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SIXTH HOME RUN THE CHARM FOR BASEBALL IN WILD 14-13 VICTORY OVER NEVADA
RENO, Nev. - Senior Jeff Roth hit a solo home run in the top of the eighth to give the Sacramento State baseball team a 14-13 victory over the Nevada Wolf Pack on Friday, May 8 at Peccole Park.
With the win, the Hornets improved to 25-21 overall, 6-9 inside of Western Athletic Conference play, while the Wolf Pack fell to 24-23, 9-7 in the WAC.
The Hornets took an early lead, loading the bases with no one out in the top of the first and scoring a lone run on a double play ground out. They extended the lead in the top of the second to 4-0 as freshman Justin Lamb hit a two-run homer, his ninth of the season, and junior Justin Mezzaneras followed with a solo home run of his own, his first of the year.
Nevada fought back to push two across in the bottom of the second and one in the bottom of the third to pull to within one run at 4-3. The Hornets, however, answered with five runs, all coming with two outs, in the top of the fourth to take a 9-3 lead. After Lamb walked to start the rally, Mezzaneras doubled off the top of the center field wall to drive him in. Senior Hunter Martinez then connected on a RBI single, and came home to score on a two-run homer by junior Josh Powers. Junior Tim Wheeler then connected on a solo home run to right, his 18th of the season, giving the Hornets a pair of back-to-back home run occurances in a single game for the first time this season.
The teams traded solo home runs in the bottom of the fourth and the top of the fifth, as Brett Hart hit on to right center for the Wolf Pack and Lamb hit his second of the game to left field for the Hornets. This made the score 10-4 in favor of the Hornets.
The game changed in the bottom of the fifth, as the Wolf Pack scored seven runs to take an 11-10 lead. Shaun Kort drove in the first run with a RBI single, which was followed by a sacrifice fly RBI by Nick Melino, making the score 10-6 with two outs in the inning. Hart then tripled off the right field wall to score two runs, and Travis Simas followed with a RBI double down the line. Joe Kohan then stepped to the plate and hit a two run homer to left center, the first of his career, to give Nevada their first lead at 11-10.
The Hornets tied it back up at 11-11 in their next at bay in the top of the sixth, as Wheeler walked to start the inning, and eventually came around to score on a RBI single by sophomore Derrick Chung.
The tie was short lived, however, as Nevada retook the lead 13-11 with a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth. The Hornets rallied to tie the game once again in the top of the sixth, as Lamb singled with one out and Mezzaneras doubled off the base of the center field wall, giving the Hornets two runners in scoring position. Then following a RBI single by Martinez that scored Lamb and moved Mezzaneras to third, Powers hit a hard liner to shallow right field that Hart dove to catch rob him of the hit. However, in a piece of heads up baserunning, Mezzaneras tagged up and took advantage of the dive by Hart to score the tying run.
That set the stage for Roth in the top of the eighth, as with two down and a 2-1 count, he hit a towering fly ball that just cleared the left center field fence for his eighth home run of the season, giving the Hornets a 14-13 lead.
Junior Brian Filice pitched a scoreless eighth in his third inning of relief, and gave way to junior Trevor York, who pitched a scoreless ninth to give the Hornets the one-run victory.
Filice (1-1) picked up the win, allowing one unearned run on two hits in three innings of relief, striking out two Wolf Pack batters. York picked up his first career save pitching a scoreless ninth while striking out a batter. Daniel Tinlin (4-2) picked up the loss for the Wolf Pack, allowing one run on two hits in two inning of relief. Neither starter factored in the decision.
Martinez led the Hornets with a 5-for-6 day at the plate, which marked his second five hit day of the season. Lamb and Mezzaneras each added three hits from the No. 8 and 9 spots in the lineup, combining to go 6-for-9 with two doubles, three home runs, five RBI and seven runs scored.
The Hornets and Wolf Pack will play a doubleheader tomorrow at Peccole Park, with the first game scheduled for nine innings and the second scheduled for seven. First pitch of game one is set for 1 p.m.
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