Despite another solid pitching performance from senior Seafth Howe (Seattle, Wash.), the Seattle University baseball team could not put together any offense, and the Oregon Ducks pulled away late for a 6-0 victory Friday evening at PK Park.
Seattle U had a chance to take the lead in the top of the first inning, as Trent Oleszczuk (Beaverton, Ore.) reached base with a one-out single, but he was picked off first base by Oregon pitcher Alex Keudell. Ryan Somers (Sammamish, Wash.) singled and Riley Tompkins (Lynnwood, Wash.) was hit by a pitch to put two runners on base, but Keudell forced Brian Olson (Black Diamond, Wash.) to fly out to end the inning.
Oregon (39-14), ranked #1 by Collegiate Baseball and #6 by Baseball America, jumped on the board in the bottom of the first inning as Aaron Payne led off with a single, Aaron Jones followed with an infield single, and Ryon Healy drew a walk to load the bases. Brett Thomas hit into a double play, but Payne was able to score on the play, and Jones came in to score on a ground-rule double by Kyle Garlick to give the Ducks a 2-0 lead.
The Redhawks had another chance in the eighth inning when Marcelino Morales (Pasco, Wash.) reached base on an infield single and advanced to second on a throwing error. However, Oleszczuk flied out to left field, and Oregon relief pitcher Thomas Thorpe struck out Somers to end the scoring threat.
Howe recovered from the rough first inning, allowing only two walks and a hit from the second inning through the seventh inning. In the bottom of the eighth inning, a fly ball hit by Connor Hofmann sailed over the head of Somers in left field, and Hofmann was able to come all the way around the bases for an inside-the-park home run.
Oregon's offense kicked into gear, as a single by J.J. Altobelli and a walk drawn by Jones ended the night for Howe. Healy was walked by Redhawk reliever Blaine Jones (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.) to load the bases, and Kyle Doyle (Covington, Wash.) came on in relief, but he immediately committed a balk to score Altobelli. After a fielder's choice for the second out of the inning, Garlick was intentionally walked, Kevin Shepherd laid down a bunt single to drive in Healy, and Brett Hambright drew a bases-loaded walk that forced in Thomas with the fourth run of the inning.
Thorpe returned to the mound in the top of the ninth inning and closed out the game, striking out the side. Olson picked up his second hit of the game in the inning, the only player on either team with a multiple-hit game.
Seattle University (22-25) continues the three game series against Oregon Saturday, May 19, starting at 2 p.m. Live stats, audio, and video will be available through the Seattle U athletics website at www.GoSeattleU.com.