PAIR OF HOME RUNS BY OBERLIN LEAD BASEBALL TO DOUBLEHEADER SWEEP OVER HAWAII-HILO
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Senior Wes Oberlin collected a pair of home runs on the day, as the Sacramento State Hornets swept a doubleheader over Hawai’i-Hilo on Saturday, April 19 at Hornet Field.
The Hornets defeated the Vulcans 6-5 in game one, which was a scheduled seven-inning affair, and took home an 11-1 victory in game two, which also went seven-innings due to the ten-run rule.
With the victories, Sacramento State hit the .500 mark for the second time this season at 18-18, while the Vulcans fell to 13-20.
In game one, the Hornets struck first as junior Hunter Martinez led off the bottom of the first with a double, advanced to third on a ground out, and scored on a infield single by junior Gabe Jacobo to make the score 1-0. The next batter, sophomore Tim Wheeler, doubled, scoring David Flores, who had walked earlier in the inning, giving the Hornets a 2-0 lead. The advantage would then spread to three runs, as junior Blake Crosby led off the bottom of the second with a single, then advanced to third on a single by freshman Brent Hottman, and scored on a wild pitch.
The Vulcans mounted their comeback in the top of the fifth as, after Hornet junior starter Brian Smith had retired the first 14 batters in order, Peter Rodgers connected on a two-out double, breaking up the no-hit bid. Matt Haasenritter then connected on a RBI single, and following a pair of walks to Shane Kessel and Thomas Brown, the bases were loaded for leadoff man Ronel Trias, who singled to right field, scoring two runs to tie the game at 3-3. The third runner, Brown, was thrown out on the play as Jacobo cut off the throw from right fielder Brian Boyd and threw out the Vulcan runner at third, ending the threat.
Sacramento State retook the lead in the bottom of the sixth, as with one out, Hottman walked, and was then lifted for a pinch runner, redshirt freshman Jay Jennings. Jennings advanced to second on a ground out by Martinez, and then scored on a single to left field by senior Ryan Blair. Blair attempted to advance to second on the play, but the throw home was cut off, initially off the glove of second baseman Higa, and then picked up by first baseman Alvis Satele, who threw back to Higa to tag him out, ending the rally.
Hawai’i-Hilo then scored the tying and go-ahead runs in the top of the seventh to take a 5-4 lead. Dayne Ogawa singled through the right-side to lead things off, and then scored on a double off the bat of Rodgers. Following two outs, Brown singled up the middle, scoring Rodgers, before getting tagged out at second on a good recognition play by the catcher Hottman, who threw back to second following a throw home that was not in time.
The Hornets had their last chance at bat in the bottom of the inning, and they made it count, as with one out Jacobo hit a home run to right field, his 11th of the season, tying the score at 5-5. Then with two down and a full count against him, Oberlin hit a moon-shot blast off of the parking structure behind the left field wall for the walk-off solo homer, giving the Hornets the 6-5 victory.
Junior closer Jeff Roth (2-1) picked up the win for the Hornets, pitching the final two innings in relief of Smith, allowing two runs on four hits. Dustin Gilmore (1-2) picked up the loss for the Vulcans, allowing three runs on three hits in 1.2 innings of work.
After the late-inning heroics in game one, game two was a much more subdued affair, as the Hornets scored in six of the seven innings contested to take home the 11-1 victory. The scoring started in the bottom of the first, as senior Taylor Watanabe doubled to lead things off, and eventually scoring on a sacrifice fly by Flores, making the score 1-0 Hornets. Sacramento State then scored three runs in the bottom of the second, as senior Travis Kirkman hit a three-run blast, his third of the season, to push the advantage to 4-0.
The Vulcans then scored their lone run of the contest in the top of the third, on a RBI single by Keoni Manago, pulling themselves to within three runs at 4-1. The Hornets then continued to build their lead, scoring one run in the third on a RBI ground out by senior Jeff Hannah, and then pushing two runs across the board in the fourth inning on RBI singles by Wheeler and Flores. With the score 7-1 in the sixth, Jacobo started a rally with a two-out single, which was followed by a two-run home run by Oberlin, his second of the day and eighth of the season, making the score 9-1. Hannah then singled, and Crosby followed with a walk, setting the stage for Boyd, who hit a RBI single to left that then scooted under the glove of the Vulcans’ Trias, allowing Crosby to score as well, registering the final margin of 11-1.
Trevor York (4-4) picked up his fourth straight victory for the Hornets, allowing just one run on eight hits, striking out six without surrendering a walk in seven innings. Kekoa Lee (1-3) picked up the loss for Hawai’I-Hilo, allowing seven runs on nine hits in four innings of work.
Offensively, the Hornets were led on the day by Oberlin, who went 4-for-8 at the plate with two homers, three RBI and two runs scored. Jacobo went 4-for-7 with two RBI and three runs scored, while Boyd went 3-for-6 with a RBI and a run scored. Blair, who sat out game two, marking his first missed start of the season, went 2-for-3 with a RBI in game one, extending his hit streak to a career-high tying 11 games. Wheeler extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a single in each of the two contests, while Crosby’s hit streak was snapped in game two of the day, ending his consecutive games hit safely streak at nine. Rodgers went 4-for-6 with a RBI and two runs scored to pace the Vulcans, while Trias finished the day 3-for-6 with two RBI and a run scored.
The two teams will close out a four-game set on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Hornet Field. Senior Corey Weglin (0-2) is projected to take the hill for the Hornets, while the Vulcans will counter with Brian Shannon (1-2).