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JACOBO AND OBERLIN HOMER AS BASEBALL TOPPLES PACIFIC
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Junior Gabe Jacobo hit his first career grand slam, and senior Wes Oberlin added a three-run homer, as the Sacramento State Hornets defeated the visiting Pacific Tigers, 14-6, on Tuesday, March 11 at Hornet Field.
With the victory, the Hornets improve to 3-8 on the season, while the Tigers fall to 2-11.
Pacific opened up the scoring in the contest, as two runs crossed the plate in the top of the first inning. Mike McKeever connected on a two out two-run double, scoring Adam Ching, who had reached on an error, and Nick Longmire, giving the Tigers a 2-0 lead. The Hornets responded with one run in the bottom of the first, as Oberlin connected on a sacrifice fly that plated Hunter Martinez, which provided the games third unearned run and made the score 2-1.
The Hornets then took the lead in the bottom of the second, after a leadoff single by senior Brett Tanigawa, which was followed by a bunt single by junior Jeff Roth. After freshman Derrick Chung advanced the runners on a sacrifice bunt, Tanigawa scored on a wild pitch, and Roth scored on a suicide squeeze by senior Ryan Blair, making the score 3-2 in favor of the home team.
Pacific then turned around to take the lead back at 4-3, after Joe Oliveira singled home J.B. Brown, who had pinch hit to start the inning, and Longmire scored on a passed ball. The Tigers had runners on second and third with one out, when Kurt Wideman hit a fly ball to right field that was caught by Hornet senior Brian Boyd. Boyd went on to throw out McKeever, who was attempting to tag up and score, at home to end the inning.
The Hornets then put the game out of reach in the bottom of the third inning, as 12 players batted for the home team. Jacobo starting things off with a single, and followed it up with a smart piece of baserunning, tagging up and advanced to second on a deep fly ball to right off of the bat of Oberlin. Boyd then singled home Jacobo, and scored himself on a single by Tanigawa after he had advanced to second on a wild pitch, giving the Hornets a 5-4 lead they would not relinquish. After Tanigawa was thrown out attempting to steal second, the next three Hornet batters, Roth, Chung and Martinez, walked, loading the bases for senior Ryan Blair. Blair doubled to right center, scoring Chung and Roth. Following a four pitch walk by senior David Flores, Jacobo came to the plate and took the second pitch he saw deep over the wall in left for his first career grand slam. All told in the inning, the Hornets scored eight runs on six hits and four walks, and led 11-4.
After Pacific pushed two runs across the board in the top of the eighth to make the score 11-6, the Hornets closed the door in the bottom of the eighth. After Flores was hit by a pitch and senior Jeff Hannah singled, Oberlin connected on a massive home run that hit the parking structure over the wall in left field, creating the final score of 14-6.
Both Jacobo, who was 3-for-4 at the plate, and Oberlin, who was 2-for-4, finished with four RBI, while Blair added three. Every Hornet starter reached base at least once, and scored at least one run.
"We were much more disciplined at the plate today than we have been recently," head coach John Smith remarked after the win. "We did things we hadn't for the last three games, like getting runners on early in innings, allowing us some options in terms of stealing bases and the hit and run. Our pitchers also did well today as they only gave up one earned run."
Hornet freshman Trevor Paine picked up his first career win in relief of starter Nick Buchta, allowing just one hit in 2.2 innings of work. Pacific's Thomas Berolzheimer picked up the loss in his first career start, as he allowed six runs, five earned in 2.2 innings, allowing seven hits.
The Hornets open up Western Athletic Conference play these weekend with a four game series at San Jose State starting Friday night at 6 p.m. The game will be followed by a doubleheader on Saturday starting at 1 p.m., and a single game on Sunday, also at 1 p.m. Live audio for Friday night's contest will be available on hornetsports.com with J.D. Fox calling the play-by-play, while San Jose State will be providing live audio for the remaining three games on their website.
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