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BASEBALL TAKES SERIES FROM HAWAI'I WITH 9-4 VICTORY ON SUNDAY
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Senior Jose Ramirez pitched six solid innings, and junior Jake Chilton drove in three runs, as the Sacramento State baseball team took home a series victory with a 9-4 win on Sunday over the visiting Hawai'i Rainbows.
With the win, the Hornets improve to 14-18-1, 3-1 in Western Athletic Conference play, while the Rainbows fall to 18-18, 2-6 in WAC play. The Hornets took 3-of-4 in the series, and collected their second straight home series win over the Rainbows in conference action.
After Hawai'i scored the games first run in the top of the second on a RBI triple by Greg Garcia, the Hornets gave Ramirez all of the support he needed with a five run bottom of the second. Junior Trevor Paine opened the inning with a double to right-center, and came around to score after junior Kirby Young reached on a fielding error by the Rainbows to tie the score at 1-1. Junior A.J. Nunez was then hit by a pitch, and after senior Justin Mezzaneras singled to right field, the bases were loaded with nobody out. Freshman Blake Miller gave the Hornets the lead with a RBI single to center, scoring Young from third and keeping the bases loaded with no one away.
The next play saw sophomore Justin Lamb ground the ball to Kevin Macdonald at first base, who threw home to get the force at the plate. On the throw to first by Rainbows catcher David Freitas, Lamb was ruled to have interferred with the ball but stepping outside of the running lane, giving the Rainbows two down and leaving the Hornets runners on second and third. After senior Josh Powers walked to reload the bases, Chilton cleared them with a three-run triple down the right field line, giving the Hornets a 5-1 advantage.
The lead grew to 7-1 in the bottom of the third, as Paine lead off with a single, and came around to score on a triple by Young, who had laced the ball to second base and saw the ball take a violent hop over the glove of Kolten Wong and roll all the way to the wall. Nunez followed with a RBI single through the left side, giving the Hornets a six run cushion.
Hawai'i got a run back in the top of the fourth on a RBI single by Garcia, plating Wong who had led off the inning with a double, but the Hornets got the run right back in the bottom half of the inning. Chilton singled through the right side, stole second base, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and scored on a wild third strike that allowed Young to reach on a strikeout. The Rainbows cut the led to 8-3 in the top of the fifth, as Wong connected on a RBI single to left-center, but again the Hornets would get the run back to retake a 9-3 lead in the bottom of the inning. Mezzaneras led off the inning with a single through the left side, advanced to second on a Miller walk and made it to third following a sacrifice bunt by Lamb. Powers then hit a blast to left field that went over the fence but was robbed by Rainbow leftfielder Sean Montplaisir. On the play, Mezzaneras scored on what turned into a sacrifice fly, but Miller never tagged back to second and was retired 7-6-4 to end the inning.
The Rainbows scored the final run of the game in the top of the seventh, as Montplaisir homered to right field on an 0-2 pitch, cutting the Hornet lead to 9-4. Hawai'i would threaten in the ninth with runners on second and third with nobody out. Junior Andrew Galvan then came out of the bullpen to retire all three batters he faced, which included two strikeouts, to end the game.
Ramirez (1-2), who was injured in the first game of the Hornets 2009 season, picked up his first victory since April 18, 2008 with six innings solid work. He allowed three runs on seven hits, walking two while striking out two. Junior James Chamberlin allowed one run on three hits in two innings before giving way to Galvan, who recorded all three outs in the ninth inning. Zach Gallagher (3-3) was the hard-luck loser for the Rainbows, allowing five runs, of which just one was earned, on four hits in 1.2 innings of work. Nate Klein pitched 2.1 innings, allowing three runs on four hits while striking out six Hornets. Blair Walters pitched the final four innings for the Rainbows, allowing one run on one hit while striking out three.
Chilton led the Hornets with three RBI and two hits, while Mezzaneras and Paine each added two hits. Miller finished 1-for-2, and increased his team-high hitting streak to 11 games. Garcia went 3-for-3 with two RBI for the Rainbows before leaving the game due to injury, while Wong went 3-for-5 with a RBI and a run scored.
Sacramento State returns to action on Tuesday with a non-conference road game at Saint Mary's. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.
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