SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A four run fourth inning by Louisiana Tech proved costly for Sacramento State in a 5-4 loss to the Bulldogs on Friday at John Smith Field.
Trailing 2-0, Louisiana Tech loaded the bases with a leadoff bunt single, a hit by pitch and a single to left. Sam Alvis then lined a double into the left field corner, clearing the bases and giving the Bulldogs their first lead of the game.
Sacramento State appeared set to tie the game in the sixth inning but a base running blunder prevented that from happening. After Nathan Lukes doubled to left scoring Dane Fujinaka, Justin Higley was intentionally walked to lead the bases. Andrew Ayers then hit a fly ball to medium-deep left center which would have scored David Del Grande from third on a sacrifice fly. Instead, Lukes ventured too far off of second base and was doubled off before Del Grande crossed the plate to end the inning.
"We made a lot of mistakes today but still had a chance," Sacramento State head coach Reggie Christiansen said. "It wasn't just the base running, we also didn't field a bunt, hit a guy and couldn't get the clutch hit."
The Hornets had an opportunity to tie the game in the seventh with runners on second and third and one out but a strike out and fly out ended the rally. La Tech made the score, 5-3, with a run in the eighth but left the bases loaded keeping Sacramento State alive.
Will Soto drove in Higley in the bottom of the eighth for the game's final runs.
Sacramento State jumped on starter James Ferguson in the first inning when Higley hit his ninth home run of the year deep over the right center field fence. Ferguson (2-1) did not allow another run until the sixth when recording his longest appearance of the season.
Ty Nichols (4-5) was handed the loss for the Hornets. Nichols thew seven innings but was tagged for nine hits while striking out three. All four of his runs came in the fifth inning.
Del Grande, Lukes and Soto each had two hits to lead Sacramento State's nine-hit attack.
The series continues on Saturday at 1 p.m. Brennan Leitao will take the mound for the Hornets against La Tech's Phil Maton.