SACRAMENTO, Calif. - In front of a near capacity crowd on the first night game in the 63-year history of John Smith Field, junior Kody Reynolds and sophomore PJ Floyd hit home runs and the Hornets staged a late rally but were outlasted by Pacific, 9-6.
Tuesday's contest was the first game under the newly installed lights at John Smith Field, a facility built in 1953. Former coaches Cal Boyes and John Smith were on hand with current head coach Reggie Christiansen to turn on the lights for the first time before the game, and President Robert Nelsen delivered the ceremonial first pitch to former Hornet catcher and team captain Dane Fujinaka.
For Sacramento State (28-24) Reynolds was 3-for-4 with a double and a 2-run homer high off the parking structure beyond the left field wall. Floyd hit his third home run of the season and junior Brandon Hunley had two hits as the Hornets scored three times in the ninth inning before the Tigers completed the win.
Pacific (21-28) hit three home runs in the game and scored seven times in the first three innings. Gio Brusa was 4-for-5 with two home runs and a double with four RBIs and three runs scored. Danny Mayer had two hits, including his 15th home run of the season, and two other Tigers had multi-hit games.
After Pacific scored twice in the first inning and five times in the top of the third, Floyd got the Hornets on the board in the bottom of the third inning with a long solo shot over the wall in right field. The long ball was Floyds second in the last four games.
The Tigers got one run back in the fourth but Hornet pitchers put up four straight scoreless frames after that. In the bottom of the seventh Sacramento State sophomore Andrew McWilliam led off the inning with a single off the third base bag before Reynolds hit his third homer of the season.
Brusa's second homer of the game gave Pacific a 9-3 lead going to the bottom of the ninth. With a man on first and two outs, junior Gunner Pollman singled to left, Hunley drove in a run with an infield single, and freshman James Outman brought in two runs with a pinch hit single to right. With the potential tying run on deck Pacific closer Vince Arobio came in and got a strikeout to end the Hornet rally.
Sophomore Austin Root pitched four innings in relief for the Hornets, allowing just three hits and one run, and junior Chad Perry set the Tigers down in order on just 10 pitches in the eighth. Hornet pitching did not issue a walk in the game and totaled five strikeouts.
Pacific starter Ricky Reynoso allowed three runs on six hits with seven strikeouts over seven innings. The Tigers had a 14-10 edge in hits with six extra-base hits in the game.
Sacramento State will play two more games under the lights this week at John Smith Field. Hosting WAC-leading Seattle U to close the regular season, the Hornets will play at 7 p.m. on Thursday and Friday night before the regular season finale at noon on Saturday.