BASEBALL TRAVELS TO SAN JOSE STATE FOR CRUCIAL WAC SERIES
The Sacramento State baseball team continues Western Athletic Conference play with a four-game series at San Jose State.
The Spartans enter the series tied with the Hornets with a 3-5 record in Western Athletic Conference play, with both teams tied for the sixth and final position in the WAC Tournament.
Jason Martin leads the Spartans offensively, batting .405 on the season. Corey Valine leads the team in RBI with 23, while Kerry Jenkins leads the club with three home runs.
The four game series will take place at Blethen Field on the San Jose State campus.
All four games against San Jose State will be broadcast live on www.hornetsports.com. Assistant media relations director J.D. Fox will have the call on all four games of the series.
TUESDAY’S BASEBALL GAME AT SAINT MARY’S CANCELLED DUE TO RAIN
Sacramento State head coach John Smith has announced that Tuesday’s baseball game between the Sacramento State Hornets and the Saint Mary’s Gaels has been cancelled due to rain.
The game, which was scheduled to start at 2:30 p.m., will not be made up.
SANDOVAL SOLID IN COMEBACK START, BUT BASEBALL FALLS TO NEW MEXICO STATE 3-0
In his first appearance since suffering an injury on March 6th against UC Davis, junior Brandon Sandoval started and pitched five scoreless innings, but the Sacramento State baseball team dropped a 3-0 decision to New Mexico State on Sunday afternoon.
With the loss, the Hornets fall to 14-22-1, 3-5 inside Western Athletic Conference play, while the WAC leading Aggies improve to 31-12-1, 9-2-1 in conference competition.
The game was a pitchers duel between the Aggies’ Ryan Beck and the Hornets’ Sandoval, as neither starter allowed a run in a combined 11 innings of work. New Mexico State produced the only run-scoring inning in the top of the sixth against the Hornet bullpen. Nate Shaver led off the inning with a single to right field, and then with two down Chris Auten walked and Chace Perkins drove both runners home with a two-run triple to left center, giving the Aggies a 2-0 lead. Perkins was then driven in by Joel Cardinal, who singled to left field, increasing the New Mexico State lead to 3-0.
Sacramento State brought the tying run to the plate in the sixth, eighth, and ninth innings, but were unable to drive in any runs, giving New Mexico State the 3-0 victory. For the game, the Hornets stranded all 11 runners who reached base, which included eight who reached safely on hits and three who reached base on walks.
Beck (2-0) picked up the victory for New Mexico State, pitching six scoreless innings while allowing just five hits. He struck out six and walked just one. Steven Anderson allowed a pair of singles with two outs in the ninth, but held on to pick up his second save of the season. Junior Logan Todd (1-5) picked up the loss for the Hornets, allowing three runs on three hits in one inning of work. Sandoval did not factor in the decision, but he pitched brillantly in his return to the mound, allowing three hits in five innings while striking out two batters. He did not surrender a walk. Junior Andrew Galvan did not allow a hit over the final three innings for the Hornets, which included striking out the side in the top of the eighth.
Junior Trevor Paine led the Hornets with a 2-for-4 day at the plate, while freshman Blake Miller went 2-for-5 in the series finale. Senior Josh Powers produced a double for the Hornets, which was their first extra base hit since game one of the series. New Mexico State got two hits apiece from Cardinal and Kyle Decater, while Perkins drove in the game winning runs with his third triple of the season.
BASEBALL DROPS DECISION TO NEW MEXICO STATE, 9-3
The Sacramento State baseball team fell in the third game of the series to the New Mexico State Aggies by a score of 9-3 on Saturday, April 24.
Sacramento State score a run apiece in each of the first three innings to take an early 3-1 lead. In the bottom of the first, with the bases loaded and no one out, junior Trevor Bloom drove home the game’s first run with a sacrifice fly, scoring senior Justin Mezzaneras to give the Hornets a 1-0 advantage. After the Aggies tied the score in the top of the second, scoring on a wild pitch, Mezzaneras connected on a RBI single in the bottom half of the inning, scoring senior Dan McCarthy to give Sacramento State a 2-1 lead. The lead grew to 3-1 in the bottom of the third, as junior Trevor Paine scored on a passed ball, pushing the Hornet cushion to two runs.
But, New Mexico State would take the lead for good in the top of the fourth, plating three runs. Wesley Starkes connected on a sacrifice fly for the first run, Nate Shaver connected on a RBI groundout to tie the score at 3-3, and Ryan Aguayo unbroke the tie with a solo homer to center field, giving the Aggies a 4-3 lead.
The Hornets would have chances to tie or retake the lead several times, which included the bottom of both the fifth and six innings, where Sacramento State had runners on first and second with nobody out, eventually loaded the bases, but failed to score. New Mexico State tacked on two additional runs in both the seventh and ninth innings, giving the Aggies the 9-3 victory.
