Junior lefthander Andrew Olson (Enumclaw, Wash.) threw a four-hit shutout to lead the Seattle University baseball team past UT Arlington, 5-0, in a Western Athletic Conference contest Sunday afternoon at Bannerwood Park.
Olson, whose longest outing previous to Sunday was a seven-inning performance at Cal Poly Feb. 22, threw 124 pitches, 80 of them for strikes, as he struck out eight Maverick batters while walking only one. After giving up a leadoff bunt single in the first inning, he set down 14 straight batters and did not allow an opposing runner past second base after the opening frame.
“I felt really good today. I had all my pitches going, and I was able to spot up with everything,” Olson said. “When I woke up this morning, I felt like it was going to be a good day, and I needed a good start. We needed this one as a team to get the series win, and our confidence is back after a bit of a lull.”
Seattle U gave Olson all the offensive support he would need in the bottom of the first, as Chase Fields (Ontario, Ore.) was hit by a pitch and Ryan Somers (Sammamish, Wash.) followed with a single to right field. After both Redhawks executed a double steal, Nate Roberts (Silverdale, Wash.) lofted a fly ball into center field, driving in Fields. Brian Olson (Black Diamond, Wash.) drew a two-out walk to extend the inning, and Nick Latta (Tacoma, Wash.) drove in Somers with a single to left field.
Brian Olson would add a run in the fourth inning, leading off with a double to right-center field. Anticipating a Daniel Milliman pitch hitting the dirt, he took off for third and immediately popped up to head home after Greg McCall’s throw sailed into left field. Latta would draw a walk, advance to second on a sacrifice bunt, and reach third on an infield single from Cash McGuire (Kent, Wash.), but Bryndon Ecklund (Elma, Wash.) hit a liner right to John M. Twichell, who stepped on first base to double off McGuire and end the Redhawk scoring chance.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Fields led off with a single, and, with one out, Roberts hit an opposite-field home run, his fourth long ball of the season. The Redhawks would collect seven hits and three walks off Milliman and Maverick reliever John Beck as Seattle U earned its first WAC home series win of the season, knocking UT Arlington (21-18, 10-5 WAC) out of the share of the conference lead it came into the weekend with.
Olson provided Seattle U’s first complete game since Seafth Howe went eight innings at Ohio State May 11, 2012, and the Redhawks’ first shutout since Howe and Garrett Anderson (Kennewick, Wash.) combined to shut out Saint Joseph’s March 7, 2012, at Bannerwood Park, 1-0. The performance by Olson is the first nine-inning complete game shutout by a Redhawk pitcher since baseball was reinstated as a varsity sport starting in the 2010 season.
Seattle University (15-23, 5-9 WAC) will host Oregon State at Bannerwood Park Monday, April 22, at 3 p.m. The Beavers recovered from being swept in a doubleheader by Washington Saturday to defeat the Huskies Sunday, 8-0. Live stats and live video/audio are scheduled to be available on GoSeattleU.com.