BASEBALL TAKES SERIES OPENER AGAINST CORNELL, 6-2
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Freshman righthander Jesse Darrah struck out a career-high nine batters in seven innings as the Sacramento State baseball team defeated the Cornell Big Red, 6-2, on Thursday, March 19 at Hornet Field.
With the win, the Hornets improve to 8-8 on the season, while the Big Red falls to 2-7. Sacramento State has now won seven of their last eight games.
Both teams scored in the first inning, as Cornell took a 1-0 lead in the top of the inning on a RBI single by Mickey Brodsky that brought home Scott Hardinger, who had doubled earlier in the inning.
The Hornets responded with a pair of runs to retake the lead in the bottom of the inning. Senior Hunter Martinez hit a leadoff single, stole second base, and advanced to third on a flyout. Junior Tim Wheeler came to the plate and hit a grounder to first base, which was fielded by Frank Hager. Hager, however, attempted to gun down Martinez at the plate, and his throw was not in time, giving Wheeler a rare RBI fielders choice.
Later in the inning, Wheeler advanced to third on a failed pickoff throw by Big Red starter Jadd Schmeltzer, and scored on a RBI single by freshman Aaron Crouch, giving the Hornets a 2-1 lead.
The score would remain at 2-1 until the top of the sixth when Schmeltzer helped his own cause with a solo homer to right field, tying the score at 2-2.
The Hornets responded with a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning without a hit, as Wheeler led off the inning with a walk, would score after senior Blake Crosby laid down a sacrifice bunt and, in attempting to throw Crosby out, Cornell third baseman Nathan Ford threw the ball down the right field line. Crosby advanced to second on the play, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Crouch, and scored on a wild pitch from Cornell reliever Taylor Wood, making the score 4-2.
Sacramento State entered the bottom of the seventh with just two hits on the game, both coming in the first inning, but would plate a run on two hits in the inning. Sophomore Brent Hottman ended the hitless streak with a single to center field, and came around to score on a RBI double by Wheeler, increasing the Hornet lead to 5-2.
One more insurance run came in the bottom of the eighth, as with one out sophomore Derrick Chung doubled to right center, and following a pair of Cornell errors, scored on a RBI walk drawn by Hottman.
Darrah (3-2) had his strongest outing as a Hornet, allowing just two runs on seven hits in seven innings of work. The freshman product of Fowler, Calif., struck out nine batters, and walked just one, throwing 69 of his 101 pitches for strikes. Senior Jeff Roth threw the final two innings of scoreless ball to pick up his second save of the year.
Schmeltzer (0-1) picked up the loss for the Big Red, although he allowed just one earned run on two hits in five innings, striking out eight batters. He did allow to unearned runs to cross the plate, and walked four batters.
Offensively, five Hornets produced a single hit apiece, with Wheeler leading the charge with a pair of RBI and two runs scored. Cornell was led by Hardinger, who was the only player to record two hits for either team.
The two teams will meet again tomorrow, with the Big Red scheduled to throw lefthander Matt Hill (1-2) and the Hornets countering with sophomore righthander Brandon Sandoval (1-2).