BASEBALL HOSTS FINAL HOME GAME OF JOHN SMITH ERA
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A season-high crowd of 537 fans witnessed the final home game of the John Smith era at Sacramento State, but the Nevada Wolf Pack handed the Hornet baseball team an 11-0 loss in seven innings on Sunday at Hornet Field.
The day started with the Hornets honoring their seven seniors, Robert Butler, Tommy Elrod, Dan McCarthy, Justin Mezzaneras, Josh Powers, Jose Ramirez and Trevor York, who competed in their final game in the Green and Gold. The pregame ceremonies continued as head coach John Smith was recognized with a special retirement ceremony prior to his final home game after 32 seasons as the head coach. Over 50 former players came out for the event, which concluded with Smith receiving a framed jersey with the number 32, signifying his tenure as Sacramento State's eighth head baseball coach.
In his 32 years as head coach, John Smith has produced 11 seasons with at least 30 wins and four years with at least 40 wins. His teams have advanced to the NCAA West Regionals on four occasions and to the College World Series twice, finishing second in the nation in 1988. Under Coach Smith, 83 Hornets have signed professional contracts, 44 have earned all-conference honors since 1993, and 16 have earned All-America honors. An alumnus of Sacramento State with a bachelor’s degree in social science and a master’s degree in physical education, Coach Smith has posted an impressive 878 victories, the most wins by a head coach in any sport in Sacramento State athletics history.
As for the game, Nevada posted three runs in the top of the first before the Hornets recorded an out, and went on to score one more run in the inning to take a 4-0 lead. The Wolf Pack added two more runs in the top of the third on a Brian Barnett home run, and five more runs in the top of the sixth, which included a three-run homer from Barnett. The Hornets would get a runner past first base just two times in the game, which included the bottom of the seventh with one down. But Sacramento State would fail to score, and the game was shortened due to the WAC run rule.
Brandon Sandoval (2-4) picked up the loss for the Hornets, allowing 11 runs, seven of which were earned, on 10 hits in 5.2 innings, striking out six Wolf Pack batters. Brock Stassi (6-4) got the win for Nevada, allowing just three hits over seven innings, walking three and striking out six.
Sophomore Justin Lamb produced two of the team's three hit on the game, with junior Trevor Bloom providing the other. Barnett finished the contest 3-for-3 with seven RBI to pace Nevada.
Sacramento State returns to action on Friday, May 21 as they open a four game Western Athletic Conference series with the Fresno State Bulldogs in Fresno. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.