The Seattle University baseball team was able to drive in runs at key times during Friday’s Western Athletic Conference doubleheader, sweeping the UTPA Broncs, 6-5 and 4-3, at Triton Field on the campus of Edmonds Community College.
Seattle U 6, UTPA 5
In the first game of the doubleheader, Chase Fields (Ontario, Ore.) was hit by a pitch to lead off the bottom of the first inning. He would steal second base and score on a double to left-center field by Landon Cray (Chimacum, Wash.). Brian Olson (Black Diamond, Wash.) followed with his own double down the right field line to drive in Cray.
Mac Acker (Redmond, Wash.) cruised through the first four innings, allowing just one hit, but he got in trouble in the fifth inning, starting with a one-out walk to Victor Garcia Jr. Blake Thomas followed with a single, and the Broncs loaded the bases on a Redhawk error. Andy Fortuna was hit by a pitch, forcing in Garcia with an unearned run, but Acker induced an inning-ending double play to keep the Redhawks on top.
Seattle U responded in the bottom of the fifth inning, starting with a leadoff walk drawn by Brock Carpenter (Milton, Wash.) and a single by Cullen Hendrickson (Auburn, Wash.). After two outs, Griffin Andreychuk (Nanaimo, B.C.) was hit by a pitch to load the bases, and Ryan Somers (Sammamish, Wash.) drove in Carpenter and Hendrickson with a single to right field, increasing the Redhawk lead to 4-1.
In the ninth inning, Will Dennis (Saratoga, Calif.) attempted to close the game out, but Garcia reached on an infield single, Thomas followed with his own single, and both runners advanced on a wild pitch. Fortuna drove in Garcia and reached base on a Redhawk error, and his steal of second base would force another Seattle U miscue, allowing Thomas to score. With runners on second and third and two outs, Alberto Morales sent a double into left field, bringing both Bronc runners home and giving UTPA a 5-4 lead.
The Redhawks once again fought back, starting with a one-out solo home run by Olson that tied the game at 5-5. Carpenter and Hendrickson notched back-to-back singles, and Cash McGuire (Kent, Wash.) walked to load the bases. Matthew Harrell came on in relief and picked up the second out of the inning, but he then hit Andreychuk with a pitch, forcing in Carpenter with the game-winning run.
Acker pitched the first seven innings for the Redhawks, allowing just three hits, two walks, and one unearned run while striking out four batters. Hendrickson led the Seattle U offense with a 3-for-5 performance, while Olson went 2-for-5 with two runs batted in.
Thomas and Alex Howe earned two hits apiece to lead the Broncs. UTPA starter Sam Street, coming into the game with a 6-0 record, allowed seven hits, four walks, and four runs in seven innings, but Chris McKeehan took the loss after giving up three hits, one walk, and two runs in 1/3 of an inning.
“We did a good job against one of the best arms in the league, but we didn’t secure the lead very well in the ninth thanks to some poor defensive plays and a couple of hittable pitches. It was a great effort for the guys to put together the comeback, starting with a huge home run by Bo (Brian Olson) that seemed to switch the momentum our way,” Seattle U head coach Donny Harrel said.
Seattle U 4, UTPA 3
Texas-Pan American (11-18, 1-4 WAC) jumped on the board in the top of the first inning of the second game as Jesus Garcia led off with a single. After Alex Howe reached on a fielder’s choice, Alberto Morales walked, and both runners were able to advance to second and third when an infield fly fell between three Redhawk fielders. Bryan Ramirez drove in Howe with a single to right field.
In the bottom of the first inning, Olson’s fly ball was lost in the lights, giving him a triple, and Carpenter followed with a single to left field to drive in Olson and tie the game at 1-1. Howe would put the Broncs back on top with a solo home run over the right field wall in the third inning.
Fields would draw a one-out walk in the fifth inning and hustle to third base on a bunt single by Cray when the Bronc infield left third base unguarded. Olson would drive in Fields with a sacrifice fly to center field. McGuire led off the sixth inning with a walk, advanced to third on a single by Andreychuk, and scored when UTPA failed to complete a double play opportunity, giving the Redhawks a 3-2 lead.
After UTPA tied the game at 3-3, Seattle U would once again clinch the victory in walk-off fashion, starting when Somers reached base on a Bronc throwing error. A sacrifice bunt by Fields advanced Somers to second, and Cray would earn the game-winning RBI with a single into center field.
Garrett Anderson (Kennewick, Wash.) would earn the victory after pitching five innings of relief, allowing just two hits, two walks, and one run in five innings while striking out seven batters. Cray, Olson, and Andreychuk collected two hits apiece to lead the Redhawk offense.
“Garrett gave up exactly the same relief performance that Skyler Genger did Wednesday against Portland, keeping us in the game until our offense made some plays. We got a great two-strike sacrifice bunt from Chase, and Landon is leading our team in hitting because of at-bats like the one in the ninth inning,” said Harrel.
Seattle University (10-11, 2-0 WAC) and Texas-Pan American are scheduled to play the final game of the weekend series Saturday, March 29, starting at 6:15 p.m. at Meridian Park Field in Shoreline, Wash. For the latest updates on the game, visit GoSeattleU.com or follow Seattle U Athletics (@su_athletics) or Seattle U Baseball (@SU_Baseball) on Twitter.