Seattle University received early offense and solid pitching to establish its lead, and then overcame a rough patch late in the game to pull away with a 10-4 victory over the Washington Huskies Tuesday night in a non-conference collegiate baseball game at Husky Ballpark.
Seattle U took the early lead in the second inning as Sean Narby (Auburn, Wash.) and Ryan Somers (Sammamish, Wash.) led off with back-to-back singles. With one out, Landon Cray (Chimacum, Wash.) launched a ball over the right field wall, his third home run of the season, to give the Redhawks a 3-0 lead.
In the top of the third inning, Chase Fields (Ontario, Ore.) led off with a double to left field and advanced to third on a deep flyout to center field from Cash McGuire (Kent, Wash.). After a popout, Narby was hit by a pitch and Somers drew a walk to load the bases, but Washington starting pitcher Tyler Davis was able to induce a groundout to prevent the Redhawks from extending their lead.
Cray drew a walk to lead off the top of the fourth inning, Nick Latta (Tacoma, Wash.) hit a one-out single, and Fields reached on a bunt single to load the bases. McGuire was once again able to advance a runner on a flyout, this time driving in Cray with a sacrifice fly to right field to give Seattle U a 4-0 advantage.
Washington (9-25) broke through in the bottom of the fifth inning as Trevor Mitsui led off with a single and was able to advance to third when Fields overthrew first base trying to double off Mitsui on a flyout. Braden Bishop drove in Mitsui as he hustled to second base for a double, and he would come around to score on back-to-back singles by Erik Forgione and Jayce Ray. Andrew Olson (Enumclaw, Wash.) came on in relief and retired the next two batters to end the Husky threat with Seattle U still ahead, 4-2.
With one out in the bottom of the seventh inning, Bishop and Forgione earned back-to-back singles to put runners on the corner and end Olson’s day on the mound. Redhawk reliever Will Dennis (Saratoga, Calif.) induced an inning-ending double play to kill the Washington rally.
Seattle U added insurance runs in the eighth inning with some help from the Huskies, as Brian Olson (Black Diamond, Wash.) reached on a throwing error to lead off the inning. With two outs, Latta hit a two-run home run, the third straight game in which he went deep, to extend the Redhawks’ lead to 6-2.
The insurance was needed, as the Huskies fought back in the bottom of the eighth. With one out, Robert Pehl singled, and Michael Camporeale drew a two-out walk. Eric Yardley (Richland, Wash.) came on in relief of Dennis, but consecutive errors by the Redhawks allowed two unearned runs to score, cutting the Seattle U lead to 6-4. Bishop sent a single through the right side of the infield to load the bases, but Yardley induced a groundout to end the Husky threat.
In the top of the ninth inning, McGuire led off with a single and came all the way around to score on a double to center field by Nate Roberts (Silverdale, Wash.). Narby would reach on a Washington fielding error, and then he would beat the throw to second base on a grounder hit by Brian Olson, loading the bases. Cray laced a single into center field, scoring both Roberts and Narby. After pinch hitter Josh Kutz (Seattle, Wash.) was hit by a pitch to once again load the bases, Latta drove in Olson with a sacrifice fly to center field.
Connor Moore (West Richland, Wash.) made his first career start for the Redhawks, setting down eight straight Husky batters at one point in his outing, which lasted 4 1/3 innings. Andrew Olson picked up his second victory of the season, allowing just two hits in two innings of relief, while Yardley earned his eighth save of the year.
“Connor was a great start for us, and he set the tone for us being able to control their at-bats,” Seattle U head coach Donny Harrel said. “I thought we were more aggressive tonight than they were, as we responded well as a program to what happened two weeks ago at Bannerwood. After a shaky eighth inning, we were aggressive again in the ninth, and it’s a good win for us going into the weekend.”
Cray finished the night 3-for-3 with two runs scored and five RBI, while Latta drove in three runs as part of a 2-for-5 effort. The Huskies matched the hit total of the Redhawks with 11, led by a 3-for-4 night from Bishop.
“The big bomb from Landon was great, but more importantly he showed that he could drop the drag bunt, and then he got the two-run hit for us late,” said Harrel.
Seattle University (13-22) welcomes the UT Arlington Mavericks to Bannerwood Park in Bellevue for a three-game WAC series, starting Friday, April 19, at 6 p.m. The series will continue Saturday, April 20, at 2 p.m., with the final game scheduled for Sunday, April 21, beginning at 12 noon.