DONS PUT UP FOUR RUNS IN TOP OF NINTH TO DEFEAT BASEBALL IN FINAL GAME OF CLASSIC
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - San Francisco broke open a tie game with four runs in the top of the ninth inning, defeating Sacramento State, 6-2, on Sunday at Hornet Field in the final game of the River City Classic.
The Hornets fall to 6-8 overall and finish the four-day tourney 2-2, while the Dons improve to 5-9. Washington State earned the championship going undefeated and posting victories over Portland, BYU, UC Davis and San Francisco.
Entering the ninth with the game knotted, 2-2, Sacramento State right-hander Billy Sinacori retired the first two batters of the inning, striking out Joey Railey while Tavo Hall grounded out. With two outs, San Francisco left fielder Scott Cousins tripled to left center on a wind-aided deep shot that carried to the wall. Sinacori then walked the next two batters, right fielder Stefan Gartrell and designated hitter Luke Sommer. With the bases loaded, Cousins scored the go-ahead run from third on a wild pitch. The Dons pinch hit left-handed hitter Zach Kim and the freshman infielder produced a two-run single to score Sommer and Gartrell.
Ahead 5-2, San Francisco added one more run when Jonathan Norfolk singled and coupled with a fielding error, allowed Kim to score.
Both teams had to play in unpleasant conditions with constant rain and strong winds.
Sinacori (1-1) took the loss for Sacramento State after relieving Hornet left-hander Mick Joyce. In his fourth start of the season, Joyce (2-0) pitched 6.1 innings allowing two runs and scattering nine hits. The Temecula, Calif., native leads the staff with 23.0 innings pitched and a 2.35 ERA.
Sacramento State had runners in scoring position in the bottom of the ninth after junior second baseman Pat Cummins singled and senior center fielder Jim Strombach was walked. But Donsâ€™ starter Alan Poreda was replaced on the mound by Brian Anderson and the 6-foot-5 right-hander retired the final batter of the game, Gary Johnson.
Poreda (1-2) pitched 8.1 innings and allowed two unearned runs on 10 hits while striking out four. Anderson picked up his first save of the season.
The Hornets, led by Strombach, Cummins and right fielder Montane Dye, produced 10 hits in the game, but left nine runners stranded. Strombach, now on a career-best seven-game hitting streak, went 3-for-4 on the day. Cummins, in his first start of the year, went 2-for-4, while Dye finished the game 2-for-3.
The Hornets found themselves trailing 1-0 after three innings, but Sacramento State put two runs on the board in the bottom of the fourth to take a short-lived lead. Freshman shortstop Gabe Jacobo, in his first start of the season, popped a ball over second baseman Eric Walterhouse and a fielding error from center allowed Montana Dye to score from third. Cummins then recorded his second RBI of the year with a bunt down the third base line that scored Devin Spurling.
Sacramento State will hit the road for its next four games, traveling to Cal for a 2 p.m. game on Tuesday. The Hornets will then enter a three-game weekend series at UC Irvine, beginning on Friday, Mar. 3.