KIALUA-KONA, Hawaii -- Sacramento State lost game one (4-3) but held on in game two (4-3) to earn a split with Hawai''i-Hilo in a doubleheader Saturday afternoon at Simmons'' Field.
Sacramento State improved to 22-22 while the Vulcans dropped to 9-34. It was the second doubleheader between the two schools in two days.
In game one, David Chu''s RBI walk-off single to left with the bases loaded gave Hawai''i-Hilo a 4-3 win in eight innings.
The Hornets took a 2-0 lead in the third when junior Craig Johnson hit an RBI triple to right-center field and junior Ronnie Machado, Jr., drove in a run with a sacrifice fly. With two outs, junior Kyle Aure drew a walk from Vulcan starter John Matson. Johnson followed with a triple off the right-center wall to drive in Aure from first. In the next at-bat, Machado, Jr., plated Johnson with a deep fly to center.
The Vulcans evened the score (2-2) in the bottom of the third when Sean Tamura hit a two-run double down the right-field line with two outs.
Hawai''i-Hilo took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the fifth when Jonathan Cabral drove in Chris Savio from third with two outs.
Sacramento State tied the score (3-3) in the top of the seventh when junior Bret LeVier drove in senior John Acha from third with a sacrifice fly. Sophomore Brian Blauser led off the inning with a double to left-center field. After Acha entered the game as a pinch-runner, he advanced to third on a fly out to center by junior Ryan Browne. In the next at-bat, LeVier hit a fly to right to score Acha with one out.
Matson (2-5) earned the win after allowing three runs on five hits while walking three and striking out five in 8.0 innings.
Freshman Mick Joyce was tagged with the loss after giving up a run on three hits while walking one batter in 0.2 innings. Freshman Billy Sinacori earned the no-decision after allowing three runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out one in 6.0 innings of work.
In game two, junior Pedro Santiago finished 2-for-3 from the plate with a game-high three RBI to lead the Hornets to a 4-3 win in seven innings.
Sacramento State took a 3-0 lead in the first inning when Browne hit an RBI single and Santiago drove in two runs with a single up the middle. Johnson led off the inning with a walk and then advanced to second when Machado, Jr., was hit by Vulcan starter Brian Ebbs. After senior Jack Arroyo loaded the bases with a single to short, Browne delivered an RBI single to left field. With two outs and the bases still loaded, Santiago drove in two more runs with a single to center.
The Hornets made it 4-0 in the third when Santiago drove in Arroyo from second with a single up the middle. Arroyo walked to lead off the inning and then advanced to second on a single to left-center by Browne. With two outs, Santiago hit back to the mound to score the run.
The Vulcans cut the deficit to 4-2 in the bottom of the sixth after a pair of RBI singles by Scott McLaughlin and Tom Henderson. Hawai''i-Hilo still threatened with a runners on second and third with one out but sophomore James Wheeler struck out Savio and got Daniel Rhodes to ground out to first to end the inning.
Senior Andy Mohr (4-1) earned the win after allowing two runs on 10 hits while walking none and striking out four in 5.1 innings. Wheeler registered his first career save after allowing one run on two hits while walking one and striking out one in 1.2 innings of relief.
Arroyo also finished with two hits (2-for-3) to also lead the Hornet offense.
The two schools will play the series finale at Simmons'' Field on Sunday, April 11, at 5 p.m PST.