Husky baseball season has officially started! The Dawgs started off their 2012 campaign on the road this past weekend with a three game series against San Diego State.
They took two of the three games to win their opening series giving them their first series victory since April of last year. Every game of the series came down to the wire, and Washington came through in clutch situations several times.
In Friday’s opening game of the series, Washington found themselves trailing 3-1 in the eighth inning despite a solid start by sophomore Aaron West. A walk, a pair of singles, a hit batter, and a wild pitch allowed the Huskies to tie the score, and with two outs in the inning, freshman Erik Forgione hit a clutch single to take a two run lead going into the bottom of the eighth.
San Diego State scored a run in the bottom half of their inning to narrow the margin, but the Huskies added two insurance runs in the ninth. Closer Josh Fredendall sealed the win by throwing a scoreless ninth inning giving himself his first save of the year, and junior reliever, Mac Acker, his first win.
On Saturday, the Dawgs got the early lead with rbis from Robert Pehl, Chase Anselment, and Trevor Mitsui. However, starter George Asmus, who delivered five innings of work while giving up just one run, was replaced by Nick Palewicz who surrendered four runs in the sixth inning.
With the game tied, Anselment and Pehl strung together back to back doubles scoring one run before Mitsui drove in Pehl with a sac fly later in the inning to retake the Husky lead. These three combined for five hits, five rbis, and four runs in the game.
After the udub bullpen gave up three runs in the eighth, they found themselves tied going into the final inning. The Husky bats came through in late innings again as they posted four runs aided by a Joe Meggs rbi single and a two run homerun by freshman Branden Berry. The Aztecs were limited to one run in the bottom of the ninth, and the Huskies moved to 2-0 on the year.
Like in the first game of the series, the Huskies fell behind early. Again, they battled back from a 6-2 lead with six runs in the seventh inning. This rally was helped by three unearned runs given up by San Diego State.
Husky reliever Tyler Davis, who had been in the game since the third inning, gave up two runs in bottom half of the frame, and the game remained tied until the ninth when Husky Brandon Berry hit a triple and was driven in by a Michael Camporeale sacrifice fly. Again, the bullpen could not maintain a lead and the Aztecs strung together three singles and a two rbi double to win the game and avoid the sweep. Nevertheless, the Huskies still returned home with a series win.
There are a couple of good and bad things to take away from these three games. The first is the clutch offense by the Dawgs. Time and time again, they recovered from deficits and scrapped together runs when they really needed them. Washington hit .343 in the series and scored 28 runs. Brandon hit .615 himself in the first three games of his Husky career. The Huskies also played good defense, only allowing two errors and one unearned run.
The bad news was the relief pitching. They blew leads four times in the three games and couldn’t seem to stop San Diego State hitters. I also will point out that the Husky’s late inning rallies were often assisted by walks and errors. 8 of Washington’s 28 runs were unearned. While it’s good that they were able to take advantage of these miscues, the Husky offense can’t rely on them all the time.
Washington will return to Seattle for the home opener against Seattle University on 21st before heading to California for the weekend.