BASEBALL CONTINUES WAC MOMENTUM WITH 7-3 WIN, JOHN SMITH PICKS UP 800TH VICTORY
LAS CRUCES, N.M. — Sophomore Gabe Jacobo and freshman Tim Wheeler each had three hits to lead the Sacramento State baseball team to a 7-3 win over New Mexico State, Friday evening at Presley Askew Field.
The win improved the Hornets to 3-1 in Western Athletic Conference play and kept the team in first place. Sacramento State is 7-13 overall and have now won two straight. The Aggies dropped to 9-12 overall and 0-1 in WAC play.
In addition, Sacramento State head coach John Smith picked up his 800th career victory. Smith, who is currently in his 29th season as the Hornets' head coach, improved his record to 800-792. He becomes the first coach in Sacramento State athletics history to achieve 800 victories.
The Hornets never trailed in the contest, taking a 1-0 lead in the top half of the first inning. Patrick Cummins started off the game with a walk and was moved to second on a single from Travis Kirkman. A walk to Ryan Blair loaded the bases before Jacobo hit into a double play to score the first run.
Sacramento State moved ahead 3-0 in the third inning with the help of some creative base running. Blake Crosby recorded a leadoff walk and then took two bases on a wild pitch. Cummins followed with a single to drive in the run and give the team a two-run advantage. Cummins then stole second and moved to third on a throwing error before crossing the plate on a fielders choice by Blair.
New Mexico State matched those two runs in the bottom of the inning. Richard Stout singled and later scored on a double from Marcus Quade. Quade then traded places with Joseph Scaperrotta who doubled to make the score, 3-2.
The Hornets sealed the win in the fifth inning with a two-out single from Montana Dye which scored Jacobo. The team also added a run in the eighth on a solo home run from Wheeler (the first of his career) and two runs in the ninth on RBIs from David Flores and Crosby.
Overall, Sacramento State picked up hits from seven players and had six drive in a run during the game. Jacobo finished with two doubles while Kirkman and Crosby also added two hits.
Not to be overshadowed, the Sacramento State pitching staff limited NMSU to just three runs and nine hits during the game. The Aggies came into the contest as the top hitting team in the WAC but were handled by Alvaro Orozco, who earned his third consecutive win. Orozco threw 7.0 innings and struck out six while walking just one. Chris Mols did not allow a hit in the eight before giving way to Mitch Lively in the ninth. The closer allowed two walks but also struck out two to end the game.
The three-game set will continue on Saturday at Presley Askew Field. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 MT.