BELLEVUE, Wash. - (Mar. 24) Seattle University baseball held a 3-1 lead through four innings in its Western Athletic Conference opener against Chicago State Friday. But the Cougars will rally for three unanswered runs, including two in the top of the ninth, sending the Redhawks to a 4-3 setback at Bannerwood Park.
Jake Prizina pitched 5.2 quality innings in his sixth start of the season. The sophomore fanned six, walked two and allowed five hits for two runs. After giving up a run on two hits in the opening frame, Prizina settled in to get three straight outs in the second. He opened the third with a walk and committed a fielding error on a sacrifice bunt, but worked his way out of a jam by inducing a foul out and line out to end the inning.
The Redhawk offense, meanwhile, slowly built a 3-1 advantage. A bases loaded walk by Dalton Hurd evened the score in the second. Aaron Stroosma launched a solo home run over the left field fence in the third, and Jack Reisinger singled in Austin Lively in the fourth. Lively reached on a walk and stole second to put himself in scoring position.
Prizina surrendered a solo home run to Matt Paciello to open the sixth, making it a 3-2 ball game. With two outs and runners on first and second, Austin Hansen entered in relief. The rookie gave up a single to load the bases for Chicago State, but he got the next batter to ground out to first, ending the rally.
Hansen hit Joe Baier to open the top of the ninth, but the leadoff would be out at second on a fielder’s choice bunt on the next at bat. The Cougar’s Zach Thomas singled through the left side to put runners on first and second for Jacob Vanitvelt whose single to right sent the game-tying run home.
With Cougar runners on first and third, Zach Wolf came on for the Redhawks. But in an attempted pick-off attempt by SU, Sean Sutton’s throw to catch the runner going to second went errant and Thomas went racing home from third for the game-winning run.
Reisinger had a pair of hits and an RBI for the Redhawks who finished with just five hits. Hansen was tagged for the loss for SU (7-14, 0-1 WAC)
Thomas earned the win for CSU (5-13, 1-0 WAC) in two innings of relief. Starter Jake Perkins fanned seven, walked five and gave up five hits for three runs in seven innings.
Due to expected inclement weather on Sunday, the Redhawks and Cougars will continue play with a doubleheader Saturday, beginning at 11 a.m. at Bannerwood Park.