Baseball Trying to Build Momentum

Seattle University baseball found a little sun this past weekend in what has been a long, rainy season.

PHOTO VIA RICK MAY, SEATTLE U ATHLETICS
PHOTO VIA RICK MAY, SEATTLE U ATHLETICS

Sean Sutton hit a walk-off home run to win Sunday’s game.

The Redhawks (13-24-1, 5-10 WAC) played a three-game home series against Western Athletic Conference (WAC) opponents Sacramento State, losing the first two before salvaging the series with a walk-off win in the final game.

The first two games exhibited a lot of what has been wrong with the team the whole season. In Friday’s series opener the Redhawks went down 2-0 early in the game, but fought their way back, eventually tying the game at 2 runs apiece in the bottom of the ninth. It looked like they were going to be able to pull it out in extra innings, but they gave the lead right back in the 10th, losing the game 3-2.

Seattle U has played from behind in a lot of games this season. They have shown an ability to fight their way back into games, but when you play from behind nothing is certain. Game two on Saturday showed another theme this season, poor pitching.

The Redhawks have been looking for answers with their top two pitchers, Nick Meservey and Tarik Skubal, out for the season. They couldn’t find it on Saturday, dropping the game 9-0. Sacramento State used three consecutive three-run innings and 5 home runs to down Seattle U.

With game three looming, the Redhawks knew that they needed to make something happen. A year after winning the WAC, the Redhawks are in danger of not qualifying for the conference tournament. With just under a month left in the season, they need to get some momentum.

“This was a must-win game for us,” Head Coach Donny Harrel said.

They were able to get some momentum and confidence in the best way in baseball, with a walk-off home run.

Junior Sean Sutton, batting just .200 after a .337 average last season, hit a 3 run bomb to deep right field to end the game 7-4 and send the team into a frenzied celebration.

“We’re getting towards the end of conference play and we need to put a run together,” Sutton said. “This gives us a bunch of confidence moving forward.”

It was a good all-around game for the Redhawks. Starter Connor Moore gave up 3 earned runs in four innings and was relieved by Tyler Oldenberg who pitched five shutout innings, giving up just two hits.

“We’ve been waiting for a big play like that for a while, to give us that feeling,” Harrel said. “It was a big swing by Sean Sutton. Having the players get this feeling of winning in a pressure situation is so important. Now we have to piece some wins together and try and get hot heading into the tournament.”

Willy may be reached at
sports@su-spectator.com

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