BASEBALL FIGHTS BACK TO TIE IT IN EIGHTH, BUT FALL IN NINTH TO ARIZONA 8-7
TUCSON, Ariz. - The Sacramento State baseball team scored three runs in the top of the eighth to tie the game at 7-7, but allowed a run in the bottom of the ninth to the Arizona Wildcats, falling 8-7 on Saturday, March 20.
With the loss, the Hornets fall to 6-10 on the season, while the Wildcats improve to 15-4.
Sacramento State opened the scoring in the top of the first, as senior Josh Powers led off the game with a double, and after an out and a single by junior Trevor Paine that advanced him to third, sophomore Justin Lamb reached on a RBI fielder's choice, giving the Hornets a 1-0 lead.
The Wildcats would tie it with a lone run in the bottom of the third, as Bobby Brown provided a RBI fielder's choice of his own to give Arizona its first run, and make the score 1-1. The Wildcats then scored four unearned runs in the bottom of the fourth to take a 5-1 advantage, taking advantage of a lone Hornet miscue.
The Hornets would get two runs back in the top of the fifth, with a rally started by the bottom third of the order. Junior Trevor Bloom, freshman Blake Miller and senior Justin Mezzaneras provided three straight singles with one down, and Powers walked for a RBI. With the bases still loaded, the Hornets got a RBI groundout by junior Jake Chilton, and now trailed 5-3.
Miller continued his hot hitting on the day in the top of the seventh, as he took a 3-2 pitch off of Arizona starter Bryce Bandilla and hit it deep over the centerfield wall for his first career home run, pulling the Hornets to within a run at 5-4.
But Arizona would have the answer, scoring a pair of runs in the bottom half of the inning to retake a three run lead at 7-4. The Hornets again rallied in the top of the eighth, as with one down junior A.J. Nunez doubled down the line, and junior Kirby Young provided a single to right that drove him in, making the score 7-5. Miller then bunted for a base hit, and after Mezzaneras walked to load the bases, Powers provided a two-run double to right, tying the score at 7-7.
The game moved to the bottom of the ninth, and Arizona looked like they would start an early rally as Ethan Chavez singled to start the inning. He was immediately picked off by Hornet junior reliever James Chamberlin, clearing the bases and giving the Hornets the first out of the inning. But it would be the last they would record, as Seth Mejias-Brean and Alex Mejia notched back-to-back singles, and after Bryce Ortega walked, Joey Rickard provided the game winning single, giving the Wildcats an 8-7 win.
Chamberlin (2-1) was saddled with the loss for the Hornets, allowing one run on five hits in two innings of work. Hornet sophomore starter Jesse Darrah last just two innings, allowing one run on four hits before being lifted from the game. All told the Hornets used five pitchers in the contest. Tyler Hale (1-1) picked up the win, allowing one hit in 1.1 innings of work. Bandilla, Arizona's starter, lasted six innings, allowing four earned runs on nine hits, and did not factor into the decision.
Miller and Powers each went 3-for-4 to lead Sacramento State, with Powers adding three RBI. Steve Selsky led the Wildcats, going 3-for-5 with two RBI.
The two teams will close out the three-game series on Sunday, March 21. First pitch is scheduled for 12 p.m.