Seattle University Baseball Falls in Home Opener to Saint Martinís
Courtesy: Rod Commons
The Seattle University baseball team showed signs of improvement as it played in front of a home crowd for the first time this season, but the squad also showed that there was still work to be done as Saint Martin's earned a 21-7 victory Tuesday afternoon at Bannerwood Park.

Saint Martin's (3-9) led off the top of the third inning with a single and two walks. Matt Marcoe's sacrifice fly to right field scored Blaine Evans, and Aaron Johnson started his exemplary day with a three-run home run to left field to give the Saints a 4-0 lead.

SeattleU responded in the bottom of the third, as with two outs Steve Kirbach (Kirkland, Wash.) reached on an error after his grounder skipped through the legs of first baseman Travis Jones. Josh Kalalau (University Place, Wash.) cut the Redhawk deficit in half with a two-run home run to left field. Riley Tompkins (Lynnwood, Wash.) followed with a double, and Nate Roberts (Silverdale, Wash.) hit his own two-run shot to left field to tie the game at 4-4.

The Saints took the lead for good in the fourth inning as Luke Abbott walked, Zach Leonard reached on a bunt single and then stayed on the bases when SeattleU pitcher Max Whieldon (Trabuco Hills, Calif.) threw the ball wide of its intended target on a grounder from Andrew Elke. Marcoe's single scored pinch runner Bobby Twedt, and a double by Johnson brought in Leonard and Elke. Jones completed the scoring with a sacrifice fly to right field that scored Marcoe.

The Redhawks loaded the bases in the bottom of the fourth with a single, a hit batter, and an infield hit, but Kalalau could not take advantage of the situation for SeattleU. Saint Martin's responded with five runs in the top of the fifth inning to extend its advantage to 13-4. Another four-run spurt by the Saints in the sixth inning extended their lead to 17-4, and the two teams started using their reserves the rest of the way.

Kalalau finished 2-for-5 with two runs scored and two runs batted in, while Tompkins and Roberts each hit 2-for-4 with a run scored. Whieldon took the loss for Seattle University after allowing four runs, two of them earned, in one inning of relief.

Johnson went 4-for-7 with two runs scored and eight runs batted in, while Marcoe finished 2-for-3 with three runs scored and four runs batted in. Thomas DeBoer, the third pitcher to enter the game for Saint Martin's, earned the victory after giving his team two-and-a-third innings of scoreless relief while allowing only two hits and a hit batter.

Seattle University (0-3) begins a 12-game road swing this weekend, heading south to face the University of Portland in a four-game series Feb. 26-28. The next home game at Bannerwood Park for SeattleU is Friday, March 19, against Cal State Northridge beginning at 6 p.m.