Redhawks Get Stung by a Bunch of Hornets!

Austin Lively went a perfect 3-for-3 with a home run Saturday. Photo Courtesy: John Shaffer

 

Friday afternoon the Seattle University Redhawks arrived at their home ballpark in Bellevue, Washington looking to take on the first place Sacramento State Hornets of the WAC conference. The two teams were hoping to play double-header before the rain storms would arrive. The Hornets had a record of 21-11 (7-2 WAC) while the Redhawks had a record of 7-23 (3-6 WAC). Jarrod Billig took the mound for the Redhawks. This was an important series for the Redhawks too make a quick statement that there record wasn’t a reflection of how good they truly were.

The Hornets made it interesting in the top half of the first inning with 2 singles, but Jarrod quickly worked his magic and got out of the inning, a true reflection of how far he has come this season. Over the next few innings, both teams remained scoreless with Jarrod working out of a bases loaded jam and the Redhawks securing only one hit by CF Kyle Sherick. In the bottom half of the fourth, with both teams tied at 0-0, Seattle University finally got on the board. 3B Austin Lively got on with a base hit. He quickly reached second base on a wild pitch. Seconds later, Austin scored the first run of the ballgame on a RBI single by 1B Jake Taylor. The Redhawks would fail to secure any more but lead 1-0 after 4 innings.

The Hornets would quickly tie it up in the top half of the fifth. They quickly loaded the bases with 3 straight singles. Jarrod, with all the composure in the world, took a deep breath and assessed the situation he was in. He gave up a sacrifice fly to score one run, but on the play SS Connor O’Brien made a great decision throwing the Redhawk out trying to advance to 2nd base. The next batter grounded out and the 5th inning was over with little damage.

Jarrod Billig secured a spot in the rotation for his final two years at Seattle University, perhaps as the future ace of the staff with that inning. Seattle University would take the lead in inning six for good as they plated three runs to go up 4-1. The three runs came on an RBI single by Austin Lively and a 2-run bomb to left by 1B Jake Taylor. Jarrod Billig would leave after 6 1/3 innings to a standing ovation after giving up a hit and a out in inning seven. Pitcher Tyler Yeh would come in and finish the inning with no damage allowed. Jarrod gave up 1 run on 7 hits. He struck out 2 Hornets while walking 1. Billig finished with 101 pitches and 60 first pitch strikes, a quality start against the first place Hornets. Yeh would close out the game allowing one run on 2 hits to secure his 2nd save of the season.

The Redhawks bats would go quiet, but that didn’t matter as they won 4-2 in perhaps their best all-around game of the 2019 season. Things were looking up as they got ready for game two. Stars of the game were Jarrod Billig, Austin Lively with two hits and Jake Taylor with two hits and three RBIs.

Game number two saw the Redhawks sending freshman standout Desmond Parisotto to the mound. Sacramento State sent their ace Scott Randall to the mound who was 5-1 on the season. Parisotto gave up a lead-off home run as the Hornets quickly went up 1-0. Parisotto would give up 2 more hits in the inning but would calmly work his way out of the inning with no other damage. A key play of the inning was when C Kyler Murphy made a sensational throw to nail a Hornet trying to steal some honey on the base paths. In the bottom of the first the Redhawk magic would continue as they got to pitcher Randall. Seattle University would score three runs on four hits while they sent eight batters to the plate. More important, they made Hornets pitcher Scott Randall throw a ton of pitches. Highlights of the inning were a 2-run single by 3B Austin Lively and a RBI single by RF Chase Wells. After the first inning, Hornet ace Mr. Scott Randall would quietly retire 15 Redhawks around three hits and a walk, an absolute dominating performance from innings 2-6 what we were all expecting.

Parisotto would be pulled in the 3rd inning perhaps a little too soon. Sacramento state would plate one run in the 3rd inning and two more runs in the 4th inning to go up 4-3. Pitcher sophomore Brayden Weyer would come into pitch during the 4th inning. In perhaps his best performance of the season, he would shut down the Hornets after allowing the two inherited runs to score after an error by Austin Lively (should have been scored a hit) and a hit-by-pitch. He would not allow any more damage over innings five through seven allowing only one base-hit. The inconsistent bullpen showed up for innings 8 and 9 to close out the game. They would allow five more runs to cross the plate. Seattle University would secure only one more base hit as they fell to the Hornets 9-3, a game for the first 7 innings only to see it turn into a blowout by the end.

Seattle University’s star of the game was pitcher Brayden Weyer. Kyle Sherick and Austin Lively would combine for 5 hits and 2 RBIs.

Game three was Saturday evening with start time changed to 5:15 pm due to the weather. This was the series finale with the winner take all. Freshman Josh Thompson took the mound and pitched another dominating performance against the 1st place Hornets. Josh would go four innings giving up one run on 4 hits and struck out 10 Hornets in the process (the team would strike out 16 Hornets during the entire ballgame). Seattle University would score one run in the 1st inning to take the early lead. Sacramento State would tie it up at 1-1 in the 2nd inning.

In inning 3 Austin Lively would come to the plate. Austin was having perhaps a breakout series against the 1st place Hornets. Austin Lively would go 7-10 during the series with 4 runs batted in, raising his average to .298. Austin would go yard with his 4th home run of the season. Seattle University would go up 2-1. After the Hornets tied it up at 2-2, both teams’ offenses would shut down.

In innings eight and nine that would change. Sacramento State would plate 2 runs each inning to go up 6-2. Seattle University would secure 3 more hits over the final six innings. Sacramento State would take the series 2 games to 1.

Seattle University stars of the game were Josh Thompson with his dominating pitching performance and 3B Austin Lively with 3 hits.

The Redhawks played an outstanding series against the best team in the conference. Sacramento State clearly had more star players than the Redhawks, but they had to work hard for their two wins. Perhaps had star player Jake Prizina not been out with an injury, Seattle University might have taken the series. Again, this team is young, and we see that every week. But then we see performances like Josh Thompson and Jarrod Billig, and Redhawk Nation must be excited for the rest of the season and the years to come. It is such a pleasure to see this time on a weekly basis.

Coach Harrel is doing an outstanding job with what he has to offer. It can’t be easy to shuffle a team like this one with all the talent it has, especially 13 freshmen. Freshman Kyle Sherick is slowly becoming a superstar on this ball club, perhaps the next Dalton Hurd? Jarrod Billig has taken over the team lead in ERA and perhaps next year’s ace of the pitching staff. Pitchers Desmond Parisotto and Josh Thompson are perhaps next seasons number two and three starting pitchers. DH/Catcher Justin Mazzone and SS Connor O’Brien have two more years of college eligibility. Redhawk Nation there are only great things to come.

Seattle University goes on the road this Tuesday to play Arizona State before heading to fellow conference foe Grand Canyon University for a trio of games. Redhawk Nation we need to cheer them on as the season is just past the halfway point. There are still several home games left to come and cheer them on. Hope to see you all there in support of your fellow Redhawks!

Together We Soar!

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News Reporter
Brian joined the SSU in 2017 and covers the Everett AquaSox. I'm a graduate of Washington State University and I'm a die-hard baseball fan.