A strong pitching performance from sophomore Connor Moore (West Richland, Wash.) along with timely hitting in the middle innings allowed Seattle University to open the 2014 season with a 2-1 victory over UC Davis Friday afternoon in collegiate baseball action at Dobbins Stadium.
Moore threw a career-high seven innings, not allowing a run and giving up just three hits and a walk. He struck out six Aggie batters, also a career high, as he threw 79 pitches during the outing.
After five scoreless innings, Seattle U broke through in the top of the sixth inning, starting with Cullen Hendrickson (Auburn, Wash.) being hit by a pitch. Grant Newton (Bend, Ore.) reached base on an infield single, and Brian Olson (Black Diamond, Wash.) followed with a sacrifice bunt that was mishandled by the Aggies, loading the bases with nobody out.
Freshman Michael McCann (Vancouver, Wash.) drove in Hendrickson with a sacrifice fly to left field to give Seattle U a 1-0 lead. However, Robert Parucha came on in relief of UC Davis starter Harry Stanwyck and picked up a strikeout and a flyout to end the Redhawk threat.
In the top of the seventh inning, Ryan Somers (Sammamish, Wash.) reached base on an Aggie error, advanced to third on back-to-back outs, and scored on a smash down the right-field line by Hendrickson, who ended up at second base with a double.
Moore ran into trouble in the bottom of the seventh, failing to adequately cover first base for an error and then walking Austin March to put runners on first and second with just one out. The sophomore recovered with a strikeout and a groundout to keep the Aggies off the scoreboard heading into the late innings.
Garrett Anderson (Kennewick, Wash.) came on in the eighth inning and set the Aggies down in order, including two strikeouts. Will Dennis (Saratoga, Calif.) entered the game in the ninth inning and gave up a leadoff double to Seth Batty, who eventually came around to score. Dennis settled down and retired the next three Aggies, including a strikeout, to pick up the save.
“Connor was very efficient in his first start of the season by throwing just 79 pitches. Michael came up big with the sac fly that broke the 0-0 tie, and Cullen’s double was huge. Our defense was excellent and both Garrett and Will came in and did their job,” Seattle U head coach Donny Harrel said.
Seattle University and UC Davis will continue the weekend series with a doubleheader, consisting of a nine-inning game followed by a seven-inning contest, Saturday, Feb. 15, starting at 11 a.m. The series concludes with a single game Sunday, Feb. 16, beginning at 1 p.m.