BASEBALL FALLS JUST SHORT IN 7-6 LOSS TO SAINT MARY'S
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Freshman Tim Wheeler had three hits, including his fourth home run of the season, but it was not enough as the Sacramento State baseball team fell to Saint Mary’s, 7-6, on Wednesday afternoon at Hornet Field.
The win improved the Gaels to 17-23-1 overall while the Hornets dropped to 11-30.
Sacramento State jumped to a 2-0 lead with a single run in each of the first two innings. Junior Ryan Blair began the Hornet half of the first inning with a leadoff triple down the right field line. Blair’s triple was his fourth of the season to move him into the team lead. He later scored on an infield single by Patrick Cummins. In the second, Wheeler picked up his first hit of the game with a single up the middle. He was awarded third base after a failed pickoff attempt and scored on a sacrifice fly by Montana Dye.
Saint Mary’s scored one run in the third inning and junior Tyler Axelrod exited his first collegiate start with the lead. However, that advantage was quickly erased as the Gaels scored one in the fourth, one in the fifth and four runs in the sixth inning. The big blow came on a three-run home run by Eric Cattoni over the center field fence in the sixth.
The Hornets began their comeback when Wheeler smashed a solo home run to center field. The bomb marked the second straight game in which the freshman has hit a home run. Junior Jeff Hannah followed with a single and took second base when the right field bobbled the ball. Hannah then moved to third on a wild pitch and Montana Dye walked to place runners on the corners with no outs. However, Brett Tanigawa struck out and Blake Crosby hit into a double play to end the inning. Crosby’s ball was hit right behind second base and the Gaels were just able to retire Dye at second before the return throw nailed Crosby at first.
Sacramento State continued to nibble away at its deficit in the eighth inning. Ryan Blair walked, Taylor Watanabe reached on an error and David Flores walked to load the bases. With one out. Wheeler lined a ball into center field to score two runs and pull the Hornets within two, 7-5. Another wild pitch moved runners to second and third before Hannah grounded out to second to drive in a run.
Saint Mary’s threatened in the ninth inning but senior Billy Sinacori came on to record the final two outs of the inning and leave the bases loaded full of Gaels. The Hornets placed the tying run on second base after Crosby was hit by a pitch and Blair singled to left. However, a fly out down the right field line and a foul out near third base ended the game.
Eight Sacramento State pitchers took the mound during the nine innings. Axelrod threw the longest, lasting three innings and surrendering one run and four hits. He was followed by Chris Mols (1.1 innings), Tommy Gonzales (1.0), Cyrus Sarraf (0.2), Paul Jenkins (1.0), Ryan Magee (1.0), Mel Cuckovich (0.1) and Sinacori (0.2).
Wheeler and Blair (two) were the lone Hornets with multiple hits. They were joined by Cummins, Flores, Hannah and Tanigawa who each had one hit.
Sacramento State will continue its homestand on Friday as it begins a three-game set against Nevada. First pitch is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. on Friday while Saturday and Sunday’s games will start at 1 p.m.