After giving up a lead in the seventh inning, the Seattle University baseball team responded with two runs in the eighth inning, and the Redhawk bullpen shut down the Spartans to give Seattle U a 6-4 victory Saturday afternoon at Municipal Stadium.
San Jose State (10-12) struck first, as Andre Mercurio led off the bottom of the first inning with a walk, advanced to third on a single from Nick Schulz, and scored on a ground ball hit by Jacob Valdez. Seattle U starter Bryan Dalton (Vancouver, Wash.) induced a double play to end the inning with only one run allowed.
In the top of the fourth inning, Brian Olson (Black Diamond, Wash.) singled to center field, and Bryndon Ecklund (Elma, Wash.) drew a four-pitch walk. Riley Tompkins (Lynnwood, Wash.) drove in Olson with a single, and Sean Narby (Auburn, Wash.) followed with a double to left field that scored both Ecklund and Tompkins, giving the Redhawks a 3-1 lead.
The Redhawks added a run in the top of the sixth inning as Olson doubled to left field, advanced to third base on a bunt single by Ecklund, and scored on a sacrifice fly from Tompkins. Meanwhile, Dalton kept cruising along, facing the minimum number of batters from the second inning through the sixth inning.
In the bottom of the seventh, Schulz led off with a walk, Valdez singled up the middle, and both Spartan runners advanced one base on a sacrifice bunt by Caleb Natov. Matt Lopez drove in Schulz with a sacrifice fly, and Kalei Contrades followed with a triple to right-center field that brought in Valdez. Tyler Christian drove in Contrades with a single through the left side of the infield, tying the game at 4-4.
Seattle U responded in the top of the eighth inning, as Olson reached on a throwing error by Spartan shortstop Michael Reiling. Michael Tevlin (Billings, Mont.) came on as a pinch runner and advanced to second on an Ecklund sacrifice bunt. After a walk drawn by Narby, Grant Newton (Bend, Ore.) laced a hit into the right-center field gap for a double, scoring both Tevlin and Narby to give the Redhawks the lead.
Dalton finished the game without a decision, giving up five hits, two walks, and four runs in 6 2/3 innings of work. Eric Yardley (Richland, Wash.) picked up the final out of the seventh inning and ended up with the victory, while Garrett Anderson (Kennewick, Wash.) earned his third save of the season by pitching the final two innings, giving up only a walk while picking up a strikeout.
Olson was the only Redhawk to notch a multiple-hit game, going 2-for-4 with two runs scored. D.J. Slaton was saddled with the loss for the Spartans, allowing two hits, two walks, and two runs in three innings of relief.
Seattle University (12-9) will look to win its first road series since the resumption of the baseball program in 2008 when it faces San Jose State in the final game of the weekend series Sunday, March 25, starting at 12 noon.