SEATTLE --- With the calendar turning to September, the start of the 2019-20 Seattle University academic year draws closer and with that new and familiar Redhawk baseball faces report with a new season on the horizon. Despite struggling in 2018, the Redhawks were in postseason contention until a tough final weekend cut their hopes short. Head coach Donny Harrel bid farewell to six seniors as Kyler Murphy, Michael Ciancio, Jacob Prater, Jake Prizina, Jake Taylor and Max Werner each concluded their respective collegiate careers. The left-handed Prizina however had his playing career extended as he was selected by the Baltimore Orioles in the 31st round of the 2019 MLB Amateur Draft.
Key Fall Dates:
Sept. 22 | Pro Day at Bannerwood Park
Sept. 28 | Scrimmage vs. St. Martin's
Oct. 1 | Scrimmage at Bellevue
Oct. 12 | Black vs Scarlet Intersquad
Oct. 13 | Black vs Scarlet Intersquad (if needed)
The following is a fall preview from head coach Donny Harrel.
Fall baseball is my favorite time of the year. We are excited for what the season may bring and we will be preparing each day to be ready for the first pitch on opening day in February. Our guys worked hard over the summer and are carrying a little chip on their shoulder after our drop-off last spring. We will truly find out what type of character we have as an organization as we started workouts on Sept. 7. We have added some very talented athletes to our roster and with the youth we played with last season, we are hoping their maturity shows up this year on the field. All in all, we look forward to working hard to regain our respect in a very tough Western Athletic Conference.
We continue to believe and build our club around the thought that pitching and defense wins championships. Unfortunately, that did not happen in 2019 as we struggled on the mound, posting our worst earned run average (6.21) since posting a 6.80 mark my first year in 2010.
Nine arms return from last season, including junior Jarrod Billig, who finished the season tied for the most wins last year (4) and had the team’s lowest ERA last season at 4.07. Experience is always a key and senior Alden Huschle leads all returners from last season with 24 appearances. Hs is followed by sophomore Desmond Parisotto and senior Tyler Yeh with 21 and 20 appearances, respectively.
In order to fill in some gaps, we went the junior college route and added some valuable arms who will have a great opportunity to get on the mound right away. Juniors Brandon Jenkins (Central Arizona JC), Alex McBee (Tacoma CC),and Luke Tedrick (Edmonds CC) all come into the system having great success last season. We also added a trio of talented freshmen in Ethan Brown (Desert Ridge HS, Ariz.), Peter Chrownowski (Heritage HS, Colo.) and Kohl Petersen (Roosevelt HS) to provide some depth. They will all fight for innings come spring.
Defensively, we made too many mistakes and will have to do better in taking care of the ball so we can protect our pitchers and increase our chances of winnings ball games. Despite falling short of our fielding goal, I feel we are at a good starting point as we return some talented players. That includes last season's team Defensive Player of the Year, senior right fielder Chase Wells, who surrendered just one error in 121 attempts in 2019.
Also back is sophomore Kyle Sherick, who led all outfielders with five assists as he earned the team's Offense Player and Rookie of the Year honors. Sherick also hit .310 with 13 extra bases, had 21 RBI and converted 10-for-12 in stolen bases. Senior Austin Lively, who will be moving to second this coming year, is also back after having a solid junior campaign hitting .298 with 20 RBI. Junior Connor O’Brien started 49 games at shortstop in 2019 and drove in 31 runs, while junior catcher Justin Mazzone finished 2019 with 52 appearances and was second on the team in RBI (behind Taylor) with 36. Seven new position players join the club this year and will compete to get into the line-up.
Our primary team goal continues to be that of winning a WAC title. We not only need to play better this season, but we need to prepare better. Fall gives us an opportunity to see what our returners did during this off season to better themselves and how our new comers will react to the speed of Division l baseball. After winning just 13 game last year – the line-up card is wide open for players to grab a spot so we can get back to our winning ways.