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BATS START THE YEAR HOT AS BASEBALL DOWNS LMU 12-7
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sacramento State’s baseball bats were not effected by soggy conditions, as they defeated Loyola Marymount in their season opener by a score of 12-7 on Fri. Feb. 22 at Hornet Field.
With the win, the Hornets improve to 1-0 on the season, while the Lions fall to 0-1.
After a 1-2-3 top of the first inning from junior Jose Ramirez, the Hornet bats wasted little time pushing their first run of the season across the board. Senior Ryan Blair led off the bottom of the first with a single to right, and moved to second on a groundout. Senior David Flores then doubled home Blair, giving the Hornets a 1-0 lead.
Sacramento State extended the advantage in the second inning, as following a two-out single by senior Taylor Watanabe, Blair connected on an RBI double, scoring Watanabe, to make the score 2-0.
The top of the third saw the Lions light up the scoreboard on a solo homer from Kyle Spraker, making the score 2-1. The Hornets then exploded in the bottom half of the inning for six runs to open the game up. After Flores reached on an error, junior Gabe Jacobo doubled to left center, scoring Flores, to give the Hornets a 3-1 lead. Then, after sophomore Tim Wheeler walked, senior Wes Oberlin connected on a three-run homer to left center field, the first of his career, to make the score 6-1 Hornets. After two straight outs were recorded, Watanabe walked, and Blair connected on his third straight hit, a two run homer to right center, making the score 8-1.
Loyola Marymount pulled back to within four with a three-run top of the fourth, as Andrew Irvine connected on a two-run double, which was followed by a Ryan Wheeler RBI groundout. The Hornets then pushed a run across themselves in the fourth, as Wheeler collected an RBI on a groundout that scored Flores, who had doubled to led off the inning and advanced to third on a single by Jacobo, pushing the Sacramento State lead to 9-4. The lead would grow to 11-4 in the fifth, as Blair collected a sacrifice fly RBI, bringing home senior Jeff Hannah, which was followed by two hit batters and a walk by Jacobo, which brought in a run.
The Lions had one last rally in them, scoring three runs in the top of the sixth while taking advantage of two Hornet errors to pull back to within four at 11-7. The game’s final run would belong to the Hornets, as in the bottom of the sixth, Watanabe singled home Oberlin, accounting for the final score of 12-7.
Making his first career appearance in relief, senior Alvaro Orozco picked up the win, pitching two innings while allowing three runs, one earned, and striking out two. Ramirez, who started the contest, pitched four innings, giving up four runs, all earned, on five hits, while striking out four. Juniors Brian Smith and Jeff Roth combined for three scoreless innings in the final three frames, not allowing a hit over the span. Roth pitched an inning and struck out two of the three batters he faced.
Blair and Jacobo each finished the day 3-for-4, with Blair collecting four RBI and Jacobo collecting two. Blair was also a triple away from the cycle. Watanabe finished 2-for-3 at the dish with two runs scored and an RBI, while Oberlin finished with 3 RBI and two runs scored.
The two teams are scheduled to do battle again in a doubleheader beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday, weather permitting. Any game time changes or cancellations will be posted on the front page of hornetsports.com as soon as information becomes available.
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