BELLEVUE, Wash. – For the second consecutive game, Seattle University baseball pieced together a big ninth-inning rally, but once again, the Redhawks would come up just short in a 6-5 final against Utah Valley Saturday afternoon at Bannerwood Park.
The Wolverines would take the series, 2-1, moving to 5-18 overall and 2-1 in Western Athletic Conference play. Seattle U drops to 5-17 on the season, 1-2 in WAC play.
"Again we don't get a quality start and we got out of some situations, but our defense let us down today," said Head Coach Donny Harrel. "The runs that put Utah Valley ahead were unearned. And then at the plate, we're pressing, trying to do some big things, but trying to do too much with one swing. We make a good run at it there at the end, but that's how it's been this year."
Austin Lively gave the Redhawks the early 1-0 lead with a solo home run in the bottom of the second. But the Wolverines would answer right back in the top of the third with a pair of runs - the go-ahead following a throwing error by Connor O'Brien at shortstop in an attempted double play.
Both teams remained scoreless through the next four frames until UVU broke things open in the eighth with four runs off of four hits, one error and a walk.
The Redhawks put together a four-run spot of their own, pounding out five hits, while also drawing a hit-by-pitch and one walk. But they could not find the game-tying run as Jake Taylor flew out to right field to end the inning.
Starter Jarrod Billig took the loss as he struck out three while allowing three hits and four walks for two runs, one earned. Reliever Josh Thompson had a solid 3.1 innings of work as he struck out two, walked one and allowed three hits while not giving up a run. Max Cuenca closed out the ninth with a trio of strikeouts.
The Redhawks head back out on the road this week, beginning with a non-conference match-up at Portland on Wednesday, followed by a WAC series at CSU Bakersfield Friday through Sunday.