Redhawks Slide Continues as Losing Streak Reaches Nine

Photo courtesy of Corky Trewin.
Seattle University hit the road for 4 games last Wednesday looking to turn their season around after going win-less at home, losing all 5 games in the process. Their road trip took them to Portland, Oregon for a one-game series versus the hot hitting Portland Pilots who had a record of 13-4. Freshman pitcher Josh Thompson was the declared the starting pitcher for the game versus the Pilots.

Josh Thompson pitched perhaps his finest performance of his young college career. He would go 4 2/3 innings and give up 4 hits and walking 2 batters while allowing only 1 Pilot to cross home plate. Josh also struck out 5 Pilot batters. Through five innings, the score was tied at 1-1. By the end of the night, the Redhawks left Joe Etzel Field with a loss of 7-1. The bullpen once again failed to keep the Redhawks in the ballgame. It didn’t help that the bats went silent again. Stars of the game offensively were Jacob Prater with 3 hits and Austin Lively with 2 hits. Catcher Blaine Wagner, from Duval, got his first at bat of the season and got a base hit in the process. Seattle University left the state of Oregon and head to the warmth of San Diego, California looking for answers.

Seattle University arrived in San Diego for a 3-game series versus the Aztecs of San Diego State who came in with an 8-7 record. Lefty ace Jake Prizina was on the mound for the Redhawks so chances were great that this losing streak would come to and end. Jake would leave after 6 innings with the score of 4-3, with the Redhawks on top. He would strike out 5 batter and give up 9 hits while allowing 3 runs across, another quality start leaving after 101 pitches. Seattle University would score their first 2 runs on sacrifice flies by Justin Mazzone and Chase Wells. In the fifth inning they would plate 2 more runs on a RBI triple by Kyle Sherick and RBI single by Connor O’Brien. In the seventh inning the Redhawks would plate another run to increase their lead to 5-3. Redhawk Nation was wondering if the bullpen could hold this lead. The reliable Will Smith came in a quickly gave up a walk and hit batter (his 9th on the season). He would quickly be replaced by Jarrod Billig who had been strong all season. Jarrod didn’t look himself as he allowed a walk and a hit batter before he could secure an out. By the time the inning was over, the Aztec’s had tied the ballgame at 5 apiece. Jarrod would close out the 8th and 9th successfully but the Redhawks offense would go silent.

The game went into extra innings. Seattle University failed to produce in top half of the tenth inning. In the bottom of the tenth inning Jarrod would come out, perhaps not the right choice after already throwing 50 plus pitches but the bullpen has been struggling and Jarrod has pitched well this season. Tonight, was a different story. After an error and a wild pitch, with 2 outs the Aztecs would win the ballgame 6-5 on a walk-off single. Stars of the game were Kyle Sherick and Jacob Prater with 2 hits apiece. Seattle University couldn’t seem to catch a break as they left the ballpark with a record of 4-13. Things had to change with Tyler Yeh on the mound the next night!

Saturday night things were looking good with Tyler Yeh making another start on the mound for the Redhawks. Seattle University would quickly take a 3-0 lead after 2 1/3 innings after stringing a bunch of base-hits to bring them across. In the bottom of the third inning Yeh would fall apart allowing the Aztecs to plate 5 runs. It didn’t help that the Redhawks committed 2 errors during the inning. In the top half of the 4th inning, the Redhawks would bounce back with 4 more runs to go up 7-5. Things were looking up for Seattle University. Yeh would last one more inning as he gave up another run. After four innings the Redhawks were up 7-6 and Yeh was done for the evening.

Bring on the bullpen. San Diego State would plate 3 more runs in the fifth inning to go up 9-6 and never look back. Austin Lively would belt a solo home-run late for the Redhawks but it wasn’t enough as the Aztecs would win game two with the score of 12-8. Stars of the evening were Jacob Prater, Kyle Sherick and Connor O’Brien with 2 hits apiece. Game 3 would be a get-away game early on Sunday as the Redhawks were looking to sneak out of California with at least one victory under their belt.

Alex Jemal took the mound for the Redhawks on Sunday looking to build on his strong performance from his last start against the University of Minnesota. He didn’t make it out of the fourth inning as the Aztecs lit him up for 5 runs on 7 hits. Seattle University lead 2-1 after three innings. Their lead would be short-lived. In the fourth inning Alex would be sent to the showers after 3 2/3 innings as the Aztecs plated 4 runs to go up 5-1. Seattle University’s bullpen would take over and give up six more runs over the final 4 innings. The Redhawks would score 3 more runs in the seventh and eighth inning but it would be enough as the Aztecs would win 11-5 for the series sweep.

Seattle University would go 0-4 on the road trip as their losing streak would reach 9 in a row. The bright spot one schedule was that Seattle University was heading home to open conference play in the W.A.C. Sure, they wished their record was better than 4-15, but conference games are where it counts.

It was a tough road trip. The Redhawk players would be the first ones to admit it. The starting pitching, the bullpen, the defense and an inconsistent offense were the reasons why the road trip was such a nightmare. I have said this before and I will say it again, the Redhawks are so close to putting it all together.

Next Friday, at Bannerwood Park, conference play opens against Utah Valley for 3 games. Jake Prizina, we assume, will be the starting pitcher for game one. Freshman Kyle Sherick and Jacob Prater, who lead the team with a .351 average, will continue to ignite the offense. Connor O’Brien is hitting a solid .314 with 13 RBIs. There are lots of positives to look forward too as the Redhawks open conference play. C/DH Justin Mazzone leads the team with 4 home-runs and 17 RBIs. If the pitching can settle down and certain players start hitting the baseball, then Seattle University will finish the season strong as many including myself predicted.

Game one is Friday evening at 4pm. Redhawk nation needs to show up and fill those stands. This team needs your support right now. Let’s sell out Bannerwood Park and help lead the Redhawks to victory.

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.