Battling back from an early deficit, Seattle University took advantage of some Oregon State mistakes, and then the Redhawk relief pitching held the Beavers off the scoreboard as Seattle U defeated 23rd-ranked Oregon State, 5-4, Tuesday night at Goss Stadium.
"We executed our situational hitting better tonight and took advantage of their mistakes," head coach Donny Harrel said. "To get another road victory over a Pac-10 school is a big deal for our program, and I am proud of the way our guys battled back and stayed in the game."
Down 4-0 after three innings, Seattle U started its comeback in the fourth inning as Trent Oleszczuk (Beaverton, Ore.) led off with a double down the left field line, advanced to third on a flyout, and scored on a ground out by Doug Kincaid (Portland, Ore.). Meanwhile, Redhawk starter Brandon Kizer (Marysville, Wash.) settled down, retiring nine of the last ten batters he faced to keep his team in the game.
Josh Kalalau (University Place, Wash.) surprised everyone with a drag bunt to lead off the seventh inning with a single, and Matt Comer (Bozeman, Mont.) followed with a single through the left side. Pinch hitter Marcelino Morales (Pasco, Wash.) successfully executed a sacrifice bunt and reached base on a throwing error by Beaver catcher Andrew Susac, loading the bases with nobody out.
Nick Latta (Tacoma, Wash.) sent a grounder into the hole at shortstop, and Tyler Smith's throw to third base was off line, allowing a run to score and the bases to remain loaded. Steve Kirbach's (Kirkland, Wash.) single to center field scored pinch runner Ryan Somers (Sammamish, Wash.), and Bryndon Ecklund (Elma, Wash.) followed with a single to left field that brought in Morales and Latta to give the Redhawks the lead.
Conor Spink (Eagle River, Alaska) allowed one hit in the seventh inning, followed by a walk and a single in the eighth inning to put runners on first and second base with one out. Blaine Jones (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.) came on in relief and first faced Ryan Barnes, who sent a line drive towards the right-center field gap, but Kalalau made a diving catch to potentially save two runs. Jones ended the eighth with a groundout, and then set the Beavers down in order in the ninth inning, including back-to-back strikeouts, to pick up his fourth save of the season.
Oregon State (15-5) took the early lead in the second inning when Danny Hayes led off with a single, advanced to second on a wild pitch, reached third on a groundout, and scored on a balk. The Beavers scored three runs in the third inning on a walk, a hit batter, and RBI singles by Brian Stamps and Parker Berberet.
Seattle U ended Oregon State's eight-game home winning streak that started the Beaver season and won its first game over Oregon State in 39 years. Ecklund went 3-for-4 with two RBI and Oleszczuk finished the game 2-for-3 with a run scored and two sacrifice bunts. For the Beavers, Berberet and Smith each had two hits to lead the way for the home team.
Seattle University (9-6) will look to maintain its momentum when it faces Oregon State in the second and final game of the midweek series Wednesday, March 23, starting at 3:05 p.m.