Seattle University took the early lead and then depended on its bullpen to hold off Northern Colorado for a 5-2 victory Saturday afternoon at Meridian Park Field.
Riley Tompkins (Lynnwood, Wash.) hit a two-out home run over the right field fence in the bottom of the first inning to give the Redhawks a 1-0 lead. In the second inning, Ryan Somers (Sammamish, Wash.) led off with a walk, and Zach Aaker (Ravensdale, Wash.) followed with a single to right field. After Nate Roberts (Silverdale, Wash.) reached on a fielder's choice, Grant Newton (Bend, Ore.) drove in Somers with a bloop single to left field.
Both Newton and Roberts advanced one base on a wild pitch thrown by Northern Colorado starter Kevin Willman, and Marcelino Morales (Pasco, Wash.) followed with a single to center field that drove in both runners. Cameron Tallman came on in relief of Willman and, after a walk to Michael Tevlin (Billings, Mont.) and a passed ball that put runners on second and third, ended the Redhawk threat by forcing Tompkins to pop out.
Northern Colorado (9-13) started to figure out Seattle U starter Seafth Howe (Seattle, Wash.) in the fourth inning, as the Bears hit three consecutive singles to load the bases with one out. However, Howe forced Tony Crudo to hit into a double play, ending the inning without any damage.
That would not be the case in the top of the fifth inning, as Jensen Park reached on an error by Roberts, and Harrison Lambert sent a single into left field. Ryan Yamane laced a double to the wall in left field, scoring Park, and Howe gave up back-to-back walks to Casey Coy and Adam Hilker, forcing in Lambert with the second run of the inning.
Jake Chutney (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.) came on in relief of Howe with two outs in the fifth inning and ended that bases-loaded rally by inducing a groundout. Chutney would retire nine of the next ten batters he faced, giving up only a single in the eighth inning, to earn his first career collegiate victory.
Somers led off the bottom of the sixth inning with a single, advanced to second on an errant pickoff attempt from Bear reliever Eian Raeber, reached third on a groundout by Aaker, and scored on a single up the middle from Roberts. After Morales was hit by a pitch to put two runners on base with two outs, Josh Tinnon came on in relief and retired seven of the eight batters he faced to keep Northern Colorado close.
Garrett Anderson (Kennewick, Wash.) came on in the ninth inning looking to close the game out, but he struggled for the second straight day, allowing two walks and a single to load the bases with one out. He struck out Yamane before being lifted for Eric Yardley (Richland, Wash.), who retired Coy for the final out of the game and his first save of the season.
Roberts finished the game 2-for-4 with a run scored and a run batted in, the only Redhawk to notch a multiple-hit game. Hilker finished 2-for-3 with a walk, while Adrian Schenk and Lambert each picked up two hits in four at-bats during the game.
Seattle University (14-10) will head to Pullman, Wash., for a three-game series against Washington State, beginning Thursday, April 5, at 5:30 p.m. at Bailey-Brayton Field. The Redhawks' next home series is now a four-game set against BYU April 12-14, beginning with a doubleheader Thursday, April 12, at 3 p.m. at Bannerwood Stadium in Bellevue and also featuring a game at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma Friday, April 13, at 6 p.m.