Seattle University Baseball Earns First Victory of Season over Portland
Courtesy: Seattle University
After a heartbreaking walk-off loss, 7-5, in the first game of Sunday's doubleheader, the Seattle University baseball team scored once in the top of the ninth inning and held on to defeat the Portland Pilots, 5-4, at Joe Etzel Field for its first victory of the 2010 season.

Cullen Hendrickson (Auburn, Wash.) led off the ninth inning with a single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by pinch hitter Eric Yardley (Richland, Wash.). Steve Kirbach (Kirkland, Wash.) came on as a pinch hitter and sent a single up the middle, with Hendrickson coming around to score the go-ahead run.

With one out in the bottom of the ninth, Kris Kauppila hit a double to left field off Max Whieldon (Trabuco Hills, Calif.). Brandon Kizer (Marysville, Wash.) came on in relief of Whieldon and induced a flyout from Craig Smith for the second out of the inning. A walk and a fielding error allowed the Pilots to load the bases, but C.J. Cullen, the hero of the first game of the doubleheader, lined out to Hendrickson to end the rally and the game.

Earlier in the second game of the twinbill, SeattleU scored first, as Josh Kutz (Seattle, Wash.) led off the third inning with a single and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Mike Malland (Mukilteo, Wash.) singled to center field to score Kutz, followed by a single by Nate Roberts (Silverdale, Wash.) that scored Malland, who had advanced to second on the throw home attempting to stop Kutz from scoring. Roberts made a similar play on his single, putting him in position to score on Josh Kalalau's (University Place, Wash.) single up the middle.

Portland (5-1) scored a single run in the bottom of the third inning, but the Redhawks struck back in the fifth inning, starting with a bunt single by Doug Buser (Orinda, Calif.). Buser stole second, advanced to third on a flyout by Malland, and scored on an infield single from Roberts. The Pilots would tie the game in the bottom of the sixth on a three-run home run by Kevin Armijo.

Brian Shannon (Olympia, Wash.) earned the start in the game, allowing six hits, two walks, and three earned runs in 5 1/3 innings of work. Whieldon (1-1) picked up the victory after pitching three innings of relief, allowing five hits and one run while striking out two batters. Kizer's relief effort in the ninth inning earned him the save.

SeattleU was up 5-3 heading into the bottom of the ninth inning of the first game. Kyle Haskin led off with a walk, and Kauppila singled to left-center field. Smith laid down a sacrifice bunt, but the Redhawks were unable to throw anyone out, loading the bases. Bryan Dalton (Vancouver, Wash.) came on in relief of Cody Goodfellow (Tacoma, Wash.) and induced a sacrifice fly by Riley Henricks that scored Haskin. Dalton struck out Tyler Thompson for the second out of the inning, but Cullen hit a shot over the fence in left field to give the Pilots a 7-5 victory.

Henricks hit a home run in the bottom of the fourth inning to give Portland a 1-0 lead, but SeattleU quickly came back in the top of the fifth, beginning with a home run by Kalalau to tie the game at 1-1. Alex Kuniyoshi (Shoreline, Wash.) and Sean Narby (Auburn, Wash.) hit back-to-back singles and advanced into scoring position thanks to a sacrifice bunt by Kirbach. Malland hit a single that scored both Kuniyoshi and Narby, and Hendrickson followed with a two-run home run to give SeattleU a 5-1 advantage.

Portland scored a single run in the bottom of the fifth on a bases-loaded walk to Henricks, and Matt Mardesich hit a one-out home run in the sixth inning to bring the Pilots within two runs at 5-3. Pilot starter Kyle Kraus went 6 2/3 innings, giving up seven hits and five runs. Keeler Brynteson (1-1) picked up the victory for Portland after striking out the only batter he faced, but took the loss in game two after giving up SeattleU's run in the top of the ninth inning.

Conor Spink (Eagle River, Alaska) started the first game of the day for the Redhawks, giving up eight hits, two walks, and three runs in 6 2/3 innings of work. Goodfellow (0-1) took the loss after allowing two hits, a walk, and three runs, while Dalton finished with one hit, one run, and one strikeout in 2/3 of an inning pitched.

Hendrickson and Riley Tompkins (Lynnwood, Wash.) each went 2-for-4 in the first game of the doubleheader, while Roberts hit 3-for-4 in the nightcap. Malland and Kalalau each picked up one hit in both games of the twinbill, with Malland extending his hitting streak to four games.

Seattle University (1-5) continues its 11-game road swing next Friday, March 5, starting a four-game series against Pacific in Stockton, Calif., with a single game starting at 6 p.m. The next home game at Bannerwood Park for SeattleU is Friday, March 19, against Cal State Northridge beginning at 6 p.m.

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