Skyler Genger (Kent, Wash.) and Mac Acker (Redmond, Wash.) combined for a three-hit shutout as Seattle University took advantage of the only defensive mistake made by either team to defeat nationally-ranked Washington, 1-0, Tuesday evening in a non-conference collegiate baseball game at Bannerwood Park.
Genger made the longest pitching appearance of his collegiate career both in terms of innings and pitches, throwing 99 pitches in 7 1/3 innings of work. He gave up three hits and one walk, plus he hit two batters, while striking out five Huskies. In the third inning, Washington put runners on first and third with one out, but Genger induced back-to-back groundouts to third baseman Brock Carpenter (Milton, Wash.) to end the Husky threat.
“Tonight started with Skyler, who did an outstanding job of keeping them off-balance, and we were able to support him defensively,” Seattle U head coach Donny Harrel said.
Washington (27-9-1) received a similar effort from its starter Will Ballowe through the first four innings. In the fifth, Sam Finfer (Bellevue, Wash.) led off with a single to right field, and Cash McGuire (Kent, Wash.) followed with a walk. Grant Newton (Bend, Ore.) laid down a successful sacrifice bunt to advance both runners into scoring position, and Husky catcher Ryan Wiggins gave up a passed ball, allowing Finfer to score what would turn out to be the only run of the game.
In the top of the eighth inning, Jack Meggs led off with a single to center field and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from Erik Forgione. Acker came on in relief to face lefthanded pinch hitter Brian Wolfe, the Huskies’ leading hitter coming into the game at .404, and struck him out before inducing a groundout to halt the Washington scoring chance.
Acker, a member of the Washington squad in 2012, retired the Huskies in order in the ninth inning to earn his first career save. Washington’s bullpen was also solid, as Brandon Choate and Trevor Dunlap combined for 3 2/3 innings of one-hit relief, with Dunlap striking out four Redhawk batters during his two innings of work.
The Huskies, ranked fifth by Collegiate Baseball, are the highest-ranked team Seattle U has defeated at the time of the victory since the baseball program was reinstated in 2010. It is also the Redhawks’ first win over their crosstown rivals at Bannerwood Park, as Seattle U’s four previous victories over Washington had all taken place at Husky Ballpark.
“This was a fantastic night for the kids and the baseball program. Coach Meggs has done a great job building up the Washington program, so to have a chance to beat the number five team in the country takes a lot of small things to work out, and they did for us tonight,” added Harrel.
Seattle University (18-18) heads to Grand Forks, N.D., for a three-game Western Athletic Conference series against the University of North Dakota this weekend, April 25-27. The Redhawks will head to the new Husky Ballpark for the rematch with Washington in one week, Tuesday, April 29, with first pitch scheduled for 5 p.m.