After dropping the first game, 4-3, and falling behind in the second contest, Seattle University roared back to send the nightcap into extra innings and then executed a fundamental play to pull out the 4-3 victory over UC Davis, splitting Saturday’s collegiate baseball doubleheader at Dobbins Stadium.
With Seattle U down 3-0 heading into the seventh and final scheduled inning of the second game, Brian Olson (Black Diamond, Wash.) was hit by a pitch, and Sam Finfer (Bellevue, Wash.) and Brock Carpenter (Milton, Wash.) followed with back-to-back singles to load the bases. Colin Peterson (Bellingham, Wash.) drove in pinch runner Austen Brand (Tacoma, Wash.) with a sacrifice fly to center field, but another Redhawk flyout put UC Davis one out away from victory.
Pinch hitter Michael McCann (Vancouver, Wash.) drew a two-out walk to load the bases, and Chase Fields (Ontario, Ore.) drew his own walk to force Finfer in with the second run of the inning. Cullen Hendrickson (Auburn, Wash.) was hit by a pitch, scoring pinch runner Nelson Taylor (Seattle, Wash.) with the game-tying run.
The game moved into the ninth inning, where Landon Cray (Chimacum, Wash.) led off with a double down the left field line. McCann sacrificed Cray over to third base with a bunt, and Fields followed with a suicide squeeze bunt down the first base line, allowing Cray to score the go-ahead run. Will Dennis (Saratoga, Calif.) set down the Aggies in order in the ninth inning to seal the Redhawk victory.
Austin Hansen (Mukilteo, Wash.) started game two for Seattle U, and, in the first inning, he gave up a leadoff single to Tino Lipson, who advanced to second on a groundout, to third on a balk, and eventually came home on a single by Austin March. Hansen settled down, allowing just three hits over the next three innings.
In the fifth inning, Evan Heptig drew a one-out walk and advanced to second on a Redhawk throwing error. Hansen hit Seth Batty with a pitch and then allowed both runners to advance one base on his second balk of the game. Grant Gunning (Snohomish, Wash.) came on for Hansen and allowed a two-run single by Steven Patterson, increasing the UC Davis lead to 3-0.
Gunning, making his first appearance on the mound since April 12, 2012, as he recovered from Tommy John surgery, did not allow another Aggie baserunner, retiring the next seven hitters in order through the sixth and seventh innings. Dennis came on in the eighth inning and gave up a leadoff single to Batty, but he retired the next three Aggie batters in order to keep the Redhawks close.
UC Davis starter Evan Wolf held the Redhawks to one hit through the first six innings before running into trouble in the seventh frame. Zach Stone took the loss after allowing the ninth-inning Cray double, while Zach Williams came on in relief in the ninth inning and picked up the final two outs.
In game one, Fields led off with a walk, and Hendrickson followed with a two-run home run to right field to put the Redhawks on top. UC Davis cut the Redhawk lead in half in the second inning when Kevin Barker hit a one-out double down the left field line, and then came around to score when Seattle U’s attempt to catch him stealing third base sailed wide.
UC Davis (1-2) would tie the game in the bottom of the fifth inning as Adam Young singled to center field, advanced to second on a groundout, and scored on a two-out single to right field by Batty. Patterson drew a walk to extend the inning, but Andrew Olson (Enumclaw, Wash.) induced a shallow flyout to end the Aggie threat.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, March led off with a single, followed by a bunt single from Barker. After a failed sacrifice attempt, Izaak Silva sent a double into right-center field, driving in Barker and ending the day for Olson. Young greeted Redhawk reliever Ted Hammond (Shoreline, Wash.) with a single through the left side of the infield, scoring Mason Novak.
In the top of the ninth inning, Fields led off with a walk, and UC Davis reliever Craig Lanza came on in a save situation. Grant Newton (Bend, Ore.) drew a one-out walk, and Fields would advance to third on a wild pitch. Brian Olson sent a fly ball into shallow left field that was caught by Aggie shortstop Lipson, but Fields was able to score to bring the Redhawks within one run. However, Lanza was able to get the final out of the game on a strikeout to pick up the save.
The combination of Spencer Koopmans, Raul Jacobson, and Lanza held Seattle U to three hits and four walks. Andrew Olson took the loss for the Redhawks, allowing nine hits and four runs, three of them earned, in 5 1/3 innings of work. Hammond and Garrett Anderson (Kennewick, Wash.) combined for 2 2/3 innings of three-hit relief to keep Seattle U within striking distance.
"We had a tough day offensively with the wind blowing in. We hit balls hard that did not go anywhere, and our adjustments did not come quick enough. Our guys hung in there for a great comeback. We showed great character, and Fields's suicide squeeze was a perfect ending," Seattle U head coach Donny Harrel said.
Seattle University (2-1) and UC Davis will complete the four-game series tomorrow, Feb. 16, starting at 1 p.m. Season tickets for Redhawk home baseball games at Bannerwood Park are on sale through the Seattle U Athletics Ticket Line at (206) 398-4678, with the home opener taking place Friday, March 7, against Cal Poly.