BASEBALL FALL JUST SHORT IN 11-9 LOSS AT NORTHERN COLORADO
GREELEY, Colo. — Gabe Jacobo collected three hits and Ryan Blair, David Flores, Tim Wheeler, Montana Dye and Jeff Hannah each had two but it was not enough as Sacramento State fell to Northern Colorado, 11-9, Friday afternoon at Jackson Field in a non-league game.
The Bears, who are coached by Hornet alum Kevin Smallcomb, improved to 13-30 overall. Sacramento State dropped to 16-34.
UNC jumped out to a 1-0 lead when Zach Brockman hit a leadoff home run in the bottom of the first inning. Sacramento State tied the game in its next at-bat when Jeff Hannah hit his second home run of the season over the left field fence.
The tie lasted just one-half inning as Northern Colorado scored another run on an RBI-single from Jeff Horn. The teams continued the scoring barrage in the fourth inning. The Hornets pulled even in the top of the inning with three straight hits. Jacobo led off with a single to center, Wheeler followed with a single through the right side and Dye drove in a run with a single through the left side of the infield.
A triple and a single put the Bears back on top, 3-2, before Sacramento State was able to tie the game again. Gary Johnson led off by being hit by a pitch — again — and was moved to second on a groundout. Jacobo then drove in the run with a single down the left field line.
That tie would be the last of the game as Northern Colorado scored seven runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to pull away. A three-run home run by Ray and a two-run single from Anthony Garcia were the biggest blows in the inning. Junior Tyler Axelrod came on to induce a double play and then a strikeout to end the frame.
Sacramento State began its comeback with four runs in the seventh. Blair walked, Johnson was plunked and Flores drew a base on balls to load the bases with no outs. Following a pitching change, Wheeler singled to right to score one run but Johnson was gunned down at the plate. Dye responded with a two-out single to drive in his second run of the game before Hannah tripled to right center to score two more runs.
The Hornets made the score, 10-9, with two more runs in the eighth. Flores drove in the first run with a single to center and Jacobo plated the second run with a single to left. However, Sacramento State left the tying run on second and the go-ahead run on first.
The Bears added an insurance run in the ninth with another triple and a single. That run nearly proved to be important as Sacramento State threatened in its final at-bat.
With two outs and a runner on first, Blair singled and Johnson walked to load the bases. But reliever Tyler Pearson closed out the game by forcing a fielders choice to second base.
Eric Maydew improved to 4-5 with the win after pitching six innings and allowing seven hits and three earned runs. Alvaro Orozco dropped to 5-5 with the loss. Axelrod was the most effective of the Hornet pitchers, throwing four innings and allowing just one run.
At the plate, Flores extended his hitting streak to 12 games and was one of eight Sacramento State batters to earn a hit in the game. The top seven spots in the order combined to go 14-for-30 and drove in all nine of the team’s runs.
Northern Colorado was led by Brockman who was 4-for-5 and hit for the cycle.
The three-game series will continue on Saturday at 1 p.m. MT (Noon PDT). The game can be heard at www.1310kfka.com.