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BASEBALL SEES LEAD SLIP AWAY IN 10-9 LOSS TO SAN JOSE STATE
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Sacramento State baseball team dropped a 10-9 decision to the visiting San Jose State Spartans on Sunday, May 3 at Hornet Field.
With the loss, the Hornets fall to 24-21, 5-9 in the Western Athletic Conference, while the Spartans improve to 32-15, 8-6 inside of the WAC. The teams split the two games that were played in what was scheduled to be a four-game series. The other two games lost to rain cannot be made up according to conference bylaws.
Sacramento State opened the scoring in the bottom of the first, as with two out junior Tim Wheeler homered to center field, his 16th of the season, to give the Hornets a 1-0 lead. The Spartans answered with a solo home run of their own in the top of the second, as Josh Silver hit his first career home run over the left center field wall, tying the score at 1-1.
The home team retook the lead at 2-1 in the bottom of the second with the third solo home run of the contest, this time off the bat of sophomore Derrick Chung to deep center field. For Chung, it was his fourth of the season and second of the series.
The Hornets then posted a two-out rally in the inning that saw six straight Hornets collect hits. Freshmen Justin Lamb and Ivan Otsuka started the rally by producing back-to-back singles, and then driven senior Hunter Martinez tripled to right center, driving in both. Junior Josh Powers followed with a double down the left field line, scoring Martinez, to make the score 5-1. Wheeler then stepped to the plate again and hit a deep two-run homer to center field, his 17th of the season, to make the score 7-1 in favor of Sacramento State.
The score remained that way until the top of the sixth, as after Kyle Bellows led off the inning with a single for the Spartans, Corey Valine homered off of the parking structure beyond the left field wall, pulling San Jose State to within four runs at 7-3.
Otsuka started the Hornets march to get the runs back in the bottom half of the sixth, leading off the inning with a triple down the right field line. After Martinez walked, Powers singled to center field, scoring Otsuka to make the score 8-3. Wheeler then singled to left field, bringing Martinez in to increase the Hornet advantage to 9-3.
San Jose State closed the gap to 9-5 in the top of the eighth, as pinch hitter Karson Klauer and Craig Hertler produced back-to-back RBI singles for the Spartans.
With two on and one out in the top of the ninth, Bellows singled to load the bases for the Spartans, and then with Valine at the plate, Jason Martin scored on a wild pitch. Valine then connected on a RBI infield single, which was followed by back-to-back RBI singles by pinch hitter Tyler Heil and Bryson Rahier to tie the game at 9-9. John Shaffer then gave the Spartans a 10-9 advantage with a two-out RBI single that scored Heil.
The Hornets were sent down without a hit in the bottom half of the inning, giving the Spartans a victory and a series split.
Freshman Jesse Darrah started for the Hornets and allowed three runs on eight hits in five innings, and gave way to senior Nick Buchta, who allowed four runs on four hits in three innings of work. Neither factored in the decision. Senior Jeff Roth (2-2) picked up the loss, allowing three runs on four hits in 0.1 innings. Steve Connolly (1-0) picked up the win for San Jose State, allowing no runs on two hits in two innings of relief. Jack Adams pitched a hitless ninth to pick up his third save of the season.
Powers went 4-for-6 to pace the Hornets offensively, while Wheeler finished 3-for-5 with four RBI. Lamb and Otsuka each had solid days, with Lamb going 3-for-5 at the plate, and Otsuka pitching in a 2-for-4 performance with a sacrifice and a pair of runs scored.
The Hornets return to action Friday, May 8 as they travel to Reno to take on the Nevada Wolf Pack. First pitch from Piccole Park is scheduled for 6 p.m.
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