BASEBALL WINS FOURTH IN A ROW, INCHES CLOSER TO CLINCHING WAC POSTSEASON BERTH
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Montana Dye had a two-run homer in the seventh inning, and the combination of Hornet pitchers Trevor York, Chris Mols and Mitch Lively limited New Mexico State to just two runs over nine innings as Sacramento State defeated the Aggies, 3-2, in a Western Athletic Conference baseball game Friday afternoon at Hornet Field.
The win was big for Sacramento State as the Hornets could clinch a WAC postseason berth with a win tomorrow in the third and final game of the series with New Mexico State. The WAC has seven members in baseball, and the top six teams reach the postseason tournament, which begins on May 24. The Hornets, who are currently in sixth place in the standings with a 9-14 league record, moved three games up in the win column over seventh-place New Mexico State (6-14). Although New Mexico State has three remaining conference games, Sacramento State would clinch a WAC postseason berth for the second straight year with a win tomorrow.
Coupled with yesterday’s 11-0 win, Sacramento State has taken the first two games of this week’s three-game set and now owns a 4-1 record over New Mexico State this season. In addition, the Hornets improved their winning streak to a season-high four games while the team moved its record to 15-32 overall this season. Tomorrow’s game against New Mexico State will be the Hornets’ last regular-season conference game of the season as the team still has six remaining non-conference games on the schedule.
Despite both teams combining for 19 hits (10 for the Hornets), only five runs were scored in the game. New Mexico State left 10 runners on base, including at least one in every inning but the fifth and eighth. Conversely, the Hornets left seven runners on base as each team had trouble scoring with runners in scoring position.
The Aggies scored the game’s first two runs, comprised of an RBI-single from David Bustillos in the second and an RBI-single from Joseph Scaperotta in the seventh inning. Hornet starter York went the first 6.2 innings, limiting New Mexico State to two runs and eight hits, as the right-hander walked four and struck out five. With a runner at second and two outs in the top of the seventh, York was pulled in favor of Mols who induced Tyler Hardt to fly out and end the inning.
Tim Wheeler led off the Hornets’ bottom of the seventh inning with a double to left, and Dye immediately followed by driving a 1-1 pitch from Dillon Smith over the left-field wall to tie the game at 2-2. Smith was pulled later in the inning, and finished the game allowing two runs and nine hits over 6.2 innings.
After Mols pitched a 1-2-3 top of the eighth inning, Sacramento State caught a break in the bottom half, taking advantage of an Aggie error to score what proved to be the game-winning run. Gary Johnson led off the inning with an infield single and later stole second base. After David Flores lined out for the first out of the inning, Gabe Jacobo was intentionally walked to put runners at first and second with one out. Wheeler then followed by hitting a chopper to first base. Aggie first baseman Marcus Quade threw to second base to force Jacobo, but shortstop Richard Stout’s throw back to first base was wild and bounced off the dugout fence allowing Johnson to score from second base on the error.
Mols picked up the first out of the ninth, and after a single from Stout, Lively was then inserted into the game and retired the next two batters to pick up his team-high seventh save of the season. Mols (1-1) got his first career win, allowing just one hit in 1.2 innings.
Flores went 1-for-4 and extended his team-high hitting streak to nine games. The home run for Dye was his fifth of the season, and improved his hitting streak to six games. Jacobo also improved his hitting streak to six games after going 1-for-3. Wheeler (2-for-4), Johnson (2-for-4) and Ryan Blair (2-for-4) each had multiple-hit games for the Hornets.
New Mexico State reliever Kyle McFadden (2-2) got the loss, allowing one hit and one unearned run in 1.1 innings.
These same two teams return to action tomorrow for the final game of the series at 1 p.m. at Hornet Field.