After pulling away with the 9-3 game one victory, Seattle University nearly came all the way back from an early deficit in game two, but New Mexico State was able to hold on for a 6-5 win in the nightcap as the Redhawks and Aggies split a Western Athletic Conference baseball doubleheader Friday at Presley Askew Field.
Game One: Seattle U 9, New Mexico State 3
The Redhawks put together a two-out scoring chance in the second inning, as Brock Carpenter (Milton, Wash.) drew a walk, followed by consecutive singles from Sam Finfer (Bellevue, Wash.) and Cash McGuire (Kent, Wash.). However, Aggie starting pitcher Riley Barr induced a groundout to end the Seattle U threat without any runs scoring.
In the third inning, Seattle U once again started a rally with two outs, as Landon Cray (Chimacum, Wash.) and Brian Olson (Black Diamond, Wash.) both singled. Cullen Hendrickson (Auburn, Wash.) sent a single into center field that drove in Cray, and Olson would score on a New Mexico State error. Carpenter followed with his own single that scored Hendrickson.
New Mexico State (14-20, 6-5 WAC) responded in the bottom of the third inning, starting with a single to center field by Taylor Noyer and a walk drawn by Michael Medina. With two outs, Michael Paulson sent a fly ball to the wall in center field for a triple, scoring both Noyer and Medina to cut the Redhawk lead to 3-2.
Griffin Andreychuk (Nanaimo, B.C.) led off the fifth inning with a single, and Cray drew a walk. Olson drove in Andreychuk with a single into center field, and Cray would come around to score on New Mexico State’s second error of the game. After Olson advanced to third on a balk, Carpenter brought him home with a double to left field, ending Barr’s day on the mound.
Finfer greeted Aggie reliever Robert Kraft with a single to right field, scoring Carpenter, and McGuire drew a walk to put two runners on base. Matt Stein replaced Kraft on the mound and walked Chase Fields (Ontario, Ore.) to load the bases, but he induced a flyout to end the inning, but not before the Redhawks had extended their lead to 7-2.
The Aggies closed their deficit in the bottom of the seventh inning as Medina hit a two-out single to center field and came around to score when Kent Blackstone reached base on a Redhawk error. Andrew Olson (Enumclaw, Wash.) came on in relief of Seattle U starting pitcher Will Dennis (Saratoga, Calif.) and induced an inning-ending groundout to keep the Redhawks ahead, 7-3.
The Redhawks extended their lead in the eighth inning, as Andreychuk singled and Cray doubled to put runners on second and third with one out. Brian Olson was intentionally walked, and Hendrickson was hit by a pitch, forcing in Andreychuk. After a wild pitch allowed Cray to score and the other runners to advance into scoring position, Carpenter was put on base with an intentional walk to create a force at every base, but Aggie reliever Chad Ramsey retired the next two Seattle U batters in order to end the inning.
Dennis earned the victory for the Redhawks, allowing six hits, four walks, and three runs, two of them earned, in 6 2/3 innings of work, plus he struck out five batters. Andrew Olson gave up just one hit in 2 1/3 innings of relief. Barr took the loss for the Aggies after giving up nine hits, two walks, and seven runs, all but one of them unearned, in 4 1/3 innings on the mound.
Game Two: New Mexico State 6, Seattle U 5
New Mexico State (15-20, 7-5 WAC) took the early lead in the nightcap, as Medina led off the bottom of the first with a walk, advanced to second on a groundout, and reached third on an infield single by Paulson. With two outs, Kristoffer Koerper hit a double to right field that drove in both runners, and he would subsequently score on a single to center field by Kyle Kilgore.
The Aggies added a run in the second inning as Kyle Young drew a leadoff walk, advanced to third on a single by Noyer, and scored while the Redhawks turned a double play. In the third inning, Paulson was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, advanced to second on a single by Derek Umphres, and scored on a double to left field from Kilgore. Koerper, who reached on a fielder’s choice, scored on an RBI groundout hit by Jory Goldstrom.
Seattle U finally broke through in the fifth inning, starting when McGuire was hit by a pitch advanced to second on a wild pitch, reached third on an infield single by Fields, and scored when Andreychuk reached on a fielder’s choice. Cray extended the inning with a single to right field, and Brian Olson drove in Andreychuk with a single to left field, closing the Aggie lead to 6-2.
With two outs in the sixth inning, McGuire doubled to left field and came around to score on a single to left field by Michael McCann (Vancouver, Wash.). Andreychuk led off the seventh inning by drawing a walk, advanced to second on a groundout, and came around to score on a single to left field by Brian Olson.
The Redhawks crept closer in the eighth inning with another two-out rally, starting with infield singles from McCann and Fields. Andreychuk followed with a single to center field, scoring McCann and forcing a pitching change from New Mexico State. Kraft, a lefthander, came on to face Cray, but he walked the lefthanded batter, loading the bases. Trey Gonzales replaced Kraft and induced a flyout from Brian Olson to keep the Aggies ahead.
Hendrickson drew a walk in the ninth inning and yielded to pinch runner Austen Brand (Tacoma, Wash.), who advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Carpenter and reached third on a groundout. However, Gonzales was able to force McGuire to fly out to center field, earning the save and preserving the doubleheader split for the Aggies.
Connor Moore (West Richland, Wash.) took the loss for the Redhawks, allowing seven hits, four walks, and six runs in 4 1/3 innings as the starter. Garrett Anderson (Kennewick, Wash.) kept Seattle U in the game with 3 2/3 innings of scoreless relief, giving up just one hit and one walk while striking out five Aggie batters.
“I am very proud of how our guys competed tonight. We did not get a good start from Connor, but Garrett did an excellent job keeping us in the game,” Seattle U head coach Donny Harrel said. “Our offense never quit. Brian hit a laser for the third out with the bases loaded in the eighth, and we had the tying run at third in the ninth, so we could not ask for more. We had no quit in us today, and it will pay off down the road.”
Seattle University (17-17, 7-5 WAC) will conclude the series against New Mexico State with a non-conference game Saturday, April 19, starting at 12 noon local time (11 a.m. Pacific time). The game will be broadcast online by ESPN3.com as well as on Fox College Sports Pacific (Wave Broadband ch. 503, Comcast ch. 415).