BASEBALL WINS 30TH GAME WITH COME-FROM-BEHIND VICTORY OVER UC DAVIS
DAVIS, Calif. — Sacramento State scored four runs in the eighth inning to rally for a 4-3 win over UC Davis on Tuesday at Dobbins Stadium. With the win, the Hornets improved to 30-19 overall and recorded back-to-back 30 win seasons for the first time since 1992-93.
"I think (winning 30 games) says a lot about these kids," Sacramento State head coach Reggie Christiansen said. "I think back to where we were just a few years ago, winning 19 games, and its a lot of the same players. Thirty wins is the benchmark in college baseball and we got there and all the credit goes to the kids."
Down 3-0 entering the eighth, Sacramento State received a leadoff single up the middle from Scotty Burcham and a soft line drive from Dane Fujinaka to begin the inning. Those hits ended the day for UCD starter Spencer Henderson who gave way to Robert Parucha.
Parucha forced a fly out to start his outing before Nathan Lukes singled to left field to drive in Burcham. Chris Lewis followed with a double which one-hopped against the left field wall to tie the game. Fujinaka easily scored on the play but it was Lukes, who ran through a stop sign at third base and dodged the tag at the plate, that provided the tying run.
"I thought we had one out and (Andrew) Ayers and (Justin) Higley coming behind and knew it was going to be a close," said Christiansen. "Lucky for us, he ran through it, had a good slide and the guy missed him."
Ayers was hit by a pitch and after Parucha was replaced by Craig Lanza, Higley walked to load the bases. Will Soto then hit a chopper to first where Nick Lynch elected to touch first base before throwing home. That delay allowed Lewis to slide in ahead of the tag for the go-ahead run.
The Aggies had two one-out singles in the eighth inning but pinch hitter Mike Mazzara grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning. Freshman Sutter McLoughlin pitched the ninth inning and escaped with his 15th save of the season. After a groundout started the inning, John Williams and Paul Politi both singled to place the tying run on second base. A fly out to center gave the team the second out before Lynch hit a hard ground ball to first where Chris Lewis — who was making just his second start of the season — was able to scoop it up and tag the bag.
UC Davis jumped on the board in the second inning, scoring a run without a hit. Lynch was hit by a pitch, stole second and third, before scoring on a deep sacrifice fly by Cameron Olson. The lead went to 2-0 in the fourth inning when Hunter Greenwood walked Politi with the bases loaded. The Aggies' final run came on a single from Austin March in the sixth inning.
Brandon Creel improved to 7-3 after pitching two scoreless innings. Creel was one of four pitchers on the day, following Greenwood and Zach Morgan. Greenwood allowed two runs in his five innings. All three of his walks came with two outs in the fifth inning and he also had a strikeout. Zach Morgan pitched the sixth and allowed a run on two hits with a strikeout.
The loss spoiled a solid effort for Henderson who ended with a no decision. The starter did not allow a run through his first seven innings before giving up two in the eighth. He did not walk a batter and struck out three.
"Our guys said it was hard to pick up the ball from (Henderson). You have to give him credit because he pitched great," Christiansen said. "We were a little flat as a team but hung in there and were able to get to their bullpen."
Six of the Hornets' nine hits came from the 2-3-4 hitters in the order as Lukes, Lewis and Ayers each had a pair. Lewis' double was the team's only extra base hit of the game.
Sacramento State, which has won six of its last seven games and eight of 10, returns to Western Athletic Conference play with a three-game homestead against San Jose State starting on Friday at 3 p.m.