Sophomore lefthander Will Dennis (Saratoga, Calif.) pitched a complete game, and the Seattle University offense kept the pressure on North Dakota throughout the afternoon as the Redhawks earned a key Western Athletic Conference victory, 7-0, Saturday in collegiate baseball action at Kraft Memorial Field.
Dennis threw 135 pitches, 91 of them for strikes, as he struck out eight batters without giving up any walks. North Dakota loaded the bases with just one out in both the second and ninth innings, but Dennis was able to get the final two outs each time without any runs scoring, earning the first Redhawk complete game shutout since Andrew Olson shutout UT Arlington April 21, 2013.
“Will kept a very strong offense down today, allowing us to create a lead and expand on it,” Seattle U head coach Donny Harrel said. “Hopefully we can keep the momentum going into tomorrow and win the series.”
Chase Fields (Ontario, Ore.) led off the game with a single to left field, and then he stole second base. Fields advanced to third on a balk and scored on an RBI groundout to second base hit by Landon Cray (Chimacum, Wash.). Brian Olson (Black Diamond, Wash.) extended the inning with a single through the left side of the infield, and he would come around to score on a double to left-center field by Cullen Hendrickson (Auburn, Wash.).
With two outs in the fifth inning, Cray doubled down the right field line and scored on a single to right field by Olson. In the seventh inning, Michael McCann (Vancouver, Wash.) sent a single up the middle, advanced to second on a groundout, and scored on a single by Hendrickson.
Fields led off the ninth inning with a double down the left field line, advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt from McCann, and scored on a sacrifice fly hit by Cray. Olson drew a walk, and Hendrickson followed with his second home run in as many days, this time a two-run shot over the wall in right field.
North Dakota (8-19, 8-6 WAC) managed seven hits during the game, led by Jeff Campbell with three hits as well as Patrick Riewer and Dalton Parrott with two hits apiece. Zach Muckenhirn took the loss for North Dakota, allowing nine hits, three walks, and four runs in 6 2/3 innings of work, striking out three batters along the way.
The top seven batters in the Seattle U lineup earned at least one hit each, led by three-hit performances from Hendrickson and Brock Carpenter (Milton, Wash.). With four RBI Saturday added to the two he had in Friday’s game, Hendrickson has driven in half of the Redhawks’ runs so far in the series.
Seattle University (19-19, 8-6 WAC) will face North Dakota in the rubber game of the weekend series Sunday, April 27, at 1 p.m. local time (11 a.m. Pacific time).