After Seattle University rallied from a six-run deficit with a 10-run sixth inning, the Redhawks were forced to come back again, scoring four runs in the bottom of the seventh and then holding off nationally-ranked Cal Poly, 15-14, on a rainy Saturday at Triton Field on the campus of Edmonds Community College.
With Seattle U down 7-1 going into the bottom of the sixth inning, Ryan Somers (Sammamish, Wash.) led off with a walk, and Chase Fields (Ontario, Ore.) hit his first home run of the season, a two-run shot over the wall in left field. Landon Cray (Chimacum, Wash.) followed with a solo home run, his second of the game, and then Cal Poly would make a pitching change after a single by Brian Olson (Black Diamond, Wash.) and a walk to Grant Newton (Bend, Ore.).
Mustang reliever Danny Zandona hit Cullen Hendrickson (Auburn, Wash.) with a pitch to load the bases, and then Brock Carpenter (Milton, Wash.) drew a walk to force in Olson. Taylor Chris came on in relief and walked Sam Finfer (Bellevue, Wash.) to score Newton. Griffin Andreychuk (Nanaimo, B.C.) put the Redhawks in the lead with a double to right-center field that scored Hendrickson and Carpenter.
Somers drove in Finfer with a sacrifice fly to right field, and Andreychuk would score on a wild pitch thrown by Chris. After Chase Fields (Ontario, Ore.) walked, the Mustangs brought in Michael Dingilian, but he gave up a single to Cray and a single to Olson that drove in Fields with the 10th and final run of the inning.
Cal Poly (10-3) answered right back in the seventh inning, starting with an infield single by Zack Zehner and walks to Mark Mathias and Peter Van Gansen. Will Dennis (Saratoga, Calif.) came on in relief, but he hit the next three batters with pitches, closing the Redhawk lead to one at 11-10. Nick Torres drove in Chris Hoo with a fielder’s choice grounder, and Brian Mundell would follow with a double to center field, driving in Jordan Ellis and Torres to give the Mustangs a 13-11 advantage.
Carpenter and Finfer drew walks to lead off the bottom of the seventh inning, and Andreychuk laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance them one base each. With two outs, Fields lined a ball through the left side of the infield, scoring both runners to tie the game at 13-13. After Cray walked, Olson laced a double into right-center field, scoring both Fields and Cray to put the Redhawks back on top, 15-13.
The Mustangs scored one run off Dennis in the eighth inning, and then put runners on first and second with one out in the top of the ninth inning. Dennis would induce back-to-back groundouts to Hendrickson to close out the game in Seattle U’s favor despite Cal Poly outhitting the Redhawks, 16-10.
“This is a big win for us, especially beating the number nine team in the country, it is good for our morale after the losing streak we have been on,” Seattle U head baseball coach Donny Harrel said. “We never experienced a game like this in which it rained constantly from the first pitch to the last one, but the guys just stayed in there and persevered. I am proud of the guys for coming back again and closing it out.”
The Mustangs struck quickly off Seattle U starter Garrett Anderson (Kennewick, Wash.) with two runs in the first inning and three runs in the third inning. Skyler Genger (Kent, Wash.) came on in the fourth inning and kept the Redhawks within striking distance, allowing single runs in the fifth and sixth innings.
Cray and Olson went 3-for-4, with Cray scoring three runs and Olson collecting three RBI. Zehner led Cal Poly with a 4-for-6 effort, while Mathias went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI. Reed Reilly took the loss for the Mustangs, giving up two hits, two walks, and three runs in two innings of work.
Seattle University (6-9) and Cal Poly were hoping to play two games Saturday, but conditions became too tough for the teams as the rain continued to fall. The rubber game of the series is now scheduled for Sunday, March 9, starting at 12 noon at Meridian Park in Shoreline, but that game is dependent on the weather. For the latest updates regarding Seattle U baseball, fans are encouraged to visit GoSeattleU.com.