The Seattle University baseball team continued its strong pitching performance from the previous weekend, and a freshman showed why he was drafted last year, as the Redhawks came from behind to defeat Cal State Northridge, 4-2, Friday afternoon in collegiate baseball action at Matador Field.
With Seattle U down 2-1 heading into the seventh inning, Chase Fields (Ontario, Ore.) drew a one-out walk, and Michael McCann (Vancouver, Wash.), drafted in the 40th round of the 2013 MLB Draft by the Seattle Mariners, followed with a home run to right field on an 0-2 pitch, the first of his collegiate career.
In the top of the ninth inning, Cash McGuire (Kent, Wash.) drew a one-out walk, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Fields, and scored on a double to left field by McCann. Will Dennis (Saratoga, Calif.) came on in relief in the bottom of the ninth and set down the Matadors in order for his second save of the season.
After Connor Moore (West Richland, Wash.) pitched the first five innings, Grant Gunning (Snohomish, Wash.) replaced him and allowed just two hits in two scoreless innings to earn his first victory since March 30, 2012. Garrett Anderson (Kennewick, Wash.) pitched a perfect eighth inning before handing things over to Dennis in the ninth inning.
Fields led off the game with a single up the middle, and then advanced to third base on consecutive groundouts. On the first pitch he saw, Brian Olson (Black Diamond, Wash.) hit a shot through the left side of the infield, driving in Fields with the first run of the game.
With one out in the bottom of the second inning, Daniel Timmerman drew a four-pitch walk and advanced to second on a balk. Timmerman would come around to score when the Redhawks committed an error attempting to throw out Nick Murphy at first base.
Cal State Northridge (2-3) took the lead in the third inning when Ryan Raslowsky hit a single to left field and then advanced to third when Moore’s pickoff attempt was off line. Chester Pak followed with a triple down the left field line, scoring Raslowsky to give the Matadors a 2-1 lead. Moore corralled a grounder from Alexis Mercado and tagged out Pak attempting to score, and then he pitched out of a bases-loaded situation to keep the Redhawks within one run.
The Matadors threatened to score in each of the next two innings, starting in the fourth inning when Murphy led off with a double and Nico Garbella was hit by a pitch. Moore was able to retire the next three batters without allowing anyone to score, but then he gave up three consecutive singles in the fifth inning to load the bases with one out. The sophomore lefthander was able to induce a double play from Murphy to end the CSU Northridge threat.
“We did not take care of the ball today, but Connor pitched out of some big jams to keep us in the game,” Seattle U head coach Donny Harrel said. “Michael was huge at the plate today. You need your offense to be able to pick you up when you are allowing teams to stay in the game, and our offense did that today. Also, a great job by our bullpen taking care of the lead and getting a big Friday victory.”
The top of the Redhawk batting order did most of the damage, as Fields and McCann combined for six of Seattle U’s nine hits, with Fields going 2-for-3 with two runs scored and McCann hitting 4-for-5 with three runs batted in. Raslowsky, Pak, and Murphy each earned two hits to lead the Matador offense.
Jerry Keel got the start for Cal State Northridge, taking the loss after allowing eight hits, three walks, and three runs scored in 6 2/3 innings of work. He did strikeout six Redhawk batters during the afternoon.
Seattle University (4-1) will continue the weekend series against Cal State Northridge with a doubleheader Saturday, Feb. 22, starting at 10:30 a.m. Links to live stats and live audio will be available on the baseball schedule page of GoSeattleU.com.