BASEBALL HOSTS NEW MEXICO STATE; FRIDAY GAME START CHANGED TO 2 P.M.
HORNETS HOST CRUCIAL WAC SERIES VERSUS NEW MEXICO STATE
After a week absence from Western Athletic Conference play, the Sacramento State Hornets return to conference play as they host the New Mexico State Aggies for a four-game series at Hornet Field.
The first game of the series, originally scheduled to be contested at 1 p.m. has been moved to a 2 p.m. start.
The Aggies come into the series with a 5-11 conference mark, trying to extend their four game lead over Louisiana Tech for the sixth and final spot in the conference tournament. The Hornets enter the series 10-5 in league, 2.5 games back of first place Fresno State, who plays at third place Nevada this weekend. With this weekend games, the Hornets could find themselves in any of the top four positions in the WAC.
New Mexico State is led offensively by Joseph Scaperotta, who leads the WAC in home runs (16) and RBI (55), while hitting .307 at the plate. Chris Auten tops the Aggies in batting average, hitting at a .352 clip. Franky Busani is hitting .314 with 10 HRs and 34 RBI, starting just 25 of the Aggies 41 games.
Tyler Sturdevant and Heath Goin pace the NMSU pitching staff with four wins apiece, while Erik Nyquist has collected two saves on the season. As a team, the Aggies have an 8.24 team ERA, with much of it being accredited to their home ball park, as on the season they’ve hit 66 home runs and allowed 50.
BASEBALL COMPLETES FOUR-GAME SERIES SWEEP WITH 8-2 WIN
The Sacramento State Hornets fell to the San Francisco Dons by the score of 9-8 on Tuesday, April 22 at Beneditti Diamond.
Sacramento State started the scoring in the top of the first, as senior Ryan Blair singled, and then stole second, putting himself in scoring position for junior Gabe Jacobo, who singled him home to make the score 1-0. Jacobo then stole second, and was brought home on a RBI single by sophomore Tim Wheeler, pushing the Hornet lead to 2-0.
The Dons got one run back in the bottom of the inning as Joey Railey led of the inning with a double, and then scored on a RBI single by Kyle Morgan. The Hornets then scored again in the bottom of the second, as senior Brian Boyd led off the inning with a double, was sacrificed to third by junior Blake Crosby, and brought home on a suicide squeeze by freshman Brent Hottman, pushing the advantage back to two runs at 3-1.
USF then took the lead for the first time in the third, as they got a two-run single by Zach Kim and a RBI walk by Matt Lieb, making the score 4-3 Dons. The Hornets immediately tied it back up at 4-4 in the fourth, as senior Wes Oberlin scored on a dropped fly ball in the outfield with two down.
Sacramento State retook the lead in the sixth, as Boyd doubled down the the right field line, advanced to third on a balk, and was brought in on a RBI single by Hottman. Crosby, who had walked earlier in the inning and had advanced to third on the single, then scored on a throwing error by the Dons on a failed pickoff play, giving the Hornets a 6-4 lead. The Dons then retook the lead in the bottom half of the inning, as Connor Bernatz and Ryan Lipkin provided RBI singles, which were followed by a two-run double by Derek Poppert, making the score 8-6 in favor of the Dons.
The Hornets again had the immediate answer, as senior David Flores, Jacobo and Wheeler hit three straight singles to open the seventh, with Wheeler and Oberlin providing RBI, tying the score at 8-8. USF scored the go ahead run in the bottom of the eighth, as Zach Hall hit a two-out RBI single, taking a 9-8 lead. The Hornets had their chance in the top of the ninth, as with one out, Jacobo connected on his second triple of the season, but the Hornets were unable to drive him in, losing 9-8.
Freshman Brandon Sandoval (0-2) threw the final inning for the Hornets, picking up the loss, while Mitchell Bialosky (2-5), who started the game at first base for the Dons, allowed just one hit, the Jacobo triple, in the final two innings, picking up the win.
Jacobo was 4-for-5 with two runs scored and a RBI to pace the Hornet bats, while Boyd finished 2-for-4 with two runs scored, and Hottman was 1-for-3 with 2 RBI. Lipkin went 3-for-5 to pace the Dons, while Kim and Poppert provided a pair of RBI apiece.
MR. SMITH GOES TO RECORD BOOKS
The Hornets 8-2 win over Hilo on Sunday, April 20 marked the 829th career victory for Sacramento State head coach John Smith, as he passed Hall of Fame volleyball coach Debby Colberg to become the winningest head coach in Hornet history in terms of total victories.
