THE LAST STAND: Already guaranteed an improved record from the 2010 season, the Seattle University baseball team heads to Moraga, Calif., Thursday afternoon in preparation for the season-ending four-game series against Saint Mary's College. A split of the weekend set will give the Redhawks double its win total from the previous year. Seattle U is still looking for its first series victory on the road in two years, which will take three victories in this case. Four seniors are looking to end their collegiate careers on a positive note, while the rest of the Redhawks want to make a good final impression before heading off to summer baseball leagues.
PACIFIC/LEWIS-CLARK STATE: After a loss and a tie against Oregon, Seattle U's homestand continued with a visit from the Pacific Tigers. In the first game of the weekend series Friday, Pacific jumped out to a 3-0 lead, but Seattle U chipped away, eventually tying the game at 3-3 on a solo home run by Cullen Hendrickson. After Pacific pulled back ahead in the top of the eighth, Seattle U manufactured two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to take the lead, and Blaine Jones shut down the Tigers in the ninth for his second victory of the season. As soon as the first pitch was thrown Saturday night, the rain started to fall. The second game of the series was suspended after three innings with Pacific ahead, 2-1. Sunday was a complete washout, but with Pacific staying in town to face the Washington Huskies Monday afternoon, the two teams agreed to resume the suspended game Monday night. The Tigers pulled ahead, 3-1, but Seattle U again came back, scoring once in the bottom of the sixth and twice in the bottom of the ninth to sweep the two-game set with a 4-3 victory. NAIA power Lewis-Clark State came to town for a two-game midweek series. Tuesday, Seattle U scored four runs in the first inning, two on a home run by Marcelino Morales, and four runs in the eighth inning on its way to a 9-3 victory. That snapped a 28-game winning streak by the Warriors over Seattle U, who had not defeated Lewis-Clark State since 1973. Trent Oleszczuk finished the game 3-for-4 with a walk, a run scored and a run batted in, while Cullen Hendrickson went 2-for-3 with a walk. Lewis-Clark State came back to split the midweek set with a 7-3 victory Wednesday afternoon despite a two-run home run from Josh Kalalau.
THIS WEEKEND'S PROBABLE MATCHUPS
Friday, May 20 - 11:00 a.m. start (Game One):
Seattle U: #23 RHP Brandon Kizer - 6-4, 5.09 ERA, 69.0 IP, 63 H, 39 R, 39 ER, 19 BB, 43 SO
Saint Mary's: #24 RHP Mark Anderson - 7-5, 3.10 ERA, 93.0 IP, 76 H, 39 R, 32 ER, 22 BB, 68 SO
Friday, May 20 - TBA start (Game Two):
Seattle U: #30 RHP Seafth Howe - 4-4, 3.42 ERA, 68.1 IP, 61 H, 34 R, 26 ER, 17 BB, 31 SO
Saint Mary's: #34 RHP Kyle Barraclough - 5-5, 3.62 ERA, 92.0 IP, 79 H, 45 R, 37 ER, 29 BB, 66 SO
Sunday, May 22 - 10:00 a.m. start (Game One):
Seattle U: #32 RHP Arlo Evasick - 3-4, 6.14 ERA, 48.1 IP, 54 H, 38 R, 33 ER, 22 BB, 26 SO
Saint Mary's: #17 RHP Martin Agosta - 5-6, 2.27 ERA, 79.1 IP, 70 H, 24 R, 20 ER, 15 BB, 66 SO
Sunday, May 22 - TBA start (Game Two):
Seattle U: #7 RHP Evan Ewing - 2-1, 4.39 ERA, 26.2 IP, 27 H, 14 R, 13 ER, 6 BB, 13 SO
Saint Mary's: #42 LHP Ben Griset - 0-0, 3.38 ERA, 24.0 IP, 25 H, 10 R, 9 ER, 14 BB, 15 SO
SCOUTING SAINT MARY'S: The Gaels enter the weekend with a 21-26 overall record after losing two of three to Loyola Marymount last weekend. Saint Mary's is in the middle of a 12-game homestand, but has just a 6-12 record at Louis Guisto Field. As a team, the Gaels have compiled a .262 batting average, a .969 fielding percentage, and a 3.14 earned run average. Patrick Wisdom leads the team with a .324 batting average and 35 runs batted in, plus he is second on the squad with 12 doubles, six home runs, 19 walks, and five stolen bases. Brenden Kalfus brings a .300 batting average into the series along with 15 doubles and two triples, leading the squad in both categories. Troy Channing leads the way with seven home runs and 20 walks. Besides the four starting pitchers, look for Patrick Keane (2-0, 3.00 ERA, 3 saves) and Dorsey Ek (1-0, 3.43 ERA, 2 saves) out of the bullpen.
