Junior Jesse Schmidt set a new program record for consecutive games with a hit while finishing 5-for-5 with three home runs, three runs and five RBI to lead the Sacramento State baseball team to a 13-9 win over Centenary, Friday afternoon at Shehee Stadium.
With the win, Sacramento State won their fourth-consecutive road game for the first time since April of 1993. The squad is also off to its best start after 40 games since 1992 (24-16). The Hornets who registered 36 runs and 53 hits during the series, have now swept Centenary for the second-consecutive season.
With his first home run, Schmidt increased his team-leading hitting streak to 23 games. The mark surpasses Casey Simpson (22, 1992) for the Div. I era program record (1990-present). The San Diego native began his record streak with a 1-for-2 performance against UC Davis on March 11, at Hornet Field. The Palomar JC transfer, who is now first on the squad with 12 round trippers, also became the second Hornet since Chris Kinsey (2002) to hit three home runs in one contest. He is now batting .394 on the season.
Sacramento State jumped out to an early 3-0 lead after a lead-off home run by senior Tim Reimer and a two-run homer by Schmidt. After Reimer''s home run to left field, sophomore Bret LeVier followed with a double to left and then moved to third after a wild pitch by Centenary starter Kevin Cassidy. With two outs, Schmidt recorded his 10th homer of the season after hitting a towering shot over the center field wall on Cassidy''s first pitch.
In Centenary''s bottom-half of the inning, the Gents had its first two batters reach base but freshman Brian Blauser, who started for the injured sophomore Matt Wilson (sore thumb), threw out two-consecutive base runners to end the threat.
The Hornets increased their lead to 5-0 after a two-run home run by Schmidt. With one out, junior Chris Kinsey reached first after being hit by Cassidy. Schmidt followed with his second smash over the center field wall.
The Gents threatened again in the fifth with the bases loaded and only one out but senior Steve Cuckovich and freshman Jim Strombach managed to hold off the rally. After two-consucutive walks loaded the bases, Cuckovich got Jon Marshall to pop to first for the second out. In the next at-bat, Strombach ended the inning with a running catch over the opposing bullpen in left field off of the bat of Gilliam.
Sacramento State would add another thee runs in the sixth after a two-run double by Kinsey and an RBI single by junior Mikela Olsen. Blauser led off the inning with a double down the left field line and then advanced to third on an infield single by Strombach down the third-base line. With two outs, Kinsey pulled a drive into left center to score both runs. Olsen would follow with a base hit to center to push the lead to 8-0.
Centenary got on the scoreboard in the sixth after a three-run double by Tony Cardone made it 8-3.
The Hornets pushed the lead to 11-3 in the seventh after an RBI single by Strombach, a sacrifice fly by LeVier to center and a run scoring wild pitch by Centenary reliever Dan Bria.
Sacramento State would add two more runs in the eighth after a solo homer by Schmidt and a sacrifice fly by senior Tim Reimer.
The Gents cut the lead to 13-6 after a run scoring fielding error by freshman James Wheeler, a run-scoring wild pitch by Wheeler and an RBI groundout to short by Justin Darr.
Centenary would add three more runs in the bottom of the ninth to make it 13-9.
Cuckovich (6-2) earned the win after allowing five runs on six hits while walking four and striking out three in six innings of work.
Cassidy (5-5) was tagged with the loss after allowing eight runs on 12 hits while striking out six and walking none in five and two-thirds innings.
Olsen (3-for-6) and Strombach (3-for-5) also finished with at least three hits to lead the squad. Reimer, Blauser and junior John Acha finished with two hits apiece.
The Hornets will next host Stanford on Tuesday, April 22, at 2:30 p.m. The game was originally scheduled for April 12 but was postponed due to rain.