SACRAMENTO, Calif. - In its 2016 home opener Sacramento State had season highs of 10 runs and 11 hits in a 10-7 victory over South Dakota State on Friday morning at John Smith Field.
The second game of the scheduled double header was cancelled due to rain. Originally slated to play a four-game series, the Hornets and Jackrabbits will look to get in as many games as possible over the weekend but rain is forecasted throughout. The teams hope to resume the series on Saturday but no game time is currently scheduled.
On Friday Sacramento State (5-3) scored multiple runs in each of the odd innings, scoring twice in the first, twice in the third, twice in the fifth, and four times in the seventh inning. South Dakota State (0-9) battled back with three runs in the ninth inning but could get no closer than a three-run deficit.
Four Hornets had multi-hit games with sophomore Vinny Esposito going 3-for-4 with a double and three RBIs. Freshman Matt Smith kept his season-long hitting streak alive going 2-of-3 with an RBI and two runs scored as he has had an RBI in seven of the first eight games of his collegiate career. Senior Chris Lewis, junior Kody Reynolds, and junior Brandon Hunley each had two RBIs in the game.
Hornet junior starter Sam Long matched his career high with seven strikeouts without issuing a walk. He went five innings, allowing just two runs on six hits for his first win of the season. South Dakota State starter Andrew Clemen was tagged with the loss as he allowed eight runs (six earned) on eight hits and a walk with six strikeouts in six innings, throwing 114 pitches.
Sacramento State scored its first two runs in the first inning as junior Blake Edmonson and Esposito both doubled off the wall in left field and Reynolds had an RBI single. The Jackrabbits got a run in the second inning before the Hornets plated two in the third on RBI hits from Esposito and Smith.
The two Hornet runs in the sixth came on two SDSU fielding errors and a 2-run triple from Lewis. South Dakota State scored single runs in the fifth, sixth, and seventh before the Hornets added four runs on four hits, a walk, and a hit batter in the bottom of the seventh.
The Jackrabbits had the first four men reach in the top of the ninth and scored three times before senior Tyler Beardsley came on and got the final two outs for his WAC-leading third save of the year.
Edmonson had two his and scored three times hitting leadoff in his first start as a Hornet. He also had one of three Hornet stolen bases in the game and made a spectacular diving catch in left field. South Dakota State had five players record multi-hit games as all but one of the Jackrabbit starters had a hit in the game.
If and when the second game of the series takes place the probable pitching matchup will be Sacramento State senior Grant Kukuk against South Dakota State junior Ryan Froom.