Seattle University used the home run ball to take the early lead, and then needed to come from behind to defeat North Dakota, 12-9, Sunday in a Western Athletic Conference collegiate baseball game at Kraft Memorial Field.
Chase Fields (Ontario, Ore.) led off the game with a single, stole second base, advanced to third on a groundout, and scored on a single to right field by Brian Olson (Black Diamond, Wash.). North Dakota answered with two runs in the bottom of the first by loading the bases before an RBI single by Jeff Campbell and a walk drawn by Ryan Reese that forced in the second run.
With two outs in the second inning, Grant Newton (Bend, Ore.) sent a single through the right side of the infield, and Cash McGuire (Kent, Wash.) followed with a home run over the left field wall to put the Redhawks back on top. Seattle U extended the lead in the third inning with four runs, the last three coming on a home run over the right field wall hit by Newton.
North Dakota (8-20, 8-7 WAC) once again loaded the bases in the bottom of the third inning and scored a single run before Skyler Genger (Kent, Wash.) came on in relief of Redhawk starter Connor Moore (West Richland, Wash.). In the fourth inning, North Dakota erupted for six runs, with Dalton Parrott driving in two of them on a double to left field and then coming around to score on a single by Luis Calvo.
Garrett Anderson (Kennewick, Wash.) came on in relief of Genger with two outs in the fourth inning and went the rest of the way, allowing just two hits and three walks in 5 1/3 innings with four strikeouts. He pitched out of a jam in the fifth inning in which the first two batters reached base and eventually moved into scoring position, as well as a bases-loaded situation in the sixth inning that was self-inflicted thanks to an error by Anderson and two walks. He settled down in the final three innings, allowing just one hit as he earned his second win of the season.
Newton led off the sixth inning with a double, and Fields reached base on a bunt single before hustling to second base, putting runners in scoring position. Michael McCann (Vancouver, Wash.) drove both runs home with a single to right field, and then he would advance to second on a groundout and scored the eventual game-winning run on a single up the middle by Olson.
Seattle U added a single run in the seventh inning when Sam Finfer (Bellevue, Wash.) drew a walk to lead off the inning, advanced to second on a groundout, and scored on a single down the left field line by McGuire. McCann led off the eighth inning by drawing a walk and eventually scored on a single by Brock Carpenter (Milton, Wash.).
“The guys really battled under cold and windy conditions. Garrett came in and bought us some time after we gave up the six-run inning, and our offense plugged away and separated at the end,” Seattle U head coach Donny Harrel said. “Taking this series on the road is a great step for staying in the hunt for a berth in the conference tourney.”
All nine starters in the Redhawk lineup earned at least one hit, led by Newton’s 3-for-4 performance with three runs scored and three RBI. Fields also finished with three hits and three other players earned two hits apiece as the Redhawks totaled 16 hits in the contest.
Campbell, who started as the pitcher while staying in the batting order, took the loss for North Dakota, allowing 13 hits, two walks, and 11 runs in 6 1/3 innings of work, striking out five batters along the way. Four different North Dakota players collected two hits each as the home team finished with 11 hits, but left 13 runners stranded on base.
Seattle University (20-19, 9-6 WAC) will look for another victory over nationally-ranked Washington when it visits Husky Ballpark Tuesday, April 29, for a 5 p.m. contest. The Redhawks then welcome WAC newcomer Grand Canyon to Bannerwood Park next weekend for a three-game series, starting Friday, May 2, at 6 p.m. The game on Saturday, May 3, will be played on Eddie O’Brien Day, with tickets costing $3 each as well as $3 hot dogs being available, with the first fans through the gate receiving a special baseball card featuring the late Seattle U Athletic Hall of Famer.