Senior Trevor York (0-2) picked up the loss in relief of senior Jose Ramirez, who lasted just 2.1 innings and 66 pitches before being taken out of the game. York allowed three runs on three hits in 1.1 innings. Senior Tommy Elrod struck out five batters in 2.2 innings of relief, where he allowed two earned runs on two hits. Tyler Mack (5-0) picked up the win for New Mexico State, allowing three runs of which one was earned on eight hits, walking four and striking out seven. Jared Jordan (3) pitched three innings of relief, allowing just one hit while striking out three batters to pick up the save.
Paine led the Hornets with a 3-for-5 day at the plate, while Bloom and Mezzaneras each went 1-for-4 with a RBI. New Mexico State was led by Parker Hipp, who went 3-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored. Five other Aggies produced a lone RBI apiece.
BASEBALL SCORES EARLY BUT FALLS TO NEW MEXICO STATE 4-2
The Sacramento State baseball team scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning, but fell to the New Mexico State Aggies by a score of 4-2 on Friday, April 23.
Sacramento State opened the scoring in the bottom of the first, as senior Justin Mezzaneras led off the inning with a bunt single. Junior Kirby Young followed with an attempted sacrifice bunt to third base, with Young reaching on a fielding error by Joel Cardinal. Cardinal compounded the error by then rushing a throw toward first base that went over the head of Chris Auten and out of play, with Mezzaneras awarded third base and Young moved up to second. The next batter, junior Trevor Paine, drove both runners home with a RBI single, giving the Hornets a 2-0 lead.
New Mexico State would plate their first run of the game in the top of the fourth on their first hit, as after Auten walked with two down, Chace Perkins doubled off the center field wall, cutting the Hornet lead to 2-1.
The Aggies then took the lead in the top of the sixth, as with runners on first and second and two out, Cardinal redeemed his early errors with a RBI single to center, and following a walk that loaded the bases, Jared Jordan produced a run with a walk, giving New Mexico State a 3-2 lead. The advantage grew to 4-2 in the top of the ninth, as Ryan Aguayo connected on a RBI double, scoring Wesley Starkes, who had singled earlier in the inning, to give the Aggies a two run cushion. The Hornets went down in order in the ninth, and New Mexico State took home the win.
Sacramento State stranded eight base-runners, and out-hit the Aggies 9-7, but were unable to drive runners home over the final eight innings of play.
Sophomore Jesse Darrah (3-3) pitched six innings, allowing three runs of which two were earned on four hits, striking out five and walking four, picking up the loss. Junior Logan Todd pitched well in relief, allowing one run on three hits in three innings, striking out three and walking just one. Dan Reid (5-1) got the win for the Aggies, allowing two runs, one earned, on seven hits in seven innings. Steven Anderson threw a 1-2-3 ninth for his first save of the season.
Offensively, the Hornets were led by Mezzaneras, who finished 3-for-5 with a run scored, while Paine and senior Josh Powers each finished with two hits apiece. The Hornets did not muster an extra base hit in the contest, but did steal three bases, with Mezzaneras stealing one and Powers stealing two.
Leo Aguirre and Starkes each posted two hits apiece to lead the Aggies, while four different New Mexico State players posted a single RBI apiece.
HORNETS OFF TO STRONG STATISTICAL START ON DEFENSE TO CONFERENCE SEASON
Sacramento State finds itself among the leaders in the WAC in several categories following their first two conference series’. After eight games, the Hornets rank second in the WAC with a 5.53 team ERA and a .977 fielding percentage. In individual statistics, sophomore Jesse Darrah (1.98) ranks second in the WAC in ERA, having allowed three earned runs in 13.2 innings of work.
Offensively, the Hornets are still looking to figure things out against WAC pitching, as their .270 team batting average against conference foes ranks last in the seven team league.
INJURIES TAKING THEIR TOLL ON HORNET CLUB
The Sacramento State baseball team has had a rough start to the season on the injury front. Sophomore Zach Morgan (arm) was injured just prior to the season, and will miss the entire season. Junior Russell Havens (arm) was also an early season loss, but he may be back before the end of the season.
The week of March 15 was especially tough for the Hornets, as three players were injured over the course of a six day span. Junior Brent Hottman (elbow) was a late scratch from the Hornet lineup that Tuesday against Pacific, and he will be out the rest of the season. In Friday night’s contest against Arizona, junior shortstop Derrick Chung (hand) was hit by a pitch on his glove hand and will be out for the remainder of the season. Freshman Blake Miller (finger) was injured on Sunday prior to the game against Arizona, but has already made his return to the Hornet starting lineup. With Chung out, junior Kirby Young has taken over the shortstop duties.
BASEBALL PROGRAM DONATES $1,200 TO PINCH HIT FOR HAITI CAMPAIGN
The Sacramento State baseball program held its first annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Fundamentals camp with all proceeds from the camp benefiting the college baseball initiative “Pinch Hit for Haiti.”
The camp, which featured Hornet first round pick Tim Wheeler returning to campus for the first time as a guest instructor, saw 34 children ages 6-14 brave rainy conditions to hone their baseball skills through various drills from Sacramento State coaches and players.
