Seattle University baseball continued their season-long slump this past weekend in a series against Western Athletic Conference (WAC) rivals New Mexico State University, losing all three home games.
Austin Lively fouls a ball out of play.
The Redhawks (8-18, 1-5 WAC) struggled to keep the Aggies’ bats off their pitches, giving up 20 runs over the three games combined.
“We need to be more competitive,” said Head Coach Donny Harrel. “Aggressive is the word of the day. We need to have more aggressive at-bats and mentality.”
The Aggies were certainly aggressive, going after the Seattle U pitchers early and often. In the second game of the series, NMSU scored six of their eight runs in the second inning. In the third game they scored four of their six in the first two innings. Without Nick Meservey and Tarik Skubal to anchor the rotation, the Redhawks starters have been struggling. The team staged comeback efforts late in all the games, but they all fell short.
A bright spot in all of this is the bullpen, which has consistently kept them in games. In the third game the Redhawks were able to escape jams in the fifth and sixth innings, ending both innings with the bases loaded, but only allowing one run between the two innings. Their relievers combined to go 7.2 innings, giving up two runs and striking out five.
“Our bullpen came in and kept us in it,” said Harrel. “They have been great.” In that third game, Seattle U staged a late rally attempt in the ninth inning starting with a Sean Sutton ground out that scored Michael Ciancio from third base. Hurd then came through with another big hit, an RBI-double to center field that cut the Aggies’ lead to two. Lively walked to load the bases bringing up Aaron Stroosma, but he would strike out on three straight pitches to end the game.
Stroosma also made the final out in game two, grounding into a double play with the bases loaded, and the team down by three runs.
“We are really close,” Harrel said. “We just need that break through game, but we are showing that we have what it takes. There is plenty of season left to turn it around.”
Harrel is right, they have only played two conference series so far, and while a 1-5 record isn’t where they imagined the team being at this point in the season, they cannot give up. They have shown that they have the pieces to string together some wins, it is just all about putting them together.
Another big part of their struggles have been the veteran hitters. Sean Sutton, pre-season All-Conference pick, is hitting below .200 after hitting .337 last year. Fourth year shortstop Griffin Andreychuk is hitting just .233 and has recently been dropped in the batting order.
This week, the Redhawks travel to Northern Colorado for a weekend series against the Bears.
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