“WE’RE GOING STREAKING!”
Sophomore Tim Wheeler is currently boasting a career-high 17-game hit streak dating back to March 29, which ranks as the fifth longest streak in school history. He currently needs to hit safely in one more game to tie Derek Brown (1994 season) for fourth all-time with 18 consecutive games with at least one hit. Jesse Schmidt holds the all-time best Hornet hit streak, collecting hits in 24 straight games from March 11 to April 22, 2003. Senior Ryan Blair also holds a career-high hitting streak, as he has hit safely in 13 consecutive games. Five other Hornets boast steaks at or above four games, with Derrick Chung, Brent Hottman, Gabe Jacobo and Wes Oberlin hitting safely in five straight, and Taylor Watanabe collecting hits in four straight games.
D-FLO KNOWS DOUBLES
Following his double in the Hornets victory over California on March 18, senior David Flores became the school’s all-time leader with 39 career doubles. He broke Chris Kinsey’s (2001-03) mark, which was 38, set in his three years in the Green and Gold. He has since added to his record, as his 19 doubles on the season give him 50 in his career, and also rank first in the Western Athletic Conference. Flores has collected extra base hits at an astounding rate, as he has 28 singles on the season and 24 extra base hits (19 doubles and five home runs).
JACOBO SHOWING HIS VERSATILITY ON THE FIELD AND IN THE BATTERS BOX
Need a left-fielder? A first baseman? How about a leadoff man? During the 2008 season, Hornet junior Gabe Jacobo has done it all. Jacobo, who led the team with a .363 batting average and 14 home runs last season while playing first base, came to Sacramento State from Tulare Western HS as, of all things, a shortstop. This season, the native of Tulare, Calif. has started 20 games in left field, and 18 games at first base. He has hit in the cleanup spot in 36 of his 38 starts, with the biggest deviation coming in a game against San Jose State when he batted leadoff. Jacobo has shown power at the plate, with 12 home runs and a .753 slugging percentage, but also has a sacrifice bunt and a .458 on base percentage to his credit. Jacobo also has been a threat on the basepaths, stealing seven bases on eight attempts so far this season. For his career, Jacobo is 16-of-19 on stolen base chances, and now has 26 career home runs, placing fourth on the Hornets all-time charts.
BLAIR MAKING MARCH TOWARD HORNET TRIPLE’S CROWN
Senior Ryan Blair has three triples during the 2008 season, and needs just one more to tie for the school’s all-time record. In his two-year career, Blair has accumulated seven triples, which places him in a tie for third all-time with Steve Eakes (1981). Lashelle Tarver (1980) is tied for the school’s record with Bob Crump (1985-86) with nine career triples.
HORNET BATS LEADING THE WAC
Sacramento State has seen its team batting average rise to .316 for the season, which is now the leading mark in the Western Athletic Conference. The Hornets have all struck out fewer times than any other team in the conference, while ranking second in slugging percentage (.482).
ROSTER CHANGES FROM MEDIA GUIDE
There have been four roster changes to the Hornets’ lineup that are not reflected in the media guide. Three Hornets have changed numbers from what is established on the media guide roster: Richard Walker changed from #27 to #6, Doug Stinson changed from #39 to #27, and Mike Weiss changed from #42 to #35. These changes are denoted on the stats available within the release, as well as the included roster found on page four.
TOMMY ELROD BIO
Note, Tommy Elrod’s bio is not found in the 2008 media guide, as he became an eligible member of the team after the guide had gone to press. His biographical information is found below.
#8, Tommy Elrod, Sophomore, LHP Modesto, Calif./Cal State L.A./Modesto Christian HS
Prior to Sacramento State, Elrod pitched one year at Cal State Los Angeles for coach Pat Shine.He led Cal State L.A. to the Division II Championship Finals in Montgomery, Ala, after earning NCAA West Regional All-Tournament honors for throwing a three-hit shutout in game one of the regional final against Mesa State, while striking out nine. Made 14 appearances for the Golden Eagles, including six starts, while posting a 4-0 record with a 4.46 ERA. He struck out 37 batters in 38.1 innings pitched. Was a 2006 graduate of Modesto Christian High School in Modesto, Calif...four year letterwinner in baseball for coach Kelly Wheelock. He was born May 27, 1988. His parents are Tom and Jodie Elrod. He is majoring in civil engineering.