Conner Jackson went 2-or-3 with two doubles and three RBI while five Cal pitchers combined for a three-hit shutout as the Golden Bears defeated the Sacramento State baseball team, 5-0, Wednesday afternoon at Evans Diamond. The Hornets dropped to 16-15 on the season while the Golden Bears raised their record to 18-13. The game was delayed 10 minutes in the top of the sixth due to rain.
After three scoreless innings in which junior Chris Kinsey had not allowed a hit, Cal jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the fourth after RBI doubles by Jackson and James Holder and a run-scoring balk. David Nicholson led off the inning with a bunt to Kinsey but junior Mikela Olsen could not keep the ball in his glove and Nicholson was awarded the base. David Weiner followed with a bunt single down the first base line. In the next at-bat, Jackson hit a chopper over the head of sophomore Bret LeVier at third to score Nicholson. With runners on second and third with no outs, Weiner and Jackson were advanced by a balk by Kinsey to make it a 2-0 contest. After Chris Grossman was hit by a pitch, Holder doubled to right center to score Jackson. Cal still had runners at second and third with no outs but Kinsey retired the next three batters to end the rally.
The Golden Bears would increase the lead to 5-0 in the seventh after a two-run double by Jackson. Senior Steve Correa entered the contest in relief of Kinsey and walked Justin Nelson to start the inning. After a fielderâ€™s choice by Brad Smith and a walk to Nicholson, both runners would advance on a failed pick-off attempt at second base. With runners on second and third, Jackson followed with a slicing drive that landed fair in the right field corner to drive in both runs.
Kinsey (2-3) was tagged with the loss despite allowing only three runs (two earned) on three hits while striking out seven and walking two in six innings of work.
Brent Hale (2-2) earned the win after giving up only one hit while recording a strikeout in two innings. Starter Joe Todoroff, Hale, Matt Swanson, Mike Padgett and Blake Read combined to allow only three hits while striking out five and walking none to help Cal avoid the season sweep by the Hornets.
Junior Jesse Schmidt managed to extend his team-leading hitting streak to 14 games with a single to right field in the seventh. Olsen and sophomore Matt Wilson were the only other Hornets to record hits in the contest.
Sacramento State will next host Cal State Hayward for a three-game series this weekend beginning on Friday, April 4, at 2:30 p.m. at Hornet Field.