BASEBALL TAKES EARLY LEAD, BUT FALLS TO FRESNO STATE IN SERIES FINALE
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Sacramento State baseball team took an early 3-0 lead, but could not hold on, as Fresno State took home a 13-6 victory to split the weekend Western Athletic Conference series played at Hornet Field.
With the loss, the Hornets fall to 23-32 and 14-17 in WAC play, while the Bulldogs improved to 33-27, 21-11 in the WAC. With the results from the weekend, the Bulldogs took home the regular season title and earned the number one seed in the conference tournament, while the Hornets clinched the sixth seed. Both teams will square off again on Thursday, May 22 in the first game of the WAC Tournament in Ruston, Louisiana at 9 a.m. Pacific time.
The Hornets started strong, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first inning. On a day when 11 Hornet seniors were honored, the first three to bat, Taylor Watanabe, Ryan Blair and David Flores all singled, with Flores’ bringing home Watanabe to make the score 1-0. Junior Gabe Jacobo then reached on an error, but was credited with an RBI as the run would have scored regardless of the miscue, giving the Hornets a 2-0 lead. Later in the inning, sophomore Tim Wheeler singled home Flores, marking a 3-0 Hornet advantage.
Fresno State tied the score at 3-3 with a three-run rally of their own in the top of the third. Danny Muno scored on a failed pickoff attempt, and Steve Susdorf followed with a two-run homer, his ninth of the season, to tie the score. The Hornets came back in the bottom half of the inning to retake the lead, as Jacobo hit a solo home run to lead off the inning, his 14th of the season, giving the Hornets a one run lead. Following a single by senior Wes Oberlin and a sacrifice bunt by Wheeler to advance the runner to second, senior Jeff Hannah produced a RBI single, giving the Hornets a 5-3 advantage,
The lead, however, was short lived, as in the top of the fourth Fresno State had three RBI singles to take back the lead at 6-5. The Bulldogs added a lone run in the fifth and eighth innings, followed by a five run ninth, taking a 13-5 lead.
Sacramento State would put together one more run, as with one out, senior Brett Tanigawa connected on a pinch-hit single, and eventually score on a single by Watanabe, accounting for the final margin of 13-6.
Kris Tomlinson (1-1) picked up the win in a relief role for the Bulldogs, throwing 2.2 innings, surrender just two hits while striking out three Hornets. Senior Corey Weglin (1-4) took the loss for Sacramento State, allowing six runs, five of which were earned, on 10 hits in 3.1 innings of work.
The Hornets produced 15 hits, but left 14 runners in scoring position on the day, while committing a season-high five errors. Blair continued his string of hot hitting over the weekend, going 4-for-6 at the plate with a run scored. Watanabe finished 3-for-6, while Jacobo went 2-for-4 with two RBI. Fresno State was led by a 3-for-4 day from Justin Wilson, while five other Bulldogs tallied two hits apiece.
The game served as the home finale for 11 Hornet seniors: Ryan Blair, Brian Boyd, David Flores, Jeff Hannah, Ryan Magee, Wes Oberlin, Alvaro Orozco, Travis Kirkman, Brett Tanigawa, Corey Weglin and Taylor Watanabe.