BASEBALL SET FOR CLASH WITH FRESNO STATE IN GAME ONE OF WAC TOURNAMENT
HORNETS DRAW FRESNO STATE FOR WAC TOURNAMENT GAME 1
After splitting a four-game series this past weekend, Sacramento State and Fresno State will do battle for the fifth straight time on Thursday morning at the Western Athletic Conference Tournament. First pitch is scheduled for 11 a.m. Central time, 9 a.m. Pacific from J.C. Love Field in Ruston, Louisiana
The Bulldogs enter the tournament as the number one seed, after finishing the conference season with a 21-11 mark. The second seed in the tournament is Hawai’i, followed by Nevada, San Jose State, New Mexico State and Sacramento State.
The Hornets took the first two games of the series, recording two season firsts, with Brent Hottman hitting a walk off grand slam on Friday, and four Hornet pitchers combining on a shutout in game one on Saturday.
The scheduled pitching matchup of Justin Wilson against Trevor York was the same matchup from Friday’s game, in which Wilson allowed three runs on eight hits in 7.1 innings, while York gave up two runs on eight hits in seven innings. Neither factored in the decision.
Alan Ahmady leads Fresno State at the plate, batting .386 with 10 home runs and a team-leading 74 RBI. Steve Susdorf, the conference’s preseason player of the year, is batting .341 with a nine home runs and 68 RBI, while Erik Wetzel, the WAC’s preseason choice at second base, is hitting .362 with five HR and 28 RBI.
BASEBALL TAKES EARLY LEAD, BUT FALLS TO FRESNO STATE IN SERIES FINALE
The Sacramento State baseball team took an early 3-0 lead, but could not hold on, as Fresno State took home a 13-6 victory to split the weekend Western Athletic Conference series played at Hornet Field.
The Hornets started strong, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first inning. On a day when 11 Hornet seniors were honored, the first three to bat, Taylor Watanabe, Ryan Blair and David Flores all singled, with Flores’ bringing home Watanabe to make the score 1-0. Junior Gabe Jacobo then reached on an error, but was credited with an RBI as the run would have scored regardless of the miscue, giving the Hornets a 2-0 lead. Later in the inning, sophomore Tim Wheeler singled home Flores, marking a 3-0 Hornet advantage.
Fresno State tied the score at 3-3 with a three-run rally of their own in the top of the third. Danny Muno scored on a failed pickoff attempt, and Steve Susdorf followed with a two-run homer, his ninth of the season, to tie the score. The Hornets came back in the bottom half of the inning to retake the lead, as Jacobo hit a solo home run to lead off the inning, his 14th of the season, giving the Hornets a one run lead. Following a single by senior Wes Oberlin and a sacrifice bunt by Wheeler to advance the runner to second, senior Jeff Hannah produced a RBI single, giving the Hornets a 5-3 advantage,
The lead, however, was short lived, as in the top of the fourth Fresno State had three RBI singles to take back the lead at 6-5. The Bulldogs added a lone run in the fifth and eighth innings, followed by a five run ninth, taking a 13-5 lead.
Sacramento State would put together one more run, as with one out, senior Brett Tanigawa connected on a pinch-hit single, and eventually score on a single by Watanabe, accounting for the final margin of 13-6.
Kris Tomlinson (1-1) picked up the win in a relief role for the Bulldogs, throwing 2.2 innings, surrender just two hits while striking out three Hornets. Senior Corey Weglin (1-4) took the loss for Sacramento State, allowing six runs, five of which were earned, on 10 hits in 3.1 innings of work.
The Hornets produced 15 hits, but left 14 runners in scoring position on the day, while committing a season-high five errors. Blair continued his string of hot hitting over the weekend, going 4-for-6 at the plate with a run scored. Watanabe finished 3-for-6, while Jacobo went 2-for-4 with two RBI.
The game served as the home finale for 11 Hornet seniors: Ryan Blair, Brian Boyd, David Flores, Jeff Hannah, Ryan Magee, Wes Oberlin, Alvaro Orozco, Travis Kirkman, Brett Tanigawa, Corey Weglin and Taylor Watanabe.
HORNET HITTING STREAKS TOP THE WAC
Sacramento State hitters have produced the two longest hitting streaks in the Western Athletic Conference, as sophomore Tim Wheeler and senior Ryan Blair each reached 20 consecutive games of hitting safely. The duo are tied for fourth place in Hornet history for the longest hitting streak in a season, and are tied for the 18th longest hitting streak in the nation in 2008.
D-FLO KNOWS RECORDS
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 26 doubles on the season give him 60 in his career, and also rank him first in the Western Athletic Conference. He needs just one more double to tie Kevin Kobza (1985) for the school’s single season mark.
Flores leads the team in runs scored (51), while ranking second in hits (79), extra base hits (33), and total bases (126). He also ranks second in school history in hits (223), runs scored (126), and at bats (707), while ranking fifth in RBI (105). Aurelio Jackson (1998-2001) holds the school records for hits (229), runs scored (138) and at bats (713), while Will Fitzpatrick (1990-93) holds the mark from RBI (135).
The senior from Union City, Calif. broke the school’s all-time hit by a pitch record against Nevada, having now been hit 38 times in his career.
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 28 games in left field, 25 games at first base and two at designated hitter. He has hit in the cleanup spot in 53 of his 55 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 14 home runs and a .676 slugging percentage, but also has two sacrifice bunts and a .431 on base percentage to his credit.
Jacobo also has been a threat on the basepaths, stealing seven bases on 10 attempts so far this season. For his career, Jacobo is 16-of-21 on stolen base chances. He now has 28 career home runs, placing fourth on the Hornets all-time charts, while being ranked third in school history in career RBI (112)
MR. SMITH GOES TO RECORD BOOKS
The Hornets 8-2 win over Hawai’i-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.
HORNET BATS LEADING THE WAC
Sacramento State finished the season with a .311 team batting average, taking the WAC team batting crown. The Hornets trailed just Fresno State during conference only matchups, hitting .305 inside of WAC play.
VIDEO STREAMING FOR THE WAC TOURNAMENT
The Western Athletic Conference, in conjunction with its Web site partner JumpTV Sports, has announced it will stream next week’s 2008 WAC Baseball Tournament. Viewers can sign up by visiting www.WAC.tv.
The double-elimination tournament will be held May 22-25 in Ruston, Louisiana, with the first game beginning at 11:00 a.m. (CT) on Thursday. Every game of the tournament can be viewed for a single subscription price of $18.95 which will include on-demand viewing of any of the games the following day.
LIVE AUDIO FROM RUSTON
The Sacramento State Athletic Department, in association with Stretch Internet, will bring live play-by-play of each game the Hornets play in Ruston. Assistant Media Relations Director J.D. Fox will handle the announcing duties. To access the broadcast, visit hornetsports.com, mouse-over the multimedia link on the top navigation bar, and click on audio.
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. Tommy Elrod (#8) joined the team. These changes are denoted on the stats available within the release, as well as the roster found on page four.