BASEBALL FIGHTS HARD, BUT DROPS DECISION TO NO. 1 RANKED ARIZONA
TUCSON, Ariz. - Senior Travis Kirkman went 2-for-3 at the plate with a home run and two RBI, but it was not enough as the Hornets fell to No. 1 Arizona, 9-3, in the first game of a three-game series at Jerry Kindall Field.
With the loss, the Hornets fall to 1-3 on the season, while the Wildcats improve to 3-1.
The Wildcats were able to push runs across the board in each of the first three innings to take a 3-0 lead. In the bottom of the first, Dillon Baird singled home Diallo Fon for the games first run. Colt Sedbrook then connected on a solo home run in the bottom of the second, which was followed in the bottom of the third by a RBI ground out by Jon Gaston which plated Fon, who had led off the inning with a triple.
Sacramento State then posted a run apiece in the next two innings, as senior Ryan Blair scored on a throwing error by catcher Dwight Childs in the top of the fourth, after leading off the inning with a single, moving to second on a wild pitch, and moving to third on a single by senior David Flores. In the top of the fifth, Kirkman connected on his first hit of the season, a solo homer to left field to pull the Hornets to within one at 3-2.
The bottom half of the inning saw the Wildcats load the bases without a hit, as Childs was hit by a pitch, Fon walked and Gaston reached on a fielders choice that did not yield an out. Baird stepped to the plate with two outs and connected on a grand slam to open the game up at 7-2. The Hornets pulled back to within four at 7-3 in the top of the seventh on a RBI single by Kirkman that brought home senior Jeff Hannah, but Arizona posted two more runs in the bottom of the inning to put the game out of reach.
Junior Nick Buchta surrendered just five hits in 4.2 innings pitched, but the Wildcats timely hits allowed seven runs to cross the board on his watch, all earned, as he picked up the loss. Senior Alvaro Orozco made his second career appearance out of the bullpen, allowing two runs, both earned, in 2.1 innings pitched. Junior Eric Fregosi came out of the pen to throw a scoreless eighth inning. Kirkman finished 2-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored, while throwing out two potential basestealers and picking off another baserunner at first. The Hornet pitching staff added two more pickoffs for a total of three in the contest.
2007 All-American Preston Guilmet allowed six hits in seven innings while picking up the victory. He allowed three runs, two earned, while striking out 11 batters without surrendering a walk. Baird finished 3-for-4 at the plate with six RBI and two runs score, while Fon went 1-for-1, walking three times and scoring three runs.
The two teams will do battle again tomorrow in game two of the series. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. Mountain Time (1 p.m. Pacific Time).