After losing the first game, 4-1, and falling behind early in the second one, the Seattle University baseball team came from behind to earn a split of a doubleheader with Northern Colorado Friday, winning the nightcap, 4-3, at Bannerwood Stadium.
Northern Colorado (9-12) struck in the top of the first inning of the second game, as Casey Coy singled, Adam Hilker walked, and Adrian Schenk singled to load the bases with one out. After Coy was cut down at home on a grounder to third baseman Grant Newton (Bend, Ore.), Jensen Park sent a single up the middle, bringing home both Hilker and Schenk to give the Bears a 2-0 lead.
Seattle U responded in the bottom of the second inning as Zach Aaker (Ravensdale, Wash.) and Steve Kirbach (Kirkland, Wash.) hit back-to-back singles and advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Nate Roberts (Silverdale, Wash.). Newton laced a single into left field, scoring both Aaker and Kirbach to tie the game at 2-2.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Roberts drew a leadoff walk, advanced to third on a throwing error by Bear second baseman Ryan Yamane, and scored on a sacrifice fly from Marcelino Morales (Pasco, Wash.). Northern Colorado answered in the top of the fifth inning when Tony Crudo singled, advanced to third on a single by Park, and scored on a ground ball hit by Colby Harrison, tying the game at 3-3.
The Redhawks took the lead for good in the bottom of the seventh when Morales was hit by a pitch, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Trent Oleszczuk (Beaverton, Ore.), and came around to score on a single by Riley Tompkins (Lynnwood, Wash.).
Grant Gunning (Snohomish, Wash.) pitched three perfect innings to earn his third victory of the season, picking up three strikeouts along the way. He came on in relief of Brandon Kizer (Marysville, Wash.), who threw 119 pitches in six innings, allowing nine hits, two walks, and three runs while striking out three opposing batters.
In the first game, Seattle U jumped on the board in the second inning when Roberts led off with a double to right-center field, advanced to third on a flyout by Morales, and scored on an Oleszczuk single. The Redhawk lead held up until the sixth inning, when Yamane, Coy, and Hilker all walked to load the bases, and Yamane scored on a grounder to first base by Schenk.
In the top of the seventh inning, Harrison reached on an error with one out, followed by singles from Derek Baum and Dylan Banach. However, on Banach's single, pinch runner Eric Ferguson slipped while rounding third base and was thrown out before he was able to retreat back to the bag. After Yamane walked to load the bases, Redhawk pitcher Evan Ewing (Spokane, Wash.) threw a wild pitch that brought in Baum, and Coy followed with a double that scored Banach and Yamane.
Jess Amedee earned the victory for the Bears, pitching four innings in relief of starter Nate Steinmetz and giving up only two hits and three walks while striking out two batters. Bryan Dalton (Vancouver, Wash.) started for the Redhawks, allowing three hits, five walks, and one run in 5 1/3 innings on the mound with four strikeouts. Ewing was saddled with the loss after giving up two hits, a walk, and two runs in 1 1/3 innings of relief.
Tompkins was the only Redhawk to earn a multiple-hit game in either contest, finishing the day 5-for-9 with two doubles. Park went 2-for-4 in each game of the twinbill for Northern Colorado, while Schenk, Crudo, and Banach all hit 2-for-4 in the second game of the day.
Seattle University (13-10) is scheduled to face Northern Colorado in the rubber game of the weekend series Saturday, March 31, at 1 p.m. Further updates will be posted on GoSeattleU.com as well as on Facebook and Twitter.