After solid pitching and big defensive plays kept the game tied in the top of the 10th inning, Seattle University strung three hits together to pull out a 4-3 victory over Saint Joseph's Tuesday at Bannerwood Stadium.
After Garrett Anderson (Kennewick, Wash.) walked Ryan Pater to lead off the top of the 10th inning, Greg Kumpel popped up a bunt attempt behind the plate, and Redhawk catcher Brian Olson (Black Diamond, Wash.) reached behind him and caught the ball with his bare hand for the first out. Stefan Kancylarz laced a single into centerfield, but Marcelino Morales (Pasco, Wash.) gunned down Pater trying to advance to third base on the play. Anderson induced a popout by Brian O'Keefe to end the inning.
Eric Koenig (Auburn, Wash.) led off the bottom of the 10th inning with his first collegiate base hit, and Morales followed with a bunt single. Trent Oleszczuk (Beaverton, Ore.) sacrificed the runners over one base with a bunt, and Olson ended the game with a single to left-center field that brought in Koenig with the winning run.
With two runners on and one out in the top of the seventh inning, Anderson came on in relief of Brandon Kizer (Marysville, Wash.) and struck out Kumpel. After the runners advanced to second and third on a wild pitch, Anderson forced Kancylarz into a groundout to end the threat. The freshman lefty would earn the win after allowing just one hit and one walk in 3 2/3 innings of work with two strikeouts.
Seattle U struck first in the second inning as Bryndon Ecklund (Elma, Wash.) led off with a single. Nick Latta (Tacoma, Wash.) earned a one-out single, and Grant Newton (Bend, Ore.) followed with a single to center field that scored Ecklund. Oleszczuk was hit by a pitch to load the bases, but Ryan Somers's (Sammamish, Wash.) fly ball settled into the glove of Pater, leaving the bases loaded.
The Redhawks would also leave the bases loaded in the third inning, as Ecklund singled, Riley Tompkins (Lynnwood, Wash.) walked, and Latta singled, but Newton could not convert on the scoring chance, sending a fly ball to Tim Craig for the third out. Saint Joseph's would tie the game in the top of the fourth as Kevin Taylor doubled and scored on a single by Tommy Cunningham.
Back-to-back walks drawn by Oleszczuk and Somers in the bottom of the fourth chased Hawk starter Tim Ponto, but Mike Muha would strike out the next two batters to end the inning. After another strikeout in the bottom of the fifth, Muha gave up a towering home run to right field to Tompkins to give the Redhawks a 2-1 advantage.
Saint Joseph's (1-10) responded in the sixth inning, as Kevin Kratochwill doubled and scored on a single by Kancylarz. O'Keefe's sacrifice bunt advanced Kancylarz to second, and Taylor sent a single up the middle to drive the runner in and give the Hawks a 3-2 lead. After Taylor stole second base, Kizer forced Cunningham to fly out and Lansing Veeder to strikeout to end the inning.
With one out in the bottom of the sixth, Oleszczuk doubled down the left field line. Somers drew a walk, and Oleszczuk attempted to advance to third base as the ball got away from O'Keefe on ball four. O'Keefe's throw sailed over the head of Cunningham, and Oleszczuk broke for home. Craig's throw was extremely high, allowing Oleszczuk to score the tying run and Somers to reach second base. The Redhawks could not do any more damage as the next two batters were retired on fly balls.
Kancylarz and Taylor each earned two hits for the Hawks, who lost their eighth straight game. Steven Schuler gave Saint Joseph's three innings of one-hit, one-walk relief, striking out three Redhawk batters to keep the game tied at 3-3 into the extra inning.
Kizer gave Seattle U another quality start, allowing seven hits and three runs in 6 1/3 innings of work without a walk. Ecklund and Latta picked up two hits apiece for the Redhawks during the game, but Seattle U left 13 runners on base during the game.
Seattle University (7-5) will look for the two-game sweep when it faces Saint Joseph's again Wednesday, March 7, starting at 1 p.m. at Bannerwood Stadium. Live stats and live audio will be available on GoSeattleU.com.