SAN ANTONIO — The Sacramento State baseball team scored four runs over the first three innings of the game but could not hold on to the early lead in an 8-5 loss at UTSA on Sunday at Roadrunner Field.
With the score tied, 5-5, and two on with two outs in the bottom of the eighth, Daniel Rockett hit a 2-1 pitch over the left-center field fence to give UTSA (21-18, 6-8 WAC) the series victory.
Sacramento State (22-17, 8-7) jumped ahead with a run in the first. Freshman Nathan Lukes tripled down the right field line and scored on a sacrifice fly by Rhys Hoskins. In the second, Justin Higley led off with his seventh home run of the season and Will Soto tripled and was brought home on an RBI groundout by Scotty Burcham.
The Roadrunners had their first threat in the bottom of the second inning as three UTSA batter were hit by pitches to load the bases with one out. Riley Good flew out to left field to score one run before a pop up to first ended the inning.
Sacramento State matched that run in the top of the third. Chris Lewis' two out double placed runners on second and third and both were able to advance after a wild pitch to give the Hornets a 4-1 lead.
UTSA pulled within one, 4-3, with a pair of runs in the fourth. With two outs and a runner on first, Jesse Baker doubled to left and Good followed with a single to center. The Roadrunners tied the game the following inning on a sacrifice fly from Horacio Correa III which scored Rockett.
Andrew Ayers' two out home run to left center in the top of the sixth returned the lead to the Hornets, 5-4. The round-tripper was the third for Ayers this season.
UTSA tied the game a second time in the bottom of the inning on Baker's second double of the game.
Sacramento State starter Tanner Mendonca did not factor in the decision after allowing five runs and eight hits in 5.2 innings. Mendonca also struck out two, walked one, hit three and had three wild pitches. Brandon Creel dropped to 5-3 with the loss.
Lukes, who went 4-for-5 on Saturday, posted a 3-for-4 day on Sunday to lead the team. Soto added two hits and hit for the cycle over the three games.
Sacramento State will have a five-game week ahead beginning with a Tuesday game at John Smith Field against Saint Mary's (3 p.m.). The team will play at USF on Wednesday before hosting Louisiana Tech in a three-game series running Friday through Sunday.