frame the Redhawks collected a pair of hits, while also taking advantage of some Chicago State miscues. Jacob Prater led off by reaching on a hit by pitch, then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Kyler Murphy would single up the middle, sending Prater home to make it a 4-2 ballgame.
Kyle Sherick drew a four pitch walk to force CSU into a pitching change with runners on first and second. Cougar closer Yunis Halim got Connor O'Brien to fly out for out No. 1, but surrendered a five-pitch walk to Justin Mazzone to load the bases. Jake Taylor would follow, sending the first pitch delivered to the CSU second baseman who, fumbled the ground ball, then threw the late attempt to first well off the mark, allowing a pair of Redhawks to score and knot the score at 4-4.
Halim struck out Chase Wells for out No. 2, but on a full count pitch, Kodama laced a well hit ball towards short and beat the throw to first while Mazzone scored the game-winner.
Kodama finished the day with a team-high three hits while Taylor had another solid outing, finishing 2-for-5 with an RBI.
The Redhawks scored first, pushing one run across in the home half of the first, but the Cougars answered against starter Tyler Yeh, scoring once in the third and three times in the fourth. Yeh would exit after just 3.2 innings.
"We didn't get a great start out of Tyler, not throwing enough strikes to get into pitchers' counts," Harrel said. "Then after we give up those three runs, we don't get a base runner for three straight innings.
"And then we get bases loaded in the seventh and eighth, but can't get a hard hit ball through," Harrel continued. "But we kept battling, put some guys on in the ninth, moved them around with a little luck and took advantage of some defensive lapses. It's a big win, but we have to get right back after it tomorrow."
The Redhawks and Cougars wrap up the series with an 11 a.m. start on Sunday back at Bannerwood Park. For the most up-to-date information on game day, be sure to follow the Redhawks on Twitter at @seattleubase.