SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Sacramento State (24-15) makes its lone home appearance over a two-week stretch with a midweek contest against local rival Fresno State (26-15) at 6 p.m. Wednesday night at Raley Field.
- Sacramento State is tied with Seattle U atop the WAC standings at 12-3. The Hornets have a 2.20 ERA and are hitting .285 and averaging better than five runs scored per game in WAC competition.
- The Hornets 15-inning win over UT Rio Grande Valley tied for the second longest game in WAC history. It came in the team's fourth unscheduled doubleheader this year and second suspended game.
- Senior closer Tyler Beardsley has allowed just one earned run in 31.2 innings pitched this year for a 0.28 ERA. He has not allowed a run in 15.0 innings pitched in WAC play and is 4-0 with eight saves.
- Sacramento State leads the WAC and is tied for 46th in NCAA Div. I with 56 stolen bases this year. The team has recorded at least one steal in 28 games this year with multiple steals in 12 games.
- Fresno State hit three home runs in a 7-5 win over the Hornets in Fresno April 6th. The Bulldogs, who lead the Mountain West with a 3.49 ERA, are 21-4 at home this season but 5-11 on the road.
SAC - Tanner Olson (Jr./RHP, 3-3, 4.04 ERA)
FS - Edgar Gonzalez (Fr./RHP, 2-1, 3.86 ERA)
All Sacramento State home games stream live online at HornetSports.com/Radio with Anthony Rifenburg and Andrew Pasquini providing the play-by-play call. Live stats for each game are also available on hornetsports.com and all game day media links can be found on the baseball schedule page. For more content and game updates follow @hornetsports and @SacStBaseball on twitter and like Sacramento State Athletics and Sacramento State Hornet Baseball Fans on facebook.
Fresno State Bulldogs | Overall: 26-15 | MWC: 14-7 | Road: 5-11
Fresno State has been nearly unbeatable at home this season (21-4) but is just 5-11 on the road. The Bulldogs beat Sacramento State 7-5 in Fresno on April 6 behind three home runs, two of which came from Austin Guibor. Andrew McWilliam was 4-for-5 with a homer and three RBIs for the Hornets. The Bulldogs are 5-6 since then, getting swept at New Mexico. The team leads the Mountain West in ERA (3.49) and WHIP (1.34), leads NCAA Div. I with 57 sacrifice bunts, and has five starters hitting better than .300. Fresno State has a 57-19 edge in the all-time series but the Hornets will be looking to split for the third straight season.
Sacramento State outlasted UT Rio Grande Valley 5-3 in 15 innings in the series finale. The game, which was the second of a doubleheader, was suspended in the 13th inning on Saturday night due to rain and was completed on Sunday. At 15 innings the game tied for the longest conference game in WAC history and the second longest in Hornet program history, matching a 15-inning win the Hornets had at home against Seattle U in 2014. Sacramento State's four longest games in program history have all come in the last three seasons, including the record-long 18-inning game at No. 15 Iowa last year.
Sacramento State remains tied with Seattle U atop the WAC standings at 12-3 in league play. The pitching staff has a 2.20 ERA in 15 WAC games while the offense is hitting .285 and averaging better than five runs scored per game in WAC competition. For the first time in program history Sacramento State swept each of its first three home WAC series of the season and picked up a road WAC series win taking 2-of-3 games at UT Rio Grande Valley last week.
Weathering the Weather
Weather once again wreaked havoc on the Hornets last weekend in Texas as the teams moved Sunday's game up to a Saturday doubleheader based on the forecast but the second game ended up being suspended due to rain. The team has had to play four unscheduled doubleheaders, had games against South Dakota State and Northwestern State cancelled, and has had two games suspended due to weather. All told, the Hornets have had 14 scheduled game times or dates either altered or cancelled due to weather, including the addition of the William Jessup game as a make-up date for the cancelled contests.
Long Does it All
Junior Sam Long, the team's Friday starter and the preseason WAC Pitcher of the Year, played a huge role in Sacramento State's 15-inning win over UT Rio Grande Valley though he never took the mound. He came in as a defensive replacement in right field in the 13th inning of the game and ended up making three catches, including the final out of the bottom of the 13th with the bases loaded. He then had his first career at-bat in the 15th inning and singled to left on the first pitch before eventually scoring the winning run. In his start on Friday Long held the Vaqueros to just four hits and no earned runs over six innings.
