BASEBALL FALLS TO SANTA CLARA, 5-3, IN HOME FINALE
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Gabe Jacobo had two hits, including his 13th home run of the season, and five Sacramento State pitchers combined to limit Santa Clara to just one run four hits over the final six innings but the Hornets could not overcome an early deficit in a 5-3 loss on Saturday. The game marked the final home contest for Sacramento State during the 2007 season.
The Broncos improved to 26-29 overall while the Hornets dropped to 17-37. The two-game series concludes on Sunday in Santa Clara.
The Broncos scored the first runs of the game, posting two in the second inning. An error allowed the leadoff batter to reach base and two singles loaded the bases before Jon Karcich doubled down the left field line to score two. The inning took a weird twist with one out and runners on second and third. Mick Joyce’s pitch got past catcher Brett Tanigawa and Jon LeBlanc attempted to score from third. The pitch, however, ricocheted off the backstop and came back to Joyce, who was covering the plate, untouched for the second out. Joyce was then able to get a fly out to end the inning.
In the third, Santa Clara scored two more runs behind a single from Tommy Medica and a sacrifice fly by Gabe Alcanter.
The score became 5-0 in the third inning when Karcich hit a two-out double to left. Left fielder Nick Jiles, who was making his second start of the season, ended the rally one batter later with a diving catch towards the foul line.
Sacramento State began its comeback attempt in the bottom of the fifth inning. With two outs and runners on the corners, pinch hitter Ryan Blair beat out an infield single to short which allowed Montana Dye to score. The hit also stretched Blair’s hitting streak to a season-long 11 games.
In the eighth inning, the Hornets posted another two-out flury. David Flores singled back through the box before Jacobo crushed a ball to the fourth level of the parking structure directly above the scoreboard in left-center field. His 13 home runs leave him one away from seventh place in the school’s single season record book and are the most by a Hornet since Mikela Olsen and Jesse Schmidt each had 16 in 2003.
Sacramento State’s hopes were dashed in the ninth inning when Steve Kalush recorded his third save of the season. Kalush come on to start the ninth in relief of Nate Garcia, who improved to 5-6. Garcia allowed all three runs and seven hits while striking out six.
The Hornet bullpen was equally as nice. Seniors Chris Mols, Mel Cuckovich, John Schlager and Billy Sinacori each pitched one inning from the sixth through the ninth, respectively. The quartet allowed just one hit and walked only one during that time.
Offensively, Jacobo was the only player to have multiple hits. He was joined in the hit column by Blair, Flores, Tim Wheeler, Dye, and Devin Spurling.
Prior to the start of the game, Sacramento State honored 11 seniors who were playing their final home game. That group was comprised of Mel Cuckovich, Patrick Cummins, Montana Dye, Nick Jiles, Gary Johnson, Mick Joyce, Chris Mols, Cyrus Sarraf, John Schlager, Billy Sinacori and Devin Spurling.
With only one game remaining on the regular season schedule, Sacramento State is still awaiting its first round opponent in the Western Athletic Conference Tournament next week. The Hornets can still finish as high as fifth place in the standings if Fresno State sweeps Hawai’i in a three-game series. However, one win by the Rainbows would drop the team to sixth place. If the Hornets finish fifth, they will play host Nevada at 7 p.m. on Thursday. A sixth-place finish would pit Sacramento State against Fresno State at 11 a.m.