BASEBALL COMPLETES SWEEP, CLINCHES POSTSEASON BERTH WITH 7-3 WIN
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Sacramento State baseball team completed its first three-game series sweep of the season with a 7-3 win over New Mexico State, Saturday afternoon at Hornet Field. With the win, the Hornets secured their second straight berth into the WAC Tournament which begins on May 24.
On Saturday, senior Mick Joyce allowed just three runs in seven innings of work and Ryan Blair and David Flores each had a pair of hits to lead the Sacramento State attack, Joyce improved to 4-5 on the season and capped a magnificent effort by the Hornet pitching staff this weekend.
Over the three game series, Sacramento State surrendered just five runs and 17 hits in 21 innings. The five runs allowed in the series are the fewest by an opponent since Hawaii also scored five in 1995. The sweep is the first by the Hornets this season and the first since taking three at New Mexico State last year (Apr. 7-9).
After giving up a run in the first inning on a close play at the plate, Sacramento State tied the contest in the bottom of the inning when Montana Dye drew a bases-loaded walk. The Hornets added on to their lead in the third when freshman Tim Wheeler hammered a ball down the right field line for his sixth home run of the year. The home run came one inning after Wheeler made a spectacular diving catch in left center field for the third out,
The Hornets tacked on an additional run in the fifth inning on a sacrifice fly from Dye which plated Flores, who had a leadoff double. Dye’s RBI was his second of the game without recording an official at-bat. He also added a diving catch in the outfield.
Sacramento State then padded its lead with two more runs in the sixth. With one out and Blake Crosby on second, Blair singled to right field. However, the ball skidded under the glove of the right fielder and died against the wall. Blair ended up circling the bases to score two runs.
The Aggies remained quiet until the eighth inning. Joyce began the inning by walking the first two batters before being replaced by John Schlager. A wild pitch advanced both runners and Schlager was able to retire the next three batters but allowed the two inherited runners to score.
The Hornets’ final out came in the eighth on a sacrifice fly from Crosby, which plated Wes Oberlin.
The win capped a great week in which Sacramento State went 4-0. During the week, the team hit .333 and four players hit over .400. That group was comprised of Blair (.474), Dye (.455), Johnson (.417) and Flores (.412). The Hornet pitching staff posted a 4.00 ERA during the last four games while the opponents had a 7.36 ERA.
Sacramento State will next travel to UC Davis on Tuesday. The game against the Aggies is scheduled to start at 2 p.m.