JACKS CLAIM EARLY SERIES LEAD WITH 2-1 WIN OVER HORNETS
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - South Dakota State prevented Sacramento State from its first win of the season on Friday afternoon, edging the Hornets, 2-1, in the team’s home opener.
The top of the eighth inning decided the game when Tyler Axelrod (0-1) surrendered a one-out single to Korby Mintken. It was the only hit Axelrod allowed in his 1.2 innings of relief, but it was costly.
Mintken stole second to work his way into scoring position and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Nick Adams’ RBI fielder’s choice scored Mintken, the go-ahead run, which proved to be the game winner.
For the sixth time the season, Sacramento State (0-6) had an early lead after breaking a scoreless tie in the bottom of the fifth. Freshman centerfielder Tim Wheeler singled to lead off the inning, and Travis Kirkman’s sacrifice moved the Sacramento native into scoring position. Wheeler continued on the bases, reaching third after Blake Crosby’s fly out to left field. With leadoff hitter Patrick Cummins at the plate, the Hornets’ top hitter hit a chopper to the infield that SDSU second baseman Matt Zabel failed to handle, allowing Wheeler to score on the error.
South Dakota State (2-2) then tied the game in the top of the sixth when Adams’ ground out scored Jake Rogers, who had singled to lead off the inning.
Kevin Morsching earned his second win of the year for the Jacks, pitching 3.0 innings in relief of starter Erik Bess. The left-hander allowed one unearned run on four hits in five innings. In the ninth Jacob Kougl earned his second save of the year, despite allowing the tying run to advance to second.
In his third start of the year, Hornet right-hander Alvaro Orozco went 5.1 innings allowing one run on six hits and a career-high seven strikeouts - the most of any Hornet pitcher this year.
Sacramento State totaled six hits on the day, led by junior third baseman’s David Flores’ 2-for-4 performance.
The Hornets and Jacks will square off for their second game of the series beginning at 1 p.m. on Saturday at Hornet Field.