BASEBALL USES THE LONG BALL IN 11-8 EXTRA-INNINGS WIN OVER SAN JOSE STATE
SAN JOSE, Calif. — The Sacramento State baseball team flexed its muscle on Sunday, collecting seven extra base hits, including a season high three home runs, in an 11-8 win over San Jose State in 12 innings at Municipal Stadium.
The win improved the Hornets to 11-29 overall and 6-12 in Western Athletic Conference games. The Spartans fell to 24-17 overall and 5-7 in the WAC.
With the score tied, 6-6, entering the 12th inning, junior David Flores led off with a double to left center. A wild pitch on ball four to Gabe Jacobo placed runners on the corners for freshman Tim Wheeler, who singled to right center to give Sacramento State a 7-6 lead. Pinch hitter Jeff Hannah followed with a two-run double to left center.
After a day full of big hits, the Hornets turned to small ball for its next run. Wes Oberlin sacrificed Hannah to third and Patrick Cummins laid down another bunt to squeeze Hannah to the plate. Pinch hitter Devin Spurling kept the inning going with a single and Ryan Blair knocked in the team’s fifth run of the inning with a triple down the right field line. The triple was Blair’s third of the season, tying him with Wheeler and Montana Dye for the team lead.
As it did throughout the series, San Jose State did not go away without a fight. The Spartans scored two runs on a double from Brian Yocke and had a runner on third before Billy Sinacori retired the final two batters of the game for his first save of the season.
San Jose State took its only lead of the game with one run in the first inning. Sacramento State moved ahead 2-1 in the third when junior Brett Tanigawa hit his first home run of the season over the left field fence.
The Hornets added another run to their advantage in the sixth inning. Taylor Watanabe opened with an infield single and Flores reached on a bunt single. Jacobo advanced both runners 90 feet with a deep fly ball to left center before Wheeler chopped a ball to first to score Watanabe.
The Spartans tied the game in the bottom of the sixth on a pair of wild pitches. The score remained tied until the eighth when the Hornets plated three runs. Flores, again, was the catalyst with a single to left center setting the table for Jacobo who crushed his team-leading seventh home run of the season. Wheeler then hit his third round-tripper, marking the first time that Sacramento State has hit back-to-back home runs this year.
The bottom of the eighth began with two hits and walk to load the bases full of Spartans. Junior Mitch Lively came on to induce three ground balls and allowed only one run to score in the inning.
Sacramento State stuck with Lively in the bottom of the ninth and the closer began the inning by hitting the first two batters. The bases were loaded after the Hornets failed to gun down the lead runner on a sacrifice and, with one out, Lively walked Kyle Bellows to score a run. John Schlager relived Lively but a ground out to third by his first batter scored the tying run and forced extra innings.
The Hornet offense collected a season-best 16 hits during its longest game of the season. Flores and Oberlin each had three hits to lead the way. Flores finished 3-for-6 with a double and two runs scored. The junior now has six three-hit games this season, including the last two games. Oberlin recorded his first three-hit effort and extended his hitting streak to six games, matching the longest on the season this season.
Blair, Jacobo, and Wheeler each had two hits for the Hornets.
Sacramento State used five pitchers in the game but it was Schlager, who earned the victory after pitching three innings of work. Starter Mick Joyce threw 5.1 innings and allowed just four hits and two earned runs.
The Hornets’ next game will come on Wednesday, Apr. 25, against Saint Mary’s. The game, which is a makeup from a rainout early in the season, will begin at 2 p.m.