BASEBALL DROPS SERIES OPENER TO HAWAI'I
HONOLULU – The Sacramento State baseball team dropped their series opener to the Hawai’i Rainbows, 8-3, on Friday, May 2 at Les Murakami Stadium.
With the loss, the Hornets fall to 19-25, 10-10 in Western Athletic Conference play, while the Rainbows improve to 22-24, 14-11 in the WAC.
Hawai’i opened the scoring in the fourth inning, as Greg Garcia hit a RBI double, which was followed by a Landon Hernandez RBI ground-rule double, giving the Rainbows a 2-0 lead. The lead would grow to 4-0 in the fifth inning, as Kevin Macdonald connected on a sacrifice fly, and Vinnie Catricala, a Sacramento native connected on a RBI single.
The Hornets close the gap in the sixth inning, as seniors Taylor Watanabe and Ryan Blair each connected on singles to open the inning. Junior Gabe Jacobo appeared to strike out two batters later, but a balk was called, advancing Watanabe to third and Blair to second and giving Jacobo a second chance. Two pitches later he connected on a RBI single, making the score 4-1. Senior Wes Oberlin then followed with a run-scoring infield single, and then later in the inning, senior Jeff Hannah hit a RBI double, cutting the Hawai’i lead to 4-3.
The Rainbows then tacked on a run in their half of the sixth, and followed it up with three runs in the seventh to take an 8-3 lead, which accounted for the final margin.
Jared Alexander (7-3) picked up the win for the Rainbows, going five innings before leaving the game due to injury. He allowed two earned runs on six hits, striking out five without surrendering a walk. Junior Jose Ramirez (4-5) picked up the loss for the Hornets, allowing five runs on nine hits in 5.2 innings of work, striking out three batters. Steve Spangler pitched the final 3.2 innings for the Rainbows, picking up his first save of the season.
Blair went 3-for-4 with a run scored to lead the Hornet bats, while Hannah, Oberlin and Watanabe each went 2-for-4. Blair’s hit streak is now at a career-high 19 straight games. Sacramento native Brandon Haislet went 4-for-5 to pace Hawai’i, while Catricala went 3-for-4.
The Hornets, who flew over to the big island on Wednesday, had to adjust to the time zone quickly, as the game started a 9:35 Pacific time and did not finish until close to 1 a.m.
The two teams will return to action tomorrow in a doubleheader, starting at 1 p.m. Hawaiian time at Les Murakami Stadium.