BASEBALL SEES LEAD SLIP AWAY IN 8-7 LOSS TO HAWAI'I
HONOLULU - The Sacramento State baseball team took a 7-5 lead into the bottom of the ninth, but failed to hold on, dropping an 8-7 decision to the Hawai'i Rainbows on Sunday, May 4 at Les Murakami Stadium.
With the loss, the Hornets fall to 20-27, 11-12 in the Western Athletic Conference, while the Rainbows improved to 24-25, 11-12 in the WAC. With Louisiana Tech losing all four weekend games, both teams clinched berths into the 2008 WAC Baseball Tournament.
The Hornets started the contest with a three-run first inning, with junior Gabe Jacobo driving in the first run on a sacrifice fly, sophomore Tim Wheeler connecting on a RBI single, and senior Wes Oberlin scoring an unearned run on a Rainbow error. Hawai'i came back to cut the deficit to one in the bottom half of the inning, as Jeffrey Van Doornum hit a two-run double, the only hit in the inning, to pull the Rainbows back to within 3-2.
The score remained that way until the top of the fourth, as junior Blake Crosby connected on a lead off single, and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by senior Travis Kirkman. Following a single by junior Hunter Martinez that advanced Crosby to third, Rainbow reliever Alex Capaul uncorked a wild pitch that scored Crosby and advanced Martinez into scoring position, crossing the plate on a RBI single by senior Ryan Blair, making the score 5-2 in favor of the Hornets.
That lead would hold until the bottom of the seventh, when the Rainbows pushed three runs across the board to tie the score at 5-5. Ryan Asato hit a two run home run to bring Hawai'i to within a run at 5-4, and then with one down Matt Roquemore and Greg Garcia hit back-to-back singles to put runners on first and third. Jonathan Hee then hit a ground ball to short, and beat out the throw to first to break up the double play, and tie the score at 5-5.
The Hornets fought back quickly, as they retook the lead in the top half of the eighth. Kirkman was hit by a pitch to start the inning, and was sacrificed to second on a bunt by Martinez. Blair then connected on a RBI single, scoring Kirkman to give the Hornets a 6-5 lead. Flores and Jacobo followed with singles, with Blair being thrown out at home for the second out of the inning on the Jacobo single. With runners on second and third and two out, Oberlin was intentionally walked, which brought up Wheeler, who took one for the team, earning an RBI after being hit by a pitch, making the score 7-5 in favor of the Hornets.
The Rainbows threatened in the bottom of the eighth, as the first two batters in the inning reached base, but Catricala stuck out looking and Asato hit into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning. The Rainbows threatened again in the bottom of the ninth, as Landon Hernandez started the inning with a single, and advanced to second on a groundout. Garcia then followed with a RBI single, scoring pinch runner Kevin Fujii to pull the Rainbows to within a run at 7-6. Hee then singled, and following a infield fly pop out by Brandon Haislet, Van Doornum walked to load the bases. That brought up Kevin Macdonald, who connected on a single just over the head of second baseman Martinez, scoring Garcia and Hee to give Hawai'i the 8-7 victory.
Cory Kahn (3-2) picked up the win for the Rainbows, pitching a scoreless top of the ninth. Junior Jeff Roth (2-2) picked up the loss for the Hornets, allowing three runs on four hits over the final 2.1 innings of the ballgame.
Flores went 3-for-3 at the plate with a run scored, while Blair and Wheeler were both 2-for-4 with two RBI to pace Sacramento State. Martinez finished the game 3-for-5 at the plate, while senior Brian Boyd was 2-for-5. Asato, Catricala and Van Doornum each provided two RBI to lead the Rainbows.
The Hornets will not play a midweek game the rest of the season, closing out the 2008 campaign with a four-game series at Nevada (May 9-11), before hosting Fresno State (May 16-18) in another four game series.