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LATE LEAD NOT ENOUGH AS BASEBALL FALLS TO NEVADA 13-12
RENO, Nev. - The Sacramento State baseball team took a 12-9 lead into the ninth inning, but fell to the Nevada Wolf Pack by a score of 13-12 on Sunday, May 12 at Peccole Park.
With the loss, the Hornets fall to 21-30 on the year, 12-15 in Western Athletic Conference play, while the Nevada Wolf Pack improve to 31-20, 17-11 in the WAC.
The Hornets, as they had the previous three games of the series, opened the game with a run in the first inning, as senior David Flores hit a solo home run to left field, giving Sacramento State a 1-0 lead.
After the Wolf Pack scored a run in the bottom of the second to tie the game at 1-1, sophomore Tim Wheeler then provided a solo home run of his own in the top of the second, marking the third straight game the Hornets have scored a run apiece in the first and second innings, giving Sacramento State a 2-1 lead.
Flores was not done, however, as in his next plate appearance in the third inning he connected on another home run to left field, a two-run shot, increasing the Hornets lead to 4-1. Two more runs scored in the inning on a two-run single by junior Blake Crosby, giving the Hornets a 6-1 advantage.
Nevada fought back to tie the score up at 6-6, as Shaun Kort connected on a RBI single in the third, Matt Bowman and Jason Rodriguez had RBI base hits in the fourth, and Kort followed Rodriguez' single with a two-run home run to tie the score. The Hornets immediately retook the lead in the top of the fifth, as on a failed suicide squeeze attempt by Crosby, senior Wes Oberlin stole home to give Sacramento State a 7-6 lead. Later in the inning, junior Hunter Martinez connected on a two-run triple, pushing the advantage to 9-6.
The Wolf Pack scored a run on a RBI ground out by Mike Hale in the sixth, but the Hornets had an answer in the seventh. With runners on second and third and one out, senior Travis Kirkman hit a single down the right field line that appeared to score two runs, but Nevada appealed at third that Hornet senior Brian Boyd did not touch the bag, and he was ruled out, taking a run off the board from a 11-7 Hornet lead to a 10-7 advantage.
In the bottom of the seventh, Nevada closed the lead to a lone run as Bowman connected on a RBI double and Rodriguez hit a RBI single to pull the Wolf Pack to within a run at 10-9. Sacramento State extended the lead back to three runs in the top of the eighth, as with two outs Oberlin followed a double by junior Gabe Jacobo with a deep home run to left field, giving the Hornets a 12-9 advantage. After freshman Derrick Chung pitched a 1-2-3 eighth, Nevada connected on back-to-back singles, followed by a hit by a pitch to load the bases, removing Chung from the game. Rodriguez hit a sacrifice fly to left field to pull the Wolf Pack to within one, leaving two aboard for Kort, who hit his second home run of the game, a three-run blast to left field to end it.
Junior Jeff Roth (2-4) picked up the loss for the Hornets, as he was charged with one run on one hit, the Kort home run, in a third of an inning pitched. Sammy Miller (3-1) picked up the win for the Wolf Pack, allowing two runs on two hits in two innings of relief.
The two teams combined for 31 hits on the afternoon, Wheeler leading the way for the Hornets with a 3-for-5 day with three runs scored, falling just a triple short of the cycle. Flores went 2-for-4 with three RBI, while Oberlin and Crosby each added two RBI apiece. Kort finished the day 3-for-5 with six RBI, while Rodriguez was 4-for-5 with four runs batted in to lead Nevada.
The Hornets will close out the regular season portion of the schedule as they host Fresno State this coming weekend at Hornet Field. The first game will be on Friday, May 16 with a 2:30 first pitch.
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