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BASEBALL WINS SEASON OPENER IN 11 INNINGS OVER UNLV 10-8
LAS VEGAS - The Sacramento State baseball team opened the 2010 season with a 10-8 victory over the UNLV Rebels in 11 innings on Friday night at Earl E. Wilson Field.
The Hornets improve to 1-0, while the Rebels fall to 0-1, following a game that lasted three hours and 55 minutes.
Sacramento State opened the scoring in the top of the second, as sophomore Justin Lamb walked to lead off the inning, and advanced to third with one out after junior Brent Hottman reached on an error. Junior Trevor Bloom then drove home Lamb on a RBI fielder's choice groundout to second base, giving the Hornets a 1-0 lead.
The Hornets had a chance to extend the lead, as with Bloom on first and two outs, junior Kyle Baskett singled to right, and freshman Blake Miller laid down a picture perfect bunt single between the pitcher and third baseman, loading the bases. But Hornet junior leadoff man Derrick Chung struck out looking, ending the threat.
UNLV answered quickly with a run of their own in the bottom of the second, as Brandon Bayardi connected on a one-out double to center, and was brought around to score on a two-out double off the wall by Richie Jimenez.
The second run of the inning then came as Robbie De La Cruz singled up the middle. Hornet second baseman Blake Miller was able to keep the ball in the infield with a nice diving stop, but threw behind the runner, allowing Jimenez to score from second and give the Rebels a 2-1 lead. A scary moment then followed for Hornet fans, as Darrah was hit hard by a line drive that carromed off of his back and went down as an infield single for Travis Feiner. The 2009 season started in a similar fashion for the Hornets, as senior lefthander Jose Ramirez was hit by a line drive during the third inning of the opening contest, and missed the rest of the season after needing arm surgery.
Darrah was able to dust himself off and stay in the game, but he walked the next batter, loading the bases with two outs. The freshman hurler then uncorked a wild pitch, allowing De La Cruz to score from third, giving the Rebels an extra cushion at 3-1.
The Hornets scored four runs in the top of the third, as junior Jake Chilton led off the inning with a double to center, and then with one down, Lamb and senior Josh Powers produced back-to-back singles, with the latter scoring Chilton to close the margin to 3-2. Bloom was the next Hornet to the plate, and he unleashed a mammoth three-run homer over the left-center field wall, giving the Hornets a 5-3 advantage.
The lead would grow to 6-3 in the top of the fifth, as with two down Powers uncorked a solo home run to left field, pushing the advantage to three runs.
UNLV would answer back for one run in the bottom of the fifth as Rance Roundy hit a one-out solo home run to left field, pulling the Rebels to within two runs at 6-4.
With the Hornets still up 6-4 in the bottom of the sixth, Ramirez came out of the Hornet bullpen to pitch for the first time since his injury in last year's opening game. Kris Kaplan led off the inning with a single, and after Jimenez walked, De La Cruz connected on a sacrifice bunt to move the runners to second and third, and after Feiner walked, the bases were loaded with one out. But the senior lefthander got out of the jam, striking out Hunter Beaty and forcing Jarred Frierson into a groundout to short to retire the side without a run crossing home plate.
The Rebels would go on to tie the game at 6-6 in the bottom of the seventh, plating a pair of runs. Junior Mike Guglielmo came on in relief for the Hornets, and hit Roundy to open the inning. Roundy then was taken out of the game for a pinch runner, following a scary play were he injured himself sliding back into first on a check throw from Guglielmo. The pinch runner, Adam Koglin, then advanced to third on a single by Drew Beuerlein, giving the Rebels runners on first and third with nobody out. The next batter, Bayardi, walked, loading the bases for Kaplan, who hit a ground ball to third. Hornet third baseman Kirby Young got the force out at second, which allowed Koglin to score, but Miller's late attempt to turn two backfired, as his throw sailed by the first baseman, allowing Beuerlein to score an unearned run, tying the score at 6-6. Guglielmo settled down to get the final two outs and get the Hornets out of a tough spot.
UNLV again threatened in the eighth inning, but the Hornets this time were able to get out of the inning without allowing a run. Junior Logan Todd came on in relief, and gave up a lead off single to right field off the bat of Feiner. Beaty then reached on an error after laying down a bunt, as Todd threw the ball past the first baseman, allowing Feiner to advance to third. Todd then induced a pop out to first base, and then after allowing a walk to load the bases, the Hornets were able to turn two on a Beuerlein roller to second base, retiring the side.
After the Hornets were retired in order in their half of the ninth, Todd settled down to strike out the first two batters he faced before causing Jimenez to tap it back to the mound to record the first 1-2-3 inning for the Hornets since the very first inning to force extra innings.
Sacramento State had the first scoring chance of the extra frame, as Young led off the top of the 10th with a single to center. With one out Powers delivered his third hit of the night, a single to right, to give the Hornets runners on the corners with one down. Hottman delivered the go-ahead RBI with a bloop single to right field, scoring Young to give the Hornets a 7-6 lead. The lead grew to 8-6 as the next batter, Bloom, delivered his fifth RBI of the game with a single to right field to score Powers.
But UNLV came right back in the bottom half of the inning, as after pinch hitter RJ Arnold reached on an erroer, Feiner hit a two-run homer to left field to tie the score once again at 8-8.
The Hornets, however came right back to post two runs once again in the top of the 11th to take a 10-8 lead. Chung was hit by a pitch to start the inning, and following a line out, Young singled to right field. Chung moved to third on a fielder's choice groundout by Lamb, and the Hornets loaded the bases after Powers was hit by a pitch. This brought up pinch hitter junior Trevor Paine, who after spending his first two seasons with the team as a pitcher has been converted to an infielder, who hit a two-run single up the middle, scoring Chung and Lamb.
Junior Andrew Galvan came out of the bullpen to mow down the side in order, giving Sacramento State a 10-8 season opening victory.
Todd (1-0) picked up the win, allowing two runs, one earned, on two hits in three innings of work, striking out three batters. Jared Lee (0-1) picked up the loss, allowing two runs on two hits in one inning. Galvan picked up his first save of the season. Darrah scattered four runs on six hits in five innings of work, striking out five batters. He did not factor into the decision.
Powers finished 3-for-5 with two RBI and three runs scored to pace the Hornets offensively, while Bloom finished 2-for-5 with five RBI.
The two teams will battle again on Saturday, with first pitch scheduled for 2 p.m. Hornet junior righthander Brandon Sandoval is scheduled to take the hill, opposing UNLV righthander Stephen Singer.
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