The Seattle University baseball team built an early lead, and the bullpen took over by shutting down Louisiana Tech as the Redhawks defeated the Bulldogs, 7-4, to win the opening series of Western Athletic Conference play Monday night at J.C. Love Field.

Similar to the first two games of the series, Seattle U created a scoring chance in the top of the first inning, starting when Nate Roberts (Silverdale, Wash.) reached on a Louisiana Tech throwing error. Ryan Somers (Sammamish, Wash.) drew a one-out walk, and after a strikeout, Grant Newton (Bend, Ore.) drew a walk to load the bases with two outs.

Brian Olson (Black Diamond, Wash.) would work a walk to force in Roberts, followed by another walk drawn by Cash McGuire (Kent, Wash.) that scored Somers and ended the day of Bulldog starter Richie Navari.

Louisiana Tech (10-16, 1-2 WAC) responded with two outs in the bottom of the first inning thanks to consecutive singles from Taylor Terrasas, Tyler Ervine, and Ryan Gebhardt, with Gebhardt’s single scoring Terrasas to cut the Redhawk lead in half, 2-1.

The Redhawks came right back in the second inning, as Chase Fields (Ontario, Ore.) drew a one-out walk and Roberts followed with a double to left field. After Somers walked to load the bases, Sean Narby (Auburn, Wash.) laced a double into left field, scoring Fields and Roberts, and Newton earned a single to right field to drive in Somers.

The offensive pressure continued with one out in the third inning as Nick Latta (Tacoma, Wash.) was hit by a pitch, advanced to second on a single by Fields, and scored on a single to right field from Roberts. However, a line drive hit by Somers deflected off the glove of Bulldog reliever Caleb Dudley and landed in the glove of Gebhardt, who stepped on second base to complete the double play and end the Redhawk threat.

Louisiana Tech put together a scoring chance in the bottom of the third as Bre’shon Kimbell led off with a single and Terrasas followed with a double into the left-center field gap. Kimbell would score on a sacrifice fly to center field by Ervine, Terrasas would come home on a triple hit by Gebhardt, and Gebhardt would race home on a wild pitch to bring the Bulldogs to within two at 6-4.

The bats for both teams quieted down except for the top of the sixth inning, as Seattle U added to its lead when Narby drew a one-out walk, stole second base, and came around to score on a single by Olson. Meanwhile, Skyler Genger (Kent, Wash.) shut down the Louisiana Tech offense, pitching 4 1/3 innings of two-hit relief.

Will Dennis (Saratoga, Calif.) started the eighth inning and allowed an infield hit and a walk before Eric Yardley (Richland, Wash.) took over with runners on first and second. Yardley allowed the runners to advance one base each via a wild pitch, but he induced a groundout to end the Bulldog threat. In the ninth, Yardley allowed one hit, but he struck out two batters on the way to his sixth save of the season.

Roberts was the only Redhawk with a multiple-hit game, going 2-for-5 with two runs scored. Seattle U collected seven hits and 12 walks during the game, with Olson earning three free passes and three other Redhawk batters drawing two walks apiece.

Louisiana Tech accumulated 11 hits, led by a 4-for-5 effort by Terrasas, with Gebhardt and Ryan Jones finishing with two hits each. Both teams had the opportunity to score more runs, as Seattle U left 13 runners on base while the Bulldogs stranded 10 runners on the basepaths.

Seattle University (10-13, 2-1 WAC) will head to San Marcos, Texas, for a three-game series against the Texas State Bobcats, starting Thursday, March 28, at 6:30 p.m. local time. The series will continue Friday, March 29, at 4:00 p.m. local time and conclude Saturday, March 30, at 11:00 a.m. Central time.

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