The Seattle University offense once again came through Sunday, collecting 18 hits as the Redhawks came from behind for a 12-8 victory over the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs Sunday afternoon in Western Athletic Conference baseball action at J.C. Love Field.
With Seattle U down by two runs going into the eighth inning, Chase Fields (Ontario, Ore.) hit his first home run of the season, a one-out solo shot. With two outs, Ryan Somers (Sammamish, Wash.) kept the inning alive with a single to right field, and Sean Narby (Auburn, Wash.) followed with his second home run of the season, a two-run blast over the left field wall, to put the Redhawks ahead, 9-8.
Grant Newton (Bend, Ore.) led off the ninth inning with a solo home run over the scoreboard in right field to increase Seattle U’s lead to 10-8. The offense continued to produce, as Cash McGuire (Kent, Wash.) doubled, Cullen Hendrickson (Auburn, Wash.) singled, pinch hitter Zach Aaker (Ravensdale, Wash.) doubled to drive in McGuire, and Fields was hit by a pitch to load the bases with nobody out. Nate Roberts (Silverdale, Wash.) was hit by a pitch, forcing in Hendrickson to create a four-run advantage for the Redhawks.
Eric Yardley (Richland, Wash.) came on in the bottom of the eighth inning and retired the Bulldogs in order. After giving up a leadoff single in the ninth inning, he set down the next three Louisiana Tech batters, earning a strikeout to close out the contest and pick up his fifth save of the season.
For the second straight day, Seattle U threatened to score in the top of the first inning, as Roberts was hit by a pitch and Somers drew a walk. With runners on second and third and two outs, Brian Olson (Black Diamond, Wash.) smacked a line drive to the right side of the field, but Bulldog first baseman Tyler Ervine made a leaping catch to end the Redhawk scoring opportunity.
The Redhawks kept the offensive pressure going in the second inning, starting with a leadoff double by Newton. With one out, Hendrickson reached on an error, and Nick Latta (Tacoma, Wash.) followed with a single to the right side of the infield, scoring Newton and advancing Hendrickson to third. A slow roller hit by Fields allowed Hendrickson to score, extending Seattle U’s lead to 2-0.
Louisiana Tech (10-15, 1-1 WAC) responded in the bottom of the third inning, as Taylor Burch led off with a single and Ryan Jones walked. After both runners advanced one base on a flyout to deep center field, Bre’shon Kimbell drove in Burch with a single to left field. Taylor Terrasas drove in Jones with the tying run on a double down the left field line, and Kimbell would race home with the go-ahead run on a wild pitch.
Seattle U starting pitcher Garrett Anderson (Kennewick, Wash.) walked Ervine, and Ryan Gebhardt laid down a bunt down the first base line, but Latta’s throw did not beat Terrasas sliding into home, giving Louisiana Tech a 4-2 lead. A Seattle U error loaded the bases with one out, but Redhawk reliever Kyle Doyle (Covington, Wash.) was able to strike out the next Bulldog batter. Coming up for the second time in the inning, Burch drew a walk that forced in Ervine before Doyle ended the inning with another strikeout.
With one out in the top of the fourth inning, McGuire and Hendrickson notched back-to-back singles, followed by a long single to center field by Latta that scored McGuire. The Redhawk scoring opportunity seemed to be minimized when Hendrickson was picked off at second base, as after that play Fields earned a single up the middle, but Roberts followed with a two-run double off the center field wall to tie the game at 5-5.
Somers would hit a shot to the wall in right-center field, allowing Roberts to come around and score the go-ahead run. Narby hit a single to right field to put two Redhawk runners on base with two outs, but Bulldog reliever Jamie Gilley was able to strike out Olson to close out the inning with the Redhawks ahead by one run, 6-5.
Louisiana Tech came right back in the bottom of the fourth, as Kimbell would hit a one-out double to left field, advance to third on a passed ball, and score on a groundout hit by Terrasas. Ervine would follow with a solo home run over the left field wall to regain the lead, 7-6.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Louisiana Tech loaded the bases thanks to a single by Sam Alvis, a walk drawn by Kimbell, and a single by Terrasas. After Alvis was cut down at home on a grounder, Gebhardt hit a popup in front of the first base dugout on which Newton made a diving catch, but Kimbell alertly race home to increase the Bulldog lead to 8-6.
Will Dennis (Saratoga, Calif.) picked up the victory after pitching 1 1/3 innings in relief without allowing a hit. Despite striking out seven Redhawk batters in 4 1/3 innings of relief, Gilley took the loss by allowing six hits, two walks, and four runs.
Eight Redhawks earned multiple-hit games, led by Newton with a 3-for-4 performance with a walk and two runs scored. Fields, Narby, and Latta each finished with two hits and two runs batted in, while Roberts drove in three runs and had a stolen base as part of his 2-for-4 day. Four Louisiana Tech batters accumulated two hits each during the afternoon to lead the home team.
Seattle University (9-13, 1-1 WAC) finishes the opening series of the conference schedule at Louisiana Tech Monday, March 25, at 6 p.m. Central time. The Redhawks will then move on to San Marcos, Texas, for a three-game series at Texas State Thursday through Saturday, March 28-30.