Seattle U’s Baseball Team Takes A Swing Into The 2019 Season

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Seattle U’s Baseball Team Takes A Swing Into The 2019 Season

CONNOR MERRION • THE SPECTATOR

CONNOR MERRION • THE SPECTATOR

CONNOR MERRION • THE SPECTATOR

CONNOR MERRION • THE SPECTATOR

Caylah Lunning

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The Seattle University Men’s Baseball team is less than a month away from playing the first games of their 2019 season. The Redhawks are now preparing to take the bases for their first series which will come against the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) Feb. 15 through Feb. 17.

“The guys are definitely buying in,” Head Coach Donny Harrel said. “But still, you can do everything you can to prepare and some anxiety comes up. So, it will be based on us controlling our excitement or nervous level and getting them to play comfortable.”

Seattle U is coming off an impressive 2017-18 season. The team went 34-23 overall, the second most wins in program history. This was the third time in the nine-year old program’s history they recorded more than 30 wins.

During the Redhawks’ 2017-18 season, Seattle U was one game short of advancing to the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) championship game against New Mexico State, who the Redhawks lost to earlier during WAC tournament play. The Redhawks fell short to Sacramento State 12-7 after they climbed their way back from a 10-3 deficit.

Seattle U lost seven seniors at the end of the 2018 season. Then seniors, right-handed pitcher Austin Hansen, utility player outfielder Cameron Sterne, utility player Curtis Perrin, Dalton Hurd, catcher Jack Reisinger, catcher/first basemen Lucas Denney, and infielder Sean Sutton have ended their time here at Seattle U to make way for younger players to come in. These players have some big shoes to fill.

“We’re very young. It’s the youngest team we’ve had since 2012 due to graduation and the professional draft. We’ve also lost some kids coming into the professional draft, so we got young really quick. Never spent so much money on diapers for our program because we’re that young,” Harrel said with a laugh. “It’s a good group. They’re talented, we just need to get them seasoned very quickly because obviously the jump from high school to Division I athletics is a big jump.”

As the Redhawks enter into their 2019 season with their youngest class since 2012, the organization inked thirteen new players for the class of 2022.

“I’d say compared to last year, we have established a good comradery with the team,” Junior right-handed pitcher and finance major Tyler Yeh said. “I’d say that’s a heck of a lot better than it was last year and could use that to piggyback on our success for this year.”

CONNOR MERRION • THE SPECTATOR
CONNOR MERRION • THE SPECTATOR

The young team faces off against top competition as Seattle U will face cross-town rival University of Washington, Minnesota, San Diego State, Washington State University, and Arizona State University in between conference play.

“Right off the bat, we start with UNLV, who has always been a pretty good team. we’re definitely going to have a tough schedule, but we’re ready for it,” Yeh said.

Coming off a season in which he set a Seattle U single-season record for runs, Junior infielder and business management major Austin Lively agreed that the opening series will be crucial.

“I think that first big test is going to UNLV and seeing how we compare to them and if we’re able to hold our own, then we’re off to a good season.”

The Redhawks have a tough inconference season ahead of them with other WAC teams like Grand Canyon University returning all of their players.

“We’ve got some very mature teams. Grand Canyon returns everybody and won it last year. SAC State returned their whole pitching staff as does New Mexico State, so we’ll be the diaper dandy in the conference too,” Harrel continued. “It’ll be the toughest conference that we’ve gotten since we’ve gotten into the WAC, which is good for all of us.”

The Redhawks have their home opener at Bannerwood park Feb. 22 against University of Nebraska Omaha. The WAC tournament will be held in Mesa, Arizona May 22 –26.

Caylah may be reached at
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