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Game One Box Score/Play-by-Play
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BASEBALL SWEEPS DOUBLEHEADER AGAINST NEVADA; WHEELER BECOMES ALL-TIME RBI LEADER
RENO, Nev. - Junior Tim Wheeler drove in five runs, becoming the school's all-time leader in career RBI, as the Sacramento State baseball team swept a doubleheader over Nevada, winning game one 9-6 and game two 12-6.
With the victories, the Hornets improve to 27-21 overall and 8-9 inside of Western Athletic Conference play, while the Wolf Pack fell to 24-25, 9-9 in the WAC.
Nevada opened the scoring in game one in the bottom of the first, as Tyson Jaquez provided a RBI groundout and Westley Moss scored on a wild pitch to give the Wolf Pack an early 2-0 lead.
The Hornets took the lead with three runs in the top of the fourth, as freshman Justin Lamb connected on a two-run double off the wall, scoring junior Tim Wheeler and senior Blake Crosby. Later in the inning, redshirt freshman Ivan Otsuka connected on a RBI single driving in sophomore Derrick Chung to give the Hornets a 3-2 lead.
Sacramento State added two insurance runs in the top of the fifth, as following a leadoff single by senior Hunter Martinez and a double by junior Josh Powers, Wheeler connected on a RBI single. Powers then scored on a double play to increase the advantage to 5-2.
After Nevada closed the gap to 5-3 in the bottom of the sixth on a RBI groundout by Brett Hart, the Hornets scored three more runs in the top of the seventh to increase the lead to its largest of the game at 8-3. After three straight singles by junior Justin Mezzaneras, Martinez and Powers loaded the bases, Wheeler connected on a RBI sacrifice fly, the 135th RBI of his career, which tied Will Fitzpatrick for first in the Hornets all-time record book. Later in the sixth, Crosby executed a successful safety squeeze to drive home the second run of the inning, and Chung followed with a RBI bloop single behind the first base bag.
The Wolf Pack got two runs back in the bottom of the seventh as Matt Bowman hit a two run homer to left field, his ninth of the season, making the score 8-5.
Another insurance run would come for the Hornets in the top of the eighth as Mezzaneras hit a towering home run to left field, his second of the series, to push the advantage back to four runs at 9-5.
The home team loaded the bases in the bottom of the eighth, but were only able to score one run after Kevin Rodland was hit by a pitch, pulling the Wolf Pack to within three at 9-6. The Wolf Pack then brought the tying run to the plate on two occasions in the bottom of the ninth, but Hornet sophomore reliever Trevor Paine induced a flyout and a groundout to end the contest.
Senior Nick Buchta picked up the win in relief for the Hornets, allowing three runs on one hit in 2.1 innings of work. Senior Jeff Roth started and allowed two runs on three hits in the first four innings of the contest. Paine threw a scoreless ninth to pick up his first career save. Chris Garcia (4-5) picked up the loss for the Wolf Pack, allowing eight runs on 13 hits in 6.2 innings of work.
In game two, the Wolf Pack scored in the bottom of the second on a RBI single by Brett Hart, only to see their lead disappear in the top of the third as the Hornets pushed two runs across the plate. Wheeler provided a RBI groundout, becoming the school's career RBI leader with 136 in his three-year career. Later in the inning, Powers scored from third on a throwing error by Wolf Pack catcher Travis Simas.
With one out in the top of the fourth, the Hornets connected on five straight hits to score four runs and take a 6-1 lead. Lamb and Otsuka hit back-to-back singles, and Mezzaneras drove Lamb in with a RBI single of his own to start the rally. Martinez then provided his second triple of the season off the right field wall to drive in two runs. Powers followed with his WAC leading 24th double of the season to drive home Martinez and give the Hornets a five run cushion.
More insurance came in the top of the fifth, as following a one out double by Roth to left center, Otsuka provided a RBI single to right field to increase the Hornet lead to 7-1.
After the Wolf Pack scored an unearned run in the bottom of the fifth on a RBI double by Moss, Sacramento State broke the game open in the top of the fifth, scoring five runs. After back-to-back walks to Martinez and Powers, Wheeler connected on a two-run triple to right center to make the score 9-2. Crosby then drove Wheeler in with a sacrifice fly to right, and with two out, Roth and Lamb connected on back-to-back solo home runs to increase the lead to 12-2.
Freshman Jesse Darrah (9-2) allowed six runs on seven hits in seven innings to pick up the victory, while Derek Achelpohl (4-4) allowed seven runs on 12 hits in five innings to pick up the loss.
In game two of the doubleheader, the Hornets had seven of their nine batters record two hits, and eight of nine starters recorded at least one RBI.
Wheeler finished the day 5-for-8, and also tied the school's single season RBI record, as he now has 68 on the season. Three other Hornets (Lamb, Martinez and Powers) added four hits as the Hornets finished with 21 runs on 29 hits for the day.
The two teams will close out the four-game set on Sunday with a single game at 1 p.m. at Peccole Park.
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