FIVE HOME RUNS, INCLUDING THREE FOR JUNIOR GABE JACOBO, LEAD BASEBALL TO 17-2 WIN
RUSTON, La. - Junior Gabe Jacobo hit home runs in each of his first three at bats as the Sacramento State Hornets defeated the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs by the score of 17-2 in seven innings on Thursday, April 3 at J.C. Love Field.
With the win, the Hornets improve to 11-15 overall, and 6-3 in Western Athletic Conference play which moves them one-half game ahead of New Mexico State, Fresno State and Nevada for the top spot in the league standings. The Bulldogs fall to 15-12, 2-6 in the WAC. The game was limited to seven innings due to the 10-run mercy rule, which is in effect for all WAC series this season.
The Hornets opened the scoring the top of the first, as senior Taylor Watanabe walked to open the game, and senior Ryan Blair followed with a single. Following a pop out, Jacobo went opposite field for a three-run homer to right, giving the Hornets a 3-0 lead. Senior Wes Oberlin followed with a double, and sophomore Tim Wheeler brought him home with a RBI single, making the score 4-0.
Jacobo struck again in the third inning, hitting a solo homer to left field, extending Sacramento State's advantage to 5-0. The Hornets then struck for five runs in the fourth, pushing the lead to 10-0. Junior Blake Crosby walked to open the inning, advanced to second on a ground out, then took third on a passed ball and scored on a balk. Senior Travis Kirkman and Blair both walked, bringing up senior David Flores, who singled through the left side of the infield, scoring both runners. Jacobo then hit his third home run in as many at bats, off of as many pitchers, clearing the right center field wall for his fifth and sixth RBI of the game.
The offensive onslaught did not stop there, as in the top of the fifth Watanabe drove home two runs with a single to make the score 12-0. Louisiana Tech scored two runs on a home run by Matt Combs in the bottom half of the inning to pull to within 12-2, but the Hornets' bats would explode again for five more runs in the top of the sixth. Blair led off the inning with a solo home run to right field, his third of the season. Later in the inning, Jacobo and Oberlin hit back-to-back singles, with Jacobo scoring on another RBI single by Wheeler. With two men on, Crosby stepped to the plate and hit his first career home run to right field, a three run shot to give the Hornets the final margin of victory at 17-2.
On the mound for the Hornets, junior Jose Ramirez (3-2) picked up the victory, allowing two runs on four hits in six innings of work, striking out five while walking four. Sophomore Tommy Elrod came on for the final inning, pitching a one-two-three seventh while striking out one. Jamey Bradshaw (1-2) lasted just one-third of an inning for the Bulldogs, allowing four runs on four hits and a walk. Alex Richard allowed just one hit in 3.1 innings of work, but it was a home run to Jacobo. He also walked four, and had a wild pitch and a balk, allowing four runs. Landon Braud was the final Bulldog pitcher, allowing nine runs on 11 hits in 3.1 innings. All three Bulldog pitchers allowed a home run to Jacobo.
Jacobo finished 4-for-5 with three home runs and six RBI to lead the Hornet charge, and now has eight home runs on the season, and sits in a tie for sixth in school history with Dan Elorduy (1995, 97-98) with 22. He became the third Hornet during the Division I era to hit three home runs in a game, joining Chris Kinsey (at Cal Poly, 3/16/02) and Jesse Schmidt (at Centenary, 4/18/03).
Wheeler ended the day 3-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored, while Crosby went 1-for-3 with three RBI and a run scored. As a team, the Hornets went 16-for-35 (.457) with six extra base-hits, the five home runs and the double by Oberlin. All nine offensive starters scored a run in the game, while eight collected base hits. Six Hornets had RBI, with five of those six having two or more runs batted in.
Game two of the series is scheduled for a 6 p.m. Central time first pitch with right-hander Jericho Jones (5-1) on the mound for the Bulldogs, facing Hornet sophomore right-hander Trevor York (1-4). Thunderstorms are in the forecast, however, which may force a time change or cancellation of the game. Stay tuned to www.hornetsports.com for up to date game information when it becomes available.