SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Cael Brockmeyer's three run home run in the 10th inning broke open a tie game as CSU Bakersfield came from behind to defeat Sacramento State 6-3 in the rubber match of the Western Athletic Conference series at John Smith Field.
Sacramento State's junior hurler Tanner Mendonca was dominant through seven innings allowing only three hits and one hit batter through seven innings. The Roadrunners' starting pitcher Taylor Aikenhead was just as good through six innings giving up only three hits and one run. However, the Hornets got to Aikenhead in the seventh when Higley walked on five pitches to open the frame. Hoskins then lined a double to left center that went to the wall scoring Higley from first. After two groundouts moved Hoskins to third, freshman Dane Fujinaka bounced one through the left side scoring Hoskins and giving the Hornets a 3-1 cushion.
CSU Bakersfield (17-7, 2-1 WAC) responded in the top of the eighth. Mendonca got the first batter to fly out but then hit Jordie Hein with a pitch. Roadrunner leadoff hitter Dylan Christensen, who went 2-for-5 at the plate and scored two runs, then grounded a ball just past a diving Will Soto at third base. Kevin Younger followed with a deep drive to the centerfield warning track that David Del Grande tracked down with an over the shoulder catch. Tyler Shryock, who started the day hitting .400, lined a ball up the middle scoring Hein to make it 3-2. Brandon Creel came in relief of Mendonca and proceeded to hit the first batter he faced in Brockmeyer. Then, with Mylz Jones at the plate, Creel uncorked a wild pitch allowing Christensen to sneak in from third and tie the game at 3-3.
"Tanner (Mendonca) threw the ball really, really well today and gave us a chance to win. A couple of "seeing eye" ground balls, a couple of breaks their way, but we had plenty of opportunities too," said head coach Reggie Christiansen.
The Hornets went down in order in the eighth and Creel finished off the Roadrunners in the ninth. CSU Bakersfield replaced Aikehead with Hayden Carter in the ninth and Higley promptly singled to center to open the inning. Hoskins followed with a four pitch walk moving Higley into scoring position. The Roadrunners then brought in their closer, Christensen, to face freshman Nathan Lukes. Lukes lined a 1-0 fastball right at second baseman Oscar Sanay, who was positioned toward second base, and stepped on second to double up Higley. Scotty Burcham kept the inning alive by lining a two-out single to right center. Kyle Moses pinched hit for Fujinaka and popped up to end the threat and force extra innings.
Freshman Sutter McLoughlin relieved Creel in the 10th and Christensen opened the inning by lining a single off a diving Soto at third. Younger dropped a sacrifice bunt in front of the plate, but Casey Wheeler, who replaced Fujinaka at catcher, threw low to first for the error and CSUB had a runner in scoring position with no one out. Following a flyout, Brockmeyer hit his third homer of the season to left field for the three run lead. The long ball was only the second allowed by Sacramento State in 23 games this season.
Christensen set the Hornets down in order in the 10th moving his record to 1-1. McLoughlin took the loss and dropped to 1-2 on the season.
The Hornets return to action this Tuesday for the Raley Field Classic as they host former WAC rival Fresno State at the home of the Triple-A Sacramento River Cats at 6pm. For ticket information go to www.hornetsports.com.