The Struggle Continues:  Redhawks Lose 2 of 3 to Continue Their Slide

Photo courtesy: John Shaffer

Seattle University hit the road Wednesday March 27th for a rematch against the Portland Pilots. The Redhawks were looking for redemption after a loss the previous road trip against the Portland Pilots. Tyler Yeh took the mound for the Redhawks, looking to start the trip on a winning note.

Seattle University took an early 3-0 lead in the first on a 2-run double as things began to look “Lively” for the Redhawks. In the 2nd inning, the Redhawks plated 5 more runs to go up 8-0. The big hits of the inning were a 2-run double by RBI leader Justin Mazzone and a bases clearing double by Jake Taylor. Things were looking up for Seattle University. That was the perception anyways as the game moved on. Two innings later the Pilots finally went got on the scoreboard, but after four innings the Seattle University still had a 9-3 lead. They continued to pile it on as the lead grew to 13-3 as the game went to the bottom of the 5th inning. In the bottom half of inning number five, things took a turn for the worse.

Portland plated 9 runs and the rains came!! With two outs, the game was suspended with the Redhawks up 13-12 and the Pilots still at bat. The game is to be resumed Tuesday April 2nd at 1pm as part of a double header at Bannerwood Park with the Redhawks returning home looking for a miracle to turn their season around.

Seattle University returned to the state of California on Friday night for a 3-game series versus conference opponents CSU Bakersfield. Redhawks ace Jake Prizina took the mound looking to turn this road trip and season around. CSU was throwing their ace Darius Vines. Seattle University would send him to the showers after 4 innings as they plated four runs to go up 4-0. Meanwhile, Jake would allow no hits through 4 innings as he showed why he was the elite of the conference. Jake would give up 2 hits in inning five, but CSU failed to score as it remained 4-0 Redhawks. The Redhawks would go up 5-0 as we went to the bottom of the 6th inning. Jake would have a moment of letdown as his pitches seemed to rise in the strike zone. CSU Bakersfield teed off the Redhawks ace for 4 runs on 4 hits. The Priz was human and he showed it inning six, but he got out of the inning with the lead of 5-4. Seattle University’s lead would increase to 7-4 on a 2-run single by Jacob Prater in inning seven as the Priz came out to pitch the bottom half of the inning. Jake’s success came to an end as he quickly loaded the bases with no out.

Reliever Alex Jemal would come into pitch and he was able to get the Redhawks out of the inning without allowing a run. Jemal pitched an absolute masterpiece as the Redhawks maintained their lead of 7-4 after seven innings. Alex would pitch the remaining 2 innings and close out another Redhawks win, allowing two more runs. With a final of 7-6, the Redhawks increased their record to 6-17 as they took game one of the series. Jake would get the win to go 4-1 on the season in probably his not so finest performance. He would go 6 innings giving up 7 hits, 1 walk and 2 strikeouts. Jacob Prater would lead the way with 3 hits and 3 RBIs.

Game 2 was on Saturday afternoon. Jarrod Billig took the mound for the Redhawks and he was dominant. Jarrod pitched a quality start going 5 2/3 innings leaving with 5-1 lead. Josh Thompson would come in an allow a run to score that would be charged to Jarrod, but the score would be 5-2 Redhawks after six innings. Justin Mazzone would be responsible for 3 early RBIs as he had a pair of base hits to help the Redhawks maintain the early lead.

In the 7th inning as the Redhawks bats would go dormant, the Runners bats of CSU would catch fire. They would plate 5 runs of the inconsistent Redhawks’ bullpen. By the end of the ballgame, CSU would secure game 2 of the series 7-5. Stars of the game for Seattle University were Billig on the mound and Justin Mazzone at the plate with 3 hits and 3 RBIs. The Redhawks would record would go to 6-18 hoping to take game 3 on Sunday in hopes of returning home on a winning note.

Game three saw the Redhawks looking lost from the start to finish. One would wonder what was going on with the offense as they produced only 1 hit and 1 walk. Tyler Yeh started on the mound and he continued to look like the Tyler Yeh we were used too. Tyler was lost from the start. He gave up six runs. Yeh and 4 relievers would combine to give up 13 hits and 9 runs and walking 4 batters. The Redhawks would also commit 2 more errors, totaling 8 errors in the series. The final score was 9-0 though it seemed like 20-0. Perhaps their worst performance of the season, the Redhawks flew out of California with a 6-19 record wondering what the heck was going on.

The Redhawks return this Tuesday against the Portland Pilots for a double header. Game one will continue how it ended, in the bottom of the fifth with 2 outs and the Redhawks hanging on to a 13-12 lead. Game two will follow. Friday the 5th, California Baptist will come to town for a 3-game series. The Redhawks need to win at least 4 of 5 here to gain momentum. Committing 8 errors over the weekend was unacceptable but the pitching and inconsistent hitting didn’t help.

Will a leader step forward on this ball club? I have said it before and I will say it again, without a leader, the rest of the season will drag on. It can’t be Jake Prizina. He pitches every fifth day. The rest of the pitching needs to follow suit. In the field, committing errors won’t lead you to victory. Kyler Murphy needs to be out there. Justin Mazzone is a good catcher but perhaps DH is where he should be for now until the ball club turns it around. Murphy knows how to call a game from start to finish. Connor O’Brien is the definition of a true leader. Let’s bring it Connor! We know you have the capability.

Here’s to the final 2 months of the season. It’s not about how you start but how you finish. Seattle University has the talent to finish on a roll and make waves in the conference tournament. Redhawk Nation they need the support if not at Bannerwood, then follow them on Twitter for outstanding coverage by Director of Baseball Operations Phil Mann. Let’s finish strong and soar to the finish!

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.