Hornet senior closer Tyler Beardsley has allowed just one earned run in 31.2 innings pitched this year for a 0.28 ERA. He has not allowed a run in 15.0 innings pitched in WAC play, including five scoreless innings of relief in the Hornets' 15-inning win at URTGV. Of the 21 games Beardsley has pitched this year the team has won 18 of them as he is 4-0 with a WAC-high eight saves, tied for the 29th best save total in NCAA Div. I. He has finished 18 games this year (no other WAC pitcher has finished more than 13 games).
Curtains After Seven
Sacramento State is undefeated this season when leading after the seventh inning. The team is 17-0 when leading after seven innings and is 18-0 when leading after eight. The Hornets are also 4-0 in extra-inning games this year.
Sophomore center fielder Bronson Grubbs has been superb both in the field and at the plate this year. He is currently on a career-long 10 game hitting streak and has hits in 17 of the last 18 games, taking over the team lead and ranking eighth in the WAC hitting .339 this season. He hit 7-for-15 (.467) in the series at UT Rio Grande Valley with his first career three-hit game in the finale. Grubbs leads the team defensively as well, as among his 113 putouts this year are dozens of sensational catches as well as an outfield assist.
Sacramento State leads the WAC and is tied for 46th in the nation with 52 stolen bases this year. The Hornets were 10-for-11 in stolen base attempts against Northern Colorado, 9-for-9 in their season-opening series win at Auburn, and have at least one steal in 28 games this year with multiple steals in 12 games. Sacramento State finished second in the WAC with 79 stolen bases last season.
Lewis Lighting it Up
Over the last 16 games senior Chris Lewis is hitting .431 with 15 RBIs and 12 runs scored. He has 10 multi-hit lines in the stretch including six 3-hit games and he has three multi-RBI games. Lewis was named WAC Hitter of the Week on April 18 after hitting 11-for-17 (.647) with 8 RBIs and 5 runs scored over the four-game week. The only fourth-year senior on the team, Lewis ranks sixth in program history in both career RBIs (120) and doubles (44).
Rally to Raley
With its win over Nevada on March 9 Sacramento State improved to 9-6 all-time at Raley Field, the home of the Triple-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants, the Sacramento River Cats. Sacramento State played nine games at Raley Field over the 2014 and 2015 seasons, winning six with a 7-6 victory over No. 4 Oregon State on April 21, 2014. The Hornets will be facing Fresno State at Raley Field for the fourth time on Wednesday.
Sacramento State is tied for the WAC lead and is tied for 50th in NCAA Div. I with 35 double plays turned this year. The Hornets turned six double plays in the three-game Chicago State series, including four in the first seven innings on Saturday. Thirteen different players have been part of a defensive double play this season, including six pitchers. The team also ranks third in the WAC with a .970 season fielding percentage.
Light it Up
Lights have begun to be installed at John Smith Field and may be completed before the end of the 2016 season. Funding for lights was announced by the university in 2014 while the playing surface of the stadium was also re-graded and replaced over the summer among several facility enhancement projects to take place across the campus.
The Pen is Mighty
The Hornet bullpen has been strong all season and especially so in WAC play. Tyler Beardsley, Jonny Palsha, and Tanner Olson have combined to throw 24.2 scoreless innings of relief in WAC play and as a whole the Hornet bullpen has a 1.99 ERA, a 1.01 WHIP, and a .200 opposing batting average over 40.2 innings of relief in 15 WAC games.
Putting the H in DH
Freshman designated hitter Matt Smith has a hit in 27 of the first 33 games he has played in his collegiate career. He opened the season with a 16-game hitting streak, the second longest in the WAC this season, and he also has an RBI in 18 contests this year. He missed a week and a half after getting hit by a pitch March 6 but is third on the team with 22 RBIs on the season.
Sacramento State began the season with just one scheduled doubleheader but has played four so far due to rain and field conditions. Ironically, the one doubleheader that was originally scheduled, against South Dakota State on March 5, was not played due to weather. The most recent doubleheaders, at CSU Bakersfield and at UT Rio Grande Valley, were both not completed as the second games were suspended and completed the following day. The Hornets are 5-3 this year in their doubleheader games.
Junior catcher Gunner Pollman leads the WAC with 21 runners caught stealing this year. Last year he threw out 27 base stealers, 10 more than any other conference catcher totaled. He has been named to the watch list for the Johnny Bench Award, an honor presented annually to the top catcher in NCAA Div. I baseball, for the second straight season.