Associate head coach Reggie Christiansen confirmed that over $1,200 will be donated to the Red Cross relief fund as part of the initiative, which was started by Elon University (N.C.) catcher Mike Melillo. The 7.0 earthquake in Haiti has had an effect on nearly 3,000,000 people in the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. The capital city of Port-au-Prince was nearly leveled. Estimates have casualties numbering in the 10’s of thousands.
Schools from 31 different states and Washington, D.C. have donated towards the cause. A total of 82 different schools were represented. Donations in the name of Elon total $4,139 while Charlotte checks in with $1,076 towards the total. Sacramento State in California added $1,200 to the total after donating the proceeds from their first-ever Martin Luther King Jr. Day Fundamentals Camp toward the project.
Instructions for how you can donate to the cause are listed on the following page.
As an individual:
1. Visit www.redcross.org and donate any amount of money via credit or debit card.
2. Once the process has been completed, Redcross will provide you with a page that has your tracking number, name, and the amount donated.
3. Copy the information and paste it into an email document.
4. Email the information along with the school you cheer for or the school you wish to represent to email@example.com
5. Pay it forward and tell as many student-athletes as you can about the objective.
JOHN SMITH TO STEP DOWN AS HEAD BASEBALL COACH FOLLOWING 2010 SEASON
Sacramento State head baseball coach John Smith has announced that he will be retiring at the end of the 2010 season, which will be his 32nd season at the helm of the program.
“I’ve always felt like, in coaching, I knew their would be a moment when it would feel right to retire,” Smith said. “At this stage in the program, we have a team full of hungry, hard-working student-athletes, which is something I always strived for. I feel I can walk away now knowing that the program is going in the right direction.”
In his 31 years as the head coach at Sacramento State, Smith has compiled 875 victories in the Green and Gold. Since taking over the program in November of 1978, Smith has produced 16 winning seasons, including 11 years with at least 30 wins and four years with at least 40 victories.
“It’s been a great run,” Smith said. “Sacramento State is my home, and it wouldn’t have felt the same if I had went anywhere else. I didn’t have the itch to go from school to school to climb up the ladder, I wanted to stay where my home was and make the program the best that it could be. The relationships I’ve developed with the faculty, staff, and my coaching peers have made this a worthwhile experience. I will miss it greatly, but I am ready to take on the next stage in my life.”
A two-time American Baseball Coaches Association West Region Coach of the Year, Smith led the Hornets to the Division II College World Series in 1986 and 1988. The 1986 club defeated Cal State Dominguez Hills in the West Regional before posting a 2-2 record at the CWS. The 1988 team made it to the doorstep of the National Championship, before falling in the title game to Florida Southern, 5-4.
“Coach Smith will always be remembered as a great mentor to young men,” Director of Athletics Terry Wanless said. “He has been diligent in running his program in a first-class fashion, in which he always put the student-athlete first. Very few coaches spend an entire career at one institution, and he should be commended for his loyalty to the Hornets. While he will be missed on the field, we look forward to Coach Smith helping the athletic department in other facets in the coming years.”
Under the guidance of Smith, 14 Hornets have earned All-America honors. That list includes Kevin Kobza (1985), Kevin Creamer (1987), Brian Hewitt (1988), Mark Gieske (1989) and Erik Bennett (1989), who all earned first team honors. Smith also has produced 49 players who were drafted in the Major League Baseball Draft, including Tim Wheeler, who was selected in the first round by the Colorado Rockies this past June.
“My congratulations to Coach Smith on a wonderful career,” Kansas head coach Ritch Price, a close friend of Smith’s, said. “For him to end his career with the most wins of any coach in Sacramento State history is a big accomplishment. He is one of the finest people in the game of baseball, and his team’s always have played the game the right way with a tremendous amount of class.”
Under Smith, Sacramento State battled for a spot in the NCAA Tournament down to the final weeks of the 1991, 1992, 1993 and 1998 seasons. The Hornets, who narrowly missed out to Cal State Northridge on the final weekend of the 1991 season, were also a factor in the Western Athletic Conference race in the latter stages of the 1992 and ’93 seasons. In 1998, Sacramento State again nearly found a spot in the postseason, losing to Long Beach State in the championship game of the Big West Tournament.
“I had a unique situation where I both played for him and coached alongside him,” Brian Hewitt, a player from 1988-89 and coach for 12 seasons from 1991-02, said of Smith. “Two weeks before my senior season, my father passed away and Coach Smith was there for me and my family, and really became a father figure. He is a big part of my life, even to this day.”
During his time at Sacramento State, Smith was also responsible for the construction and subsequent renovation of Hornet Field, which in 2003 was equipped with new dugouts and permanent seating for 1,200, including premium chairback seats. In 2008 a large banner was hung over the left field wall that features action photos of current and former players with the phrase “Home of Hornet Baseball” inscribed.
Smith will leave Sacramento State as one of two coaches to lead a program for 32 seasons, the most in school history. Debby Colberg retired in 2007 after a 32 year tenure as the women’s volleyball head coach.