BASEBALL TRAVELS TO LOUISIANA TECH FOR FOUR GAME SERIES
The Sacramento State baseball team continues Western Athletic Conference play with a four-game series at Louisiana Tech, May 7-9.
The Bulldogs enter the series with a 6-10 mark in the Western Athletic Conference, looking to rebound from a four-game sweep on the road last week against conference-leading New Mexico State.
Joey Ford leads the Bulldogs with a .384 average on the season, while Devon Dageford leads the team in doubles (17), home runs (13) and slugging percentage (.694). Mark Threlkeld is the only Bulldog to start all 43 contests on the season, and leads the club in RBI with 45. As a team, Louisiana Tech is hitting .335, and boast a team on base percentage of .399.
All four games against Louisiana Tech 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.
BASEBALL DROPS MIDWEEK GAME TO NO. 21 CAL, 7-3
The Sacramento State baseball team fell to the No. 21 ranked California Golden Bears by a score of 7-3 on Tuesday, May 4 at Hornet Field.
With the loss, the Hornets fall to 16-25-1 on the season, while the Golden Bears improved to 27-15.
Three of the Bears seven runs in the contest were unearned, and they scored one of them in the top of the first to take a 1-0 lead. The lead grew to 5-0 in the top of the third, as with one out and the bases loaded, Devin Rodriguez provided a RBI groundout to increase the lead to two runs. With two outs, the Bears scored back-to-back runs on a pair of bunt singles by Chad Bunting and Danny Oh, and Marcus Semien rounded out the scoring in the inning with a RBI single to center, giving the Bears a 5-0 lead.
The Hornets came charging back in the bottom of the fifth, as after being held to just one hit through the first four innings, senior Justin Mezzaneras led off the frame with a double down the left field line. Following a flyout that moved Mezzaneras over to third, freshman Andrew Ayers drove him in with an infield single. Later in the inning, with two down, freshman Blake Miller connected on a RBI single up the middle, and junior Trevor Paine provided his own RBI single up the middle, pulling the Hornets to within two runs at 5-3.
But Sacramento State would be unable to pull any closer, and Cal added a single unearned run in each the eighth and ninth innings to take home a 7-3 victory.
Senior Tommy Elrod (0-2) was the hard-luck loser on a staff day, allowing one unearned run on one hit in two innings while striking out four. Kevin Miller (3-2) picked up the win out of the Cal bullpen, throwing 2.1 scoreless innings, allowing just one hit while striking out two. Matt Flemer picked up his fourth save of the season, allowing one hit in two innings.
Miller and junior Kirby Young led the Hornets with two hits apiece, with Mezzaneras and Miller providing the teams two extra base hits. Brian Guinn led the Bears with a 3-for-4 day at the plate, while Semien and Oh added two hits apiece.
Sacramento State returns to action on Friday, May 7 as the team travels to Ruston, Louisiana to take on the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs for a four game conference series. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time.
BASEBALL FINISHES WITH SERIES SPLIT, FALLING IN 11 INNINGS TO SAN JOSE STATE, 5-4
Junior Trevor Paine hit his seventh home run of the season and also produced a two-run double, but the Sacramento State baseball team could not hold on to a 4-2 lead, falling in 11 innings to the host San Jose State Spartans by the score of 5-4.
San Jose State held a 2-0 lead after three innings, as Zach Jones and Karson Klauer hit one-out solo home runs in the bottom of the second and third innings respectively. The Hornets cut the lead to 2-1 in the top of the fourth as Paine produced his own one-out solo shot to center field, his second of the series, to pull the Hornets within a run.
Sacramento State took the lead in the top of the fourth, as after freshman Blake Miller was hit by a pitch and junior Kirby Young walked, Paine drove them in with a two-run double to left-center, giving the Hornets a 3-2 advantage. The lead grew to 4-2 as, following a groundout that advanced Paine to third, senior Justin Mezzaneras connected on a sacrifice fly to center field, driving him home.
The lead held until the bottom of the seventh, as Jason Martin led off the inning by beating out an infield single to short, and Klauer drove him home with a RBI double to left-center. Two batters later, Alex Sofranac hit a blooper to shallow left field that would have normally been in an out, but the Hornets had the infield drawn in with Klauer on third, causing the ball to fall in for a hit and allowing the run to score to tie the game.
The score remained tied into extra innings, when the game would change in the bottom of the 10th. With Danny Stienstra at the plate, the Spartan popped up to the pitcher, junior Andrew Galvan, to record the second out. On his swing, however, Stienstra hit sophomore catcher Justin Lamb with his backswing, forcing the Hornets only true healthy catcher out of the game. This caused a series of changes, including senior Josh Powers moving behind the plate, Paine moving from designated hitter to first base, and forcing the pitchers spot to enter into the batting order.
With runners on first and second and two out in the top of the 11th, the pitchers spot came up and Galvan, who had not appeared at the plate in either his junior college or Hornet career, was forced to bat for himself. The Hornets dialed up a hit-and-run and Galvan drilled a 1-1 offering, but right at the second baseman Klauer to end the threat.
Klauer then ended the game with two down in the bottom of the 11th, hitting his second home run of the game to give the Spartans a 5-4 victory.
