Thanks to strong pitching and aggressive base running, the Seattle University baseball team earned a 3-2 decision over UC Davis Sunday at Bannerwood Park in Bellevue, Wash.
UC Davis got off to a hot start, taking the lead before Seattle U had a chance to bat. The Aggies' Mike Mazzara knocked a single off SU starter Ted Hammond (Shoreline, Wash.), then advanced to third on a single from the next batter. He touched home after a sacrifice fly by Steven Patterson, putting the Redhawks down 1-0 before even heading to the plate.
The Aggies added to their lead in the top of the third, when Evan Heptig ripped a double down the left field line. After taking third on a ground out, he was able to score on a sacrifice fly from Mazzara.
The score held 2-0 until the bottom of the sixth, as the Redhawks managed only one hit in the first five innings. Chase Fields (Ontario, Ore.) led off the inning with a double down the left field line, when advanced to third on a passed ball two batters later. He then scored thanks to a Ryan Somers (Sammamish, Wash.) grounder. In the next at bat, Brian Olson (Black Diamond, Wash.) singled to center field and advanced to third on a single from Grant Newton (Bend, Ore.), then crossed the plate when Cash McGuire (Kent, Wash.) ripped another single into center.
With the score now tied 2-2, Hammond retired the Aggies in order in the top of the seventh. In the bottom of the inning, Landon Cray (Chimacum, Wash.) drew a walk off UC Davis reliever Patrick Hennessey. Cray then stole second and forced a bad throw from UC Davis catcher Cameron Olson, taking third on the error. Cray then took a large lead off third, forcing another throwing error from the Aggies' catcher and reaching home on the miscue for the Redhawks' third run of the day.
The eighth inning saw both teams retired in order, then Seattle U closer Eric Yardley (Richland, Wash.) took over the mound in relief. Yardley promptly struck out the Aggies' Nick Lynch but allowed three of the next four batters to reach base. With two outs and the bases loaded, Tino Lipson stepped in to pinch hit for UC Davis, but grounded into a fielder's choice at second base to end the game.
Hammond claimed his first win of the season, throwing seven innings while allowing just two runs and striking out one batter. Yardley nabbed the save, giving him four on the year, while UC Davis' Hennessy took the loss, allowing one run and one walk in .2 innings of work. McGuire led the Redhawks with two hits on the day and also tallying one RBI.
Seattle U (8-12) is off for six days, allowing the players to focus on finals. The squad next takes the field Saturday, March 23 with their first ever Western Athletic Conference game at Louisiana Tech in Ruston, La. First pitch in that contest will be at 11:00 a.m.