BASEBALL OPENS WAC PLAY WITH 4-2 WIN AT LOUISIANA TECH
RUSTON, La. — Junior Alvaro Orozco threw 6.2 strong innings and junior Jeff Hannah hit his first career home run to help the Sacramento State baseball team to a 4-2 win over Louisiana Tech, Friday evening at J.C. Love Field.
The win improved the Hornets to 3-10 overall and 1-0 in Western Athletic Conference games. The Bulldogs, who had won 11 of their last 14 games, fell to 12-7 overall and 0-1 in the WAC.
Sacramento State struck first with an RBI single from Patrick Cummins in the second inning. The Hornets took advantage of a lack of control from Bulldog starter Luke Burnett who issued one-out walks to David Flores and Montana Dye. After a sacrifice moved both runners up, Travis Kirkman drew a walk to load the bases for Cummins. The senior promptly singled to left to score Flores, however, Dye was thrown out at the plate to end the inning.
Louisiana Tech tied the game with lead off home run from Brian Rike to start the fourth inning. A catcher’s interference call and a single put runners on first and second before a wild pitch advanced both runners 90 feet. Albie Goulder gave the Bulldogs their first lead with a single to left which plated Brandon Hudson. A sacrifice placed runners on second and third with one out but Orozaco managed to get Kevin Winn to ground out to second before striking out Matt Combs to stop the damage.
Sacramento State retook the lead in the fifth inning behind a three-run home run from Hannah. With one out, Ryan Blair walked and was moved to third on a double from Gabe Jacobo down the left-field line. Hannah then hit Burnett’s offering over the center-field fence to give the team a 4-2 lead.
Orozco took the lead into the sixth inning before running into some trouble. After retiring the first two batters of the inning, Orozco allowed his first walk of the game to place Rike on first. Hudson followed with a single to place runners on first and second and ending the night for Orozco. John Schlager entered and immediately walked pinch hitter Christopher Kersten to lead the bases. Schlager, however, got Goulder to look at strike three for the third out.
Junior Mitch Lively came on in relief of Schlager in the ninth to earn his second save of the season. Lively struck out two batters, including Hudson looking, to end the game.
Orozco (1-2) earned his first career win at Sacramento State. The junior scattered seven hits in his tenure while striking out two and walking just one. Burnett (1-3) was handed the loss after allowing five hits and five walks with seven strikeouts.
Offensively, Sacramento State was paced by Cummins, who was the lone Hornet with two hits. Johnson, Jacobo and Hannah also had hits while Blair garnered three walks.
The two teams will continue the three-game series on Saturday at 4 p.m. PST.