LATE COMEBACK FALLS ONE RUN SHORT AS BASEBALL DROPS 4-3 DECISION TO FRESNO STATE
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Sacramento State baseball team mounted a three-run comeback in the bottom of the seventh, but the rally fell a run short as the visiting Fresno State Bulldogs were victorious by a score of 4-3, on Friday, May 15 at Hornet Field.
With the loss, the Hornets fall to 27-25, 8-12 inside the Western Athletic Conference, while Fresno State improved to 26-27, 10-12 in WAC play. Sacramento State must win the final two games of the series to advance to next week's NAPA Auto Parts WAC Tournament in Honolulu, with a Fresno State victory clinching the Bulldogs the final spot in the tournament field.
Fresno State put the first four runs of the game on the scoreboard, crossing the plate once in the third and three times in the sixth. Tom Mendonca opened the scoring with a RBI single in the third, and the Bulldogs took advantage of a Hornet error to increase their lead in the sixth to 4-0 on an error and a two-run single by Gavin Hedstrom.
The Hornets started to mount a charge in the seventh, as after senior Jeff Roth reached on a fielding error by the Bulldogs, freshman Aaron Crouch drew a walk, and sophomore Brent Hottman produced a two-run double past a diving Dusty Robinson in left center field to pull the Hornets to within two at 4-2. Redshirt freshman Ivan Otsuka was next at the plate, and he drove home Hottman with a RBI single to center, pulling the Hornets within a run at 4-3.
But the Fresno State bullpen held the Hornets scoreless over the final two frames to preserve a 4-3 victory.
Derek Benny (3-3) picked up the victory for the Bulldogs, allowing three unearned runs on five hits in 7.1 innings pitched. Roth (2-3) picked up the loss for the Hornets on the mound, allowing four runs, two earned, on nine hits in 5.2 innings of work. Freshman Alex Taku threw 3.1 innings of scoreless baseball out of the Hornet bullpen, allowing three hits while striking out three. Taku allowed only one runner to reach second base during his relief appearance.
The Hornets were led by Otsuka, who went 2-for-4 at the plate and put on a defensive display with a pair of spectacular diving catches in right field. Hottman went 1-for-4 with two RBI, and is now 5-for-11 with seven RBI in his career against the Bulldogs.
The two team's will close out the four-game series with a doubleheader beginning at 12 p.m. on Saturday, May 16. Before the game, at approximately 11:45 a.m., Sacramento State will honor its four seniors, Nick Buchta, Blake Crosby, Hunter Martinez and Jeff Roth.