Mr. Billig is Nearly Perfect as Seattle University Baseball Splits Series with Pacific!

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Photo credit by Phillip Allman.  (Billig was unhittable Friday afternoon)

Seattle University Redhawks returned Friday to their home field in Bellevue, Washington to take on the University of the Pacific Tigers from the West Coast Conference for a 4-game homestand.  The Redhawks had just finished a four-game road trip to California where they took on UC Riverside, USC, San Diego and Southern Illinois.  Seattle University came away with a 2-2 record on their California vacation with wins over UC Riverside and Southern Illinois.  With a 3-4 record, the Redhawks were looking to take at least 3 of 4 from the Tigers to get their record in the positive.  With their staff ace Jarrod Billig on the mound, things looked promising as game one quickly approached.

Jarrod Billig, in perhaps his finest performance as a Redhawk, came out firing from the beginning.  The junior left-hander from Las Vegas retired 9 of the first 11 Tigers he faced.  He would go 6 scoreless innings striking out 6 tigers while walking 3 batters.  Billig would throw 98 pitches.  The line that stood out was NO HITS!  Pacific had no answers at the plate as Jarrod Billig could have gone the distance had there not been a pitch count.  Would the offense provide any run support?  Trevon Antonson made sure that they did.  He put the Redhawks up 3-0 with a home run (the first one for the college freshman from the state of Oregon.)  Seattle University would score a late run to go up 4-0.  Pacific would score two late runs against the bullpen, but it wasn’t enough.  Seattle U takes game one 4-2 as they evened their record at 4-4 on the young season as Jarrod Billig would even his record at 1-1.

Saturday afternoon was supposed to be a doubleheader but game two got moved to Sunday because of potential bad weather in the forecast.  Sophomore LH Ethan Christianson from Boise took the mound for the Redhawks.  He came into the game with a 1-1 record.  Ethan had looked pretty good early into the 2020 season.  Seattle University again liked their chances with Ethan as the game two starter.  After four innings the score was 2-1 Pacific, even though they were down, Ethan was throwing another potential quality start.  It was Seattle University’s ineffective offense that could not manufacture the runs early in the baseball game.  Ethan Christianson got into trouble in the fifth inning giving up 4 runs.  Had it not been for one big error in the field of play, they might have got out of the inning unscathed.  With that said, Christianson got pulled and senior pitcher (fan favorite) Tyler Yeh came in and quickly stopped the bleeding.  Tyler would pitch the next four innings, tossing a shutout on 4 hits.  Sophomore Desmond Parisotto would close out the final 1/3 of the 9th inning.  Redhawk nation would see a comeback fall short as they would fall 6-5 to Pacific.  They certainly made it exciting as they belted 8 hits (all from hitters 5-9) in the loss.  There were too many “what ifs” in the baseball game.  Christianson took the loss as the Redhawks record fell to 4-5.

Game three was Sunday morning.  The game would be only 7 innings because this would be a part of a double header.  Junior LH Alex McBee (from the state of Utah) would take the mound.  He would go 4 innings allowing 2 runs.  With the score of 2-0, the bullpen would take over.  Max Cuenca (sophomore from Seattle) would take over and shut down the Tigers in the fifth.  RF Chase Wells would slap an RBI single to cut the lead to 2-1 for the Redhawks in the bottom of inning 5 but the offense quickly went dormant again to close out the inning.  In the sixth, Cuenca gave up an unearned run (Seattle University’s 5th error of the series).  Closer Brandon Jenkins (junior from New Jersey) would come in to shut down the Tigers.  In the bottom of the sixth, Wells would come to the rescue again as he belted a 2-run triple to put his team up for good 4-3.  Jenkins would close it out and secure his first Redhawk win.  Seattle University would see their record go to 5-5 as both teams took a break before the final game of the series.

https://twitter.com/SeattleUBase/status/1234235250395373569?s=20

Sophomore Josh Thompson (from Colorado) took the mound for the finale of the series.  By the end of the 3rd inning, the Redhawks were hoping for the skies to open and the rains would fall because Pacific was up 7-1 and they were not cooling off.  By games end they belted out 20 hits and when Seattle University had their final out at the plate, the scoreboard read 17-1 Pacific.  Perhaps had they played the game the day before, things might have been different?   There were no real highlights of the finale as Seattle University saw their record fall to 5-6.

Early Observations of the 2020 Seattle University Redhawks Baseball:

  • They are young. Coach Harrel has a talented team from top to bottom.  He is doing one heck of a coaching job with these young men.  With a 5-6 record, they have something to be proud of this early into the season.  The potential is there Redhawk Nation.  Keep the faith, I promise you!!!
  • Senior Austin Lively is back from injury and watch out as his bat will light up soon (and very soon). He has perhaps the best swing on the roster (with Kyle Sherrick a close 2nd).  Let’s hope that Austin can stay healthy.  He is a huge part of this offense.
  • Jarrod Billig, nice job young man!! What an incredible performance on Friday. We are so looking forward to watching you grow this season.  Jarrod has big shoes to fill (taking over Jake Prizina’s Friday night slot) and we are starting to witness that (hence last Friday).  Jarrod was named WAC pitcher of the week for his no-hit outing on Friday.  Congratulations Jarrod Billig!

  • Errors, errors, errors. The team had six during the Pacific series.  For them not to repeat last years season of horrors, this needs to stop.  There are enough season veterans on the field that know what is expected.  Let’s go Redhawks, we can fix these mental mistakes.
  • Too many runners left on base. If the team wants more wins, the bats need to get going.  There needs to be no more swinging at the first pitch every time up at the plate.  Little things Redhawks.  We got the talent to hit the ball, so let’s start swing for those base hits and not home runs.
  • We can’t really complain about the pitching. It has been strong with little run support.  Sunday’s 17-1 shellacking is one we want to quickly forget, and we can move on from that.

 

Bring on Boise State!!  Let this be the series this team comes together as one as the bats explode.  We got this Seattle University Redhawks.   We will be rooting you on from afar this weekend online and on Twitter.  Keep the faith Redhawk Nation!!

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