After a two-week span between games, Seattle University was sluggish early on, but the Redhawks picked up momentum both offensively and defensively, coming from behind to defeat the University of Portland, 7-3, Wednesday afternoon in a non-conference collegiate baseball game at Hilken Stadium on the campus of Concordia University.
With Seattle U down 3-0, Brian Olson (Black Diamond, Wash.) led off the top of the fourth inning with a triple to left-center field and scored on a single to left field by Brock Carpenter (Milton, Wash.). Carpenter reached second on a wild pitch, advanced to third on a groundout, and scored on a single through the left side of the infield by Griffin Andreychuk (Nanaimo, B.C.), closing the Redhawk deficit to one.
With one out in the sixth inning, Michael McCann (Vancouver, Wash.) and Andreychuk laced back-to-back singles, and Grant Newton (Bend, Ore.) was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Ryan Somers (Sammamish, Wash.) sent a single into right field to score McCann, and Chase Fields (Ontario, Ore.) was able to reach base on a fielder’s choice, driving in Andreychuk with the go-ahead run.
Landon Cray (Chimacum, Wash.) extended the Redhawk lead with a two-run double to right field, scoring Somers and Fields, and Olson followed with a single to put runners on the corners. Chad Kjemhus came on in relief of Jackson Lockwood, who would eventually take the loss, and induced a lineout to end the Redhawk rally.
With one out in the eighth inning, Somers singled to left field, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Fields, reached third on an infield single from Cray, and scored on a single to center field by Olson, the Redhawk catcher’s fifth hit of the game. It is Olson’s second five-hit game of his career, the previous one coming at Ohio State May 12, 2012, also the last time any Redhawk player collected five hits in a single game.
Skyler Genger (Kent, Wash.) came on in relief in the second inning and shut down the Portland offense, allowing just two hits and a walk in 5 2/3 innings of work while picking up a career-high six strikeouts along the way. Connor Moore (West Richland, Wash.) replaced Genger and ran into some trouble in the eighth inning by walking two Pilot batters, but he induced a double play grounder to end the Portland threat without any runs scoring.
“This was a much-needed game and win for our guys. After 14 days without playing a game, the guys responded really well,” Seattle U head coach Donny Harrel said. “Skyler did a great job in relief and bought our offense time to come back and take over the game. Hopefully we can use this momentum going into the WAC opener.”
Portland (5-19) jumped on the board in the bottom of the first inning when Turner Gill led off with a solo home run to right field. Cody Lenahan hit a one-out single to center field, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and came around to score on a flyout to center field hit by Kevin Farley.
Chet Thompson led off the second inning with a double down the right field line, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a double down the left field line by Bo Cornish. The Pilots were stifled the rest of the game by Genger, Moore, and Will Dennis (Saratoga, Calif.), who retired Portland in order in the ninth inning.
It is rare for a baseball team to have two weeks between games, but after Seattle U defeated Portland at Bannerwood Park March 12, the Redhawks saw their entire weekend series at Chicago State postponed due to snow. After taking winter quarter finals last week, the Redhawks did not have a game scheduled last weekend, and Tuesday’s game at Oregon State was rained out.
Seattle University (8-11) looks to open its Western Athletic Conference slate against Texas-Pan American this weekend. The three-game series is scheduled to start Friday, March 28, at 6 p.m., with games also set for Saturday, March 29, at 2 p.m., and Sunday, March 30, at 12 noon. Those interested in attending the weekend series should visit GoSeattleU.com for the latest updates regarding the games, as the current forecast calls for rain showers throughout the next four days.