Seattle University RedHawks Return to Bannerwood

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Photo Courtesy of Jerry Shaffer

It had been nearly 9 months since Seattle University played a home baseball game. Friday afternoon they returned to Bannerwood Park in Bellevue, Washington to open their 1st home stand of the young 2019 season against the University of Nebraska Omaha. The RedHawks were returning from a 3-game road trip where the went 1-2. They are a young team, looking for answers after their opening road trip, one that was very positive in their quest to make the 2019 playoffs. Friday, due to the chance of a weekend of bad weather, the RedHawks started their home stand with a double-header against Omaha.

Game one saw conference pitcher of the week Jake Prizina take the mound and once again he didn’t disappoint. Prizina pitched another quality start, going 5 innings of one-hit ball striking out 5 and walking one. While the game was called after 5 1/3 innings due to the weather, Prizina was dominant from the get-go as he was gifted a ton of runs on his way to his 2nd victory of the season. Once again, the bats were dominant, securing 12 hits and 4 home-runs in the process. RF Chase Wells hit his 2nd home-run of the young season to put the RedHawks up 2-0. An inning later Kyle Sherick went yard with his 2nd home run of the season. Justin Mazzone would later belt his 3rd home-run of the season and the blowout was on. Later, Freshman DH Julian Kodama would secure his 1st collegiate home-run to put the game out of reach. 3B Austin Lively and DH Julian Kodama would secure 3 hits a piece in ballgame to lead the team as Seattle University would win the ballgame 12-0 to go 2-2 on the young season.

In the nightcap game 2, both team’s pitching staffs came to play. Freshman Josh Thompson would take the hill for the RedHawks. He would pitch a solid 4 innings, allowing 1-run on 3 hits. Josh would strike out 5 batters and walk 4 in the process. Redhawk’s reliever Will Smith would pitch the final five innings, striking out 6 and walking 3 batters. He gave up 2 runs in the process. Seattle University’s bats would go silent, only acquiring 7 hits and plating 2-runs. LF Kyle Sherrick and 2B Jacob Prater would secure 4 of the 7 hits in the ballgame. Final score was Omaha 3, Seattle University 2 as the RedHawks record would go to 2-3 on this young season.

Saturday afternoon saw the always popular Tyler Yeh take the mound for the RedHawks. Unfortunately, it wasn’t his day as he gave up 5-runs on 10 hits in 2 innings. Omaha certainly had his number on Saturday. The bullpen didn’t help Yeh’s cause as they allowed another 9 hits and 5 runs. The RedHawks defense wasn’t very effective either as they committed 4 errors in the field. The offense came to play scoring 8 runs on 14 hits, but it wasn’t enough as Omaha took game 3 10-8. Third baseman Austin Lively once again had another productive day at the plate getting 3 more hits. SS Connor O’Brien and 1B Jake Taylor would get 2 hits a piece in the losing cause as Seattle University record went to a dismal 2-4 on this young season.

Sunday saw pitcher Alex Jemal take the mound for the RedHawks in a game that perhaps will be the game of the year for Seattle University. Alex pitched a solid 4 innings giving up only 2 runs in the ballgame. The bullpen wasn’t as lucky giving up 4 more runs over the final 5 innings. Seattle University would be down 5-1 after 5 innings as the bats had only 2 hits. In the sixth inning, the RedHawks came to play. DH Justin Mazzone would belt his 4th home run of the season to cut the lead to 5-3. Two batters later, Jake Taylor would come off the bench with a RBI single to cut the lead to 5-4. In the 7th inning, both teams would plate a run to make the score 6-5 Omaha.

In the bottom of the 8th, Seattle University secured the comeback of all ages. After loading the bases with no outs and the infield in, Jake Taylor would connect on a bases clearing double. Seattle University would go up 8-6 as they went into the 9th inning. As the fans were wondering who would come in to close it out, the crowd erupted as previous days starting pitcher Tyler Yeh came in. Yeh didn’t disappoint as he retired the Omaha hitters 1-2-3. Final score 8-6 with Seattle University winning to put their record at 3-4 with a long road ahead of them.

The Stars of the series was Pitcher Jake Prizina, DH/C Justin Mazzone and 1b Jake Taylor (though many players could have been mentioned) for Jake’s dominant performance on the mound and for Justin and Jake’s key hits in the series.

Seattle University had their ups and downs during the series as once again their bullpen failed in their 2 losses against Omaha. The defense is still something that needs to be worked on as well. They committed 5 errors in their 2 losses. The positives were their hitting and Jake Prizina once again. For them to be successful, someone on the pitching staff needs to step up whether it’s Tyler Yeh or Alex Jemal or one of the Freshman perhaps? The offense has 84 hits in their seven games with an enormous amount of home runs.

It’s going to be a long season but how can we not be excited Redhawk Nation!!! Seattle University goes on the road next week against the University of Pacific for 4 games before returning home March 5th against the University of Washington. Please go out and support these guys. Follow them online when they are on the road. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Together We Soar!

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