BASEBALL ELIMINATED FROM POSTSEASON PLAY AFTER DOUBLEHEADER LOSS TO FRESNO STATE
FRESNO, Calif. - The Sacramento State baseball team dropped a doubleheader to the Fresno State Bulldogs on Saturday, falling in game one 7-6 and losing game two by a margin of 10-1.
With the losses, the Hornets fall to 18-34-1, 7-16 in Western Athletic Conference action, and are eliminated from making next week's WAC Tournament. Fresno State improved to 34-23, 15-8 in the WAC, and clinched the regular season WAC title and the number one seed in the tournament.
Game one saw the Hornets strike first, as junior Trevor Paine connected on a RBI single up the middle, scoring senior Josh Powers to give the Hornets a 1-0 lead after the top of the first. But the Bulldogs would answer in the bottom of the first, scoring six runs on five hits, including a two-out grand slam by designated hitter Kenny Wise to right field, taking a 6-1 lead after one inning.
After both teams were retired in order in the second, the Hornets came back to score four runs in the top of the third to pull to within one at 6-5. With two down and a runner on first, freshman Blake Miller and Paine connected on back-to-back singles to load the bases. That brought up senior Justin Mezzaneras, who took the second pitch he saw and blasted it over the left field wall for a grand slam of his own, bringing the Hornets to within one.
Sacramento State went on to tie the score at 6-6 in the top of the seventh, as freshman Andrew Ayers singled to lead off the inning, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by junior Kirby Young, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a RBI single by Miller. The game remained tied into the bottom of the ninth, when with the bases loaded and two down following a Hornet error, Garrett Weber hit a ball in foul territory down the right field line that was pushed onto the foul line by the wind, allowing the winning run to score from third to give the Bulldogs a 7-6 game one win.
Sean Bonesteele (5-0) picked up the win, retiring the only two batters he faced in the top of the ninth. Senior Tommy Elrod (0-4) picked up the loss in relief, allowing one run on one hit in 1.1 innings pitched.
Game two saw the Hornets again strike first, as Powers led off the game with a solo homer to left, his fifth of the season, to give Sacramento State a 1-0 lead. Fresno State again posted a big bottom of the first, scoring five runs on six hits, including a leadoff homer by Danny Muno, to take a 5-1 lead. The Bulldog lead increased to 8-1 in the bottom of the second, scoring three runs which included the 26th homer of the season by Jordan Ribera. The Bulldogs would score two more runs in the bottom of the fourth, and the Hornets would strand five, accounting for the final of 10-1.
Senior Trevor York (0-3) picked up the loss, allowing seven runs, six earned, on seven hits in 1.1 innings of work. Freshman Jason Hampton pitched the final 4.2 innings, allowing three runs on six hits while striking out five. Greg Gonzalez (7-2) picked up the win for Fresno State, allowing one run on three hits in five innings pitched.
Ayers, Miller and Powers led the Hornets with three hits apiece on the day, while Young added two and a sacrifice bunt. Brennan Gowens led Fresno State with a 7-for-9 day at the plate with three runs scored, while Weber and Wise added four RBI apiece.
The two teams will close out the four-game series with a matchup Sunday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. The game will be the final of the season for the Hornets, and the last game in the storied 32-year coaching career of Sacramento State head coach John Smith.