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BASEBALL RALLIES IN THE NINTH INNING FOR 5-4 VICTORY OVER #5 LSU

BASEBALL RALLIES IN THE NINTH INNING FOR 5-4 VICTORY OVER #5 LSU

BATON ROUGE, La. - Sacramento State trailed 4-3 in the ninth inning before rallying with two runs to take the lead and senior Tyler Beardsley threw a perfect bottom of the ninth as the Hornets scored a 5-4 upset of No. 5 LSU on Saturday.

"This was one of the most unbelievable wins I've ever been a part of," Sacramento State head coach Reggie Christiansen said. "Every position player was involved and we got six scoreless innings from (relievers) Tanner Olson, Chad Perry, and Beardsley. It was a special TEAM win."

Sacramento State (4-2) trailed 4-1 after the third inning but did not allow another run with Olson, Perry, and Beardsley allowing just five hits and one walk pitching the last six innings of the game. The Hornets defeated a top-five team for the second time in the last three seasons, as in 2014 the squad similarly battled back from an early deficit to defeat No. 4 Oregon State 7-6 at Raley Field. Saturday's win was even sweeter coming on the road before a crowd of more than 11,000 LSU fans.

Trailing 4-3 in the ninth, Sacramento State got its leadoff man aboard as senior Chris Lewis reached on an LSU fielding error. Junior Kody Reynolds followed with a single before freshman Matt Smith drove in Lewis on a single through the right side. Reynolds advanced to third on the Smith single and came in with the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly from sophomore Vinny Esposito.

After pitching a scoreless eighth inning, Beardsley continued in the bottom of the ninth and needed just 11 pitches to finish the game. Facing the top of the LSU order, he got leadoff hitter Kramer Robertson to fly out to center, struck out Brennan Breaux, and got a fly out to left from Antoine Duplantis to complete the win.

Reynolds finished 3-for-4 and Lewis was 2-for-5. After getting shut out for the first time this season on Friday night the Hornets took an early lead in the second inning with a two-out walk by junior Gunner Pollman and an RBI double from senior Trent Goodrich.

LSU (4-2) did all of its scoring in the third inning, scoring four times on four hits - two triples, a double, and a single - and a walk to pull ahead 4-2. Sacramento State came right back as Esposito hit a leadoff home run on the first pitch he saw in the fourth inning and Pollman followed with a double before scoring on an RBI single from sophomore Andrew McWilliam.

The score remained level at 4-3 until the ninth inning, though the Hornets threatened in both the seventh and eighth innings and both teams had a man thrown out at the plate on fielder's choice groundballs in the eighth.

Olson pitched the fourth and fifth innings, allowing just one hit and striking out two, and Perry allowed only two hits and a walk over the sixth and seventh innings. Beardsley needed just 22 pitches to put up zeros in the eighth and ninth.

The Hornets got to LSU starter Alex Lange, one of the premier pitching prospects in all of collegiate baseball who was 12-0 with a 1.97 ERA last season. He lasted just five innings allowing three earned runs on six hits and three walks. Reliever Caleb Gilbert took the loss, allowing two runs (one earned) on two hits and walk pitching 2.2 innings.

Seven of Sacramento State's nine starting position players had hits in the game and eight of the nine reached base. The Hornets were perfect in the field as well on Saturday while LSU had two errors, with the last one helping set up the Sacramento State rally in the ninth.

The Hornets conclude the series and their seven-game trip to the southeast with the rubber match vs. LSU at 11 a.m. Pacific time Sunday.