BELLEVUE, Wash. – Seattle U baseball rallied to take the lead twice against UT Arlington on Friday evening at Bannerwood Park. But the Mavericks would make the last move, scoring three times in the top of the eighth, to claim a 6-5 win over the Redhawks in game-two of a three-game series.
Redhawk starting pitcher Alex Jemal gave up three hits to open the game as the Mavericks (10-5) took a quick 2-0 lead. But the freshman settled in nicely after that, collecting a pair of strikeouts for the final two outs of the inning, and then keeping UTA scoreless for the next four innings.
"That was a tough start to give up three consecutive hits but we're really happy with how Jemel settled in after that, kept his composure and kept us in the game," said Head Coach Donny Harrel.
Jemal would surrender a single run in the sixth as the Mavericks knotted the score, 3-3. But the Redhawk battery responded again in the seventh as Mike Ciancio led off with a big double to right-center field, was advanced to second on a Harayda sacrifice bunt and scored on a Jacob Prater RBI-single for the go ahead run.
Justin Mazzone singled through the right side to score Prater from second and the Redhawks were quickly on top, 5-3, through seven complete.
But UTA had an answer of their own as Andrew Miller launched a two-run homer off of reliever Desmond Parisotto in the top of the eighth, tying the score at 5-5. Brayden Weyer would then take over for Parisotto, but could not stop the rally as the sophomore walked the first batter he faced, then committed a throwing error on pick-off attempt that allowed pinch runner Phillip Childs to move into scoring position.
The Mavericks would take advantage on the next batter as Josh Minjarez doubled down the left-field line to send Childs across home plate for the go-ahead run.
The Redhawks got a pair of runners on base in the final frame, but could not complete the comeback.
"Offensively, we got those two big innings and pieced some things together," said Harrel. "But Desmond was just elevated, it wasn't a good match-up and their guy took advantage. And then our 'dead heel' - we walk the next guy, put him on second with a bad pick, and good teams take advantage of it.
"The game isn't giving us anything right now, we need to keep working to get everything," Harrel continued. "But there were some really positive things as well. Harayda had a good start in his first opportunity at second and Mike Cianco came in at first, played good defense and got two big hits."
Weyer (0-2) took the loss for the Redhawks while UTA starter Ka'ikepono Anderson was credited with the win. Closer Andrew Gross picked up his sixth save of the season.
Commor O'Brien, Kyle Sherick, Ciancio and Harayda all collected two hits apiece as the Redhawks finished with 11 total hits in the game.
The two teams wrap up the three-game set on Saturday with first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m. at Bannerwood Park. For the most up-to-date information on game day, be sure to follow the Redhawks on Twitter at @seattleubase.