LAST SEASON: Seattle University ended its inaugural season of competition after 24 years without baseball by hosting Saint Mary's in a four-game series. In the first game of the series May 21, 2010, at Bannerwood Park, Josh Kalalau went 4-for-5 with a triple, two home runs, and seven RBI, but Saint Mary's scored once in the eighth and twice in the ninth and held on for a 10-9 victory. Due to the unavailability of Bannerwood Park the next day, game two of the series was played at Bellevue College's Courter Field May 22. The Redhawks collected 19 hits as they earned a 12-6 victory over the Gaels. Josh Kutz hit two home runs, while Cullen Hendrickson went 4-for-5 with a home run, three runs scored, and three runs batted in. Seattle U was down 6-4 before scoring five runs in the sixth inning and three runs in the seventh. In the first game of the May 23 doubleheader back at Bannerwood Park, Kalalau again hit two home runs in the game, the second one a three-run shot in the bottom of the seventh to give Seattle U a walkoff 5-4 victory. Saint Mary's salvaged a split of the twinbill and the weekend series with a 13-1 victory in game two of the day, banging out 23 hits against six Redhawk pitchers.
WEATHER FORECAST: After dealing with so much rain over the entire season, it looks like Seattle U will be able to end the year on a positive note weather-wise. The forecast for Friday calls for partly cloudy skies with highs in the upper 60s. On Sunday, it is expected to once again be partly cloudy with temperatures dipping slightly into the mid 60s.
THE LEADER OF THE REDHAWKS: Donny Harrel is in his second season as the head coach of the Seattle University baseball program. At the University of Washington as an assistant coach for four seasons, Harrel was not only responsible for assisting in on-field coaching, but he also was responsible for the Huskies' schedule and assisted with travel issues, budgeting, and helping student-athletes through the admissions process. He also oversaw the team's academic performance and was named Academic Coach of the Quarter in Winter 2007 when the team broke a 14-year record for highest cumulative grade point average. His head coaching experience comes from seven seasons at Lane Community College in Eugene, Ore., where he compiled a 220-90 record and led the team to the NWAACC championship in 1999. Named NWAACC Southern Division Coach of the Year four times, he also led fundraising efforts to build a field, improve other facilities, buy equipment, and increase scholarship opportunities.
GAINING FREE TIME: The schedule for the four-game series calls for doubleheaders Friday and Sunday due to graduation ceremonies at Saint Mary's. The Seattle U baseball team will take in the game between the Oakland A's and the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park in San Francisco during the off-day. San Francisco has announced its starting pitcher for Saturday, former University of Washington pitcher and two-time Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum, who last pitched at Colorado Monday. Lincecum spent part of his time at Washington alongside current Seattle U head coach Donny Harrel, who served as an assistant for the Huskies.
RECORD ADJUSTMENT: The Seattle University baseball program and athletic department have learned that an ineligible player was used during the March 6 game against the University of Portland, a game the Redhawks won on the field, 12-2. As the penalty for that transgression, Seattle U is forfeiting the game to Portland. The individual stats from that game still count, but now Portland is credited with a win and Seattle U owns a loss, putting its actual record at 20-27-1.