NOTE: Saturday's scheduled game between Seattle University and Utah Valley has been postponed due to the weather conditions. The two teams will attempt to play a doubleheader Sunday, February 19, with the first pitch of the first game scheduled for 11 a.m. at Bannerwood Stadium
Seafth Howe (Seattle, Wash.) made a strong opening day start, and the Seattle University offense back him up with significant run production as the Redhawks defeated Utah Valley, 8-2, in the first game of the 2012 season Friday at Bannerwood Stadium.
Howe pitched eight innings, giving up only three hits, two walks, and one earned run while striking out two batters. Howe threw 96 pitches, 64 of them for strikes, and set down 17 of the final 18 batters he faced in the game.
Seattle U struck in the first inning as Grant Newton (Bend, Ore.) reached on a fielder's choice, stole second base, and scored on a single by Bryndon Ecklund (Elma, Wash.). Utah Valley tied the score in the second inning as Kai Hatch singled, advanced to second, and scored on a double by Cole McWhorter.
The Redhawks took the lead for good in the fourth inning when Jace Sloan (Puyallup, Wash.) hustled into second base with a leadoff double and scored on a single by Brian Olson (Black Diamond, Wash.). In the sixth inning, Sloan was hit by a pitch in the leg that forced him to leave the game. Pinch runner Michael Tevlin (Billings, Mont.) advanced to third on a double by Sean Narby (Auburn, Wash.), and they both scored on subsequent plays to give the Redhawks a 4-1 lead.
Ecklund hit a solo home run in the seventh inning, and then Seattle U broke the game open with three runs in the eighth inning. Narby led the team with a 4-for-5 performance, while Ecklund went 3-for-5 and Marcelino Morales (Pasco, Wash.) was 2-for-2 with a sacrifice bunt, plus he was hit by a pitch.
No Utah Valley player earned more than one hit in the game. Wolverine starter Jeremy Gendlek took the loss, giving up eight hits, two walks, and four runs in five innings of work.
Seattle University (1-0) and Utah Valley are scheduled to play the second game of the weekend series Saturday, Feb. 18, beginning at 4 p.m.