Jones (3-1) picked up the win in relief for San Jose State, after starting the game at shortstop, allowing no runs on two hits with five strikeouts in four innings of work. Galvan (1-3) picked up the loss, allowing just the one hit, the Klauer home run, in 1.2 innings of work. The junior reliever was on short rest, having picked up a 3.1 inning save in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader.
Paine led the Hornets with a 2-for-5 day at the plate, driving in three of the four runs scored by Sacramento State. The Hornets got a lone hit apiece from freshman Andrew Ayers, junior Kyle Baskett, Miller and Powers.
HORNETS HAVE BATS AWAKEN IN DOUBLEHEADER SWEEP OF SAN JOSE STATE.
After averaging just two runs per game over their last five Western Athletic Conference matchups, the Sacramento State baseball team saw its offense burst out of the slump with a combined 19 runs in a doubleheader sweep of San Jose State on Saturday afternoon.
In game one, Sacramento State opened the scoring in the top of the second, as with junior Jake Chilton on second base and two out, junior Kyle Baskett connected on a RBI double to left-center, scoring Chilton, to give the Hornets a 1-0 lead. Junior Kirby Young then followed with a RBI single, scoring Baskett from second to increase the lead to 2-0.
The lead grew to 3-0 in the top of the fourth, as senior Josh Powers connected on a RBI single off of the glove of Spartan third baseman Corey Valine, scoring Baskett, who had singled to lead off the inning. The lead grew to 7-0 in the top of the sixth, as Baskett walked, Young was hit by a pitch and freshman Blake Miller walked, loading the bases. After Powers popped out to second base, junior Trevor Paine hit the first pitch he saw deep over the center field fence for his first career grand slam, giving the Hornets a seven run cushion.
San Jose State broke through for three runs in the bottom of the sixth, cutting the lead to 7-3 with two out and two runners on, forcing the Hornets to bring in junior closer Andrew Galvan in a situation where he would need 10 outs to complete the save. He got out of the sixth unscathed, and the Spartans would not rally again until the bottom of the ninth, as after one run was in and the tying run was at the plate, he forced Alex Sofranac to fly out to center fielder Justin Mezzaneras to end the game at 7-4 in favor of the Hornets.
Senior Robert Butler (2-1) picked up the win for the Hornets in game one, allowing three runs on seven hits in 5.2 innings of work. Galvan picked up his sixth save, allowing one run on two hits in 3.1 innings of work. Blake McFarland (5-2) picked up the loss for the Spartans, allowing two runs on six hits in 2.1 innings of work.
The offense came early and often in game two for the Hornets, which included a four run first inning, with all of the runs coming with two down. Paine started the scoring with a RBI single, and after a double by Powers, junior A.J. Nunez hit a two-run single through the right side, and moved all the way to third on a fielding error by Spartan left fielder Tim Quiery. Mezzaneras then brought Nunez in from third with a RBI single to left, giving the Hornets a 4-0 lead.
After junior Brandon Sandoval sent the Spartans down in order in the bottom of the first, the Hornets scored three more runs in the top of the second to take a 7-0 advantage. After freshman Andrew Ayers and Miller each walked, Young hit a three-run shot over the center field fence, increasing the Hornet lead to seven runs. The lead moved to 8-0 in the top of the third, as after Mezzanares walked to lead off the inning, Ayers doubled him home, moving the advantage to eight runs.
After the Spartans got a run back with an unearned run in the bottom of the fourth to make the score 8-1, the Hornets increased the lead to 10-1 in the top of the fifth, as Ayers connected on his second straight double, this time driving in two runs to push the lead to nine runs. San Jose State pushed a pair across the board in the bottom of the sixth to pull to within 10-3, but the Hornets were not done for the day.
In the top of the seventh, sophomore Justin Lamb hit a towering solo home run to left-center field to increase the Hornet lead to 11-3, and later in the inning with the bases loaded, Paine reached on an infield single, scoring Ayers to account for the final margin of 12-3.
Sandoval (2-2) threw seven innings in his second start back from injury, picking up a complete game while allowing just two earned runs. John Austin (1-5) picked up the loss for the Spartans, lasting just one inning while allowing four runs, three of which were earned, on four hits.
Offensively on the day, five Hornet hitters hit above .500, led by Paine and Powers, who each recorded five hits. Paine led all batters with six RBI, while Young finished with four hits and four RBI. Baskett finished 3-for-6 with a RBI and three runs scored, while Mezzaneras finished 3-for-5 with a RBI, two walks and one hit by a pitch. Each Hornet to bat over the two games reached base, with 10 Hornets finishing the day with at least one hit.
HORNETS OFF TO STRONG STATISTICAL START ON DEFENSE IN CONFERENCE SEASON
Sacramento State finds itself among the leaders in the WAC in several categories following their first three conference series’. After eight games, the Hornets rank first in the WAC with a 5.44 team ERA and a .979 fielding percentage. In individual statistics, junior Brandon Sandoval leads the WAC with a 1.50 ERA in conference games, while junior Trevor Paine ranks seventh in hitting with a .412 batting average.
Offensively, the Hornets are still looking to figure things out against WAC pitching, as their .278 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, and he two will miss the entire year after making just one appearance on the hill
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, 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 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 877 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.