BASEBALL DROPS A PAIR TO LOUISIANA TECH IN WAC PLAY
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — On a day which was not meant for baseball to be played, Louisiana Tech swept a doubleheader against Sacramento State at a windy Hornet Field. The Bulldogs won game one, 6-3, before capturing the nightcap, 8-1. Both games were marred by gusts of win in excess of 30 miles per hour.
In the first game, the Hornets (10-26 overall, 5-10 in the Western Athletic Conference) scored in their first at-bat and nearly rallied for the win in their final plate appearance. Patrick Cummins tripled in the first inning and later scored on one of Ryan Blair’s two hits to give the team a 1-0 lead. That advantage held until the third when La Tech scored two runs.
The Bulldogs stretched their lead to 4-1 in the sixth inning with a two-out rally. Patrick Thomas singled up the middle to drive in one run and Adam Cobb plated the other. Freshman starter Trevor York was relieved following the first run of the inning. York threw 5.2 innings and allowed just two earn runs while striking out four.
After Louisiana Tech built a 6-1 lead, the Hornets got to work in the ninth inning. David Flores was hit by a pitch to start the inning. Jeff Hannah followed with a single through the left side of the infield and Brian Boyd was walked to load the bases. Taylor Watanabe then drove in two runs with a single to right field.
Following a pitching change, the Hornets had the tying run at the plate in the form of Cummins. The senior promptly rocketed a ball to the right side but was robbed by a diving catch from second baseman Nick Grunewald, who threw to first to double off Watanabe. Aaron Lorio then closed the game with a strikeout to earn his fourth save of the year.
Blair was the only Sacramento State batter to record multiple hits in the game and was joined by Watanabe, Cummins, Gabe Jacobo, Flores and Hannah in the hit column.
Ryan Rupert was credited with the win to improve to 3-1. York dropped to 1-6 with the loss.
The second game was close through the first five innings. La Tech plated two runs in the first but Sacramento State answered back with one run in the second on an RBI double by Flores to left to score Wes Oberlin. Oberlin reached base on a play which summed up the entire afternoon. The junior hit a high pop up to shallow right field but the wind brought the ball back onto the edge of the dirt and Oberlin reached with a double.
In the sixth inning, La Tech had a runner on second with two outs when Matt Combs was awarded first base on a controversial hit-by-pitch. That decision prolonged the inning which resulted in the Bulldogs scoring five runs, capped by a two-run triple from Brian Rike.
That rally also spoiled another solid effort from starting pitcher Mick Joyce. After giving up the two runs in the first, Joyce did not give up a run in the next four innings. He left the game with bases loaded only to have all three runners later score.
Dylan Mosely (6-3) scattered five hits for the complete-game victory.
Freshman Tim Wheeler sparked the Hornet offense in the second game, collecting two of the team’s five hits. The El Camino HS product is now hitting .389 in WAC games. Oberlin, Flores and Brett Tanigawa also had one hit apiece.
Sacramento State will return to the diamond on Tuesday to take on Cal. First pitch against the Golden Bears is scheduled for 2 p.m.