STANFORD, Calif. – Sacramento State saw its 2017 season come to a close with a 6-1 loss to BYU in an elimination game on Friday at the Stanford NCAA Regional.
"The last three and a half weeks was a pretty magical run for our guys," said head coach Reggie Christiansen, whose team won eight straight games and won the WAC Tournament to earn the bid to the NCAA Regionals. "We were in a position where we were fighting just to make the conference tournament and these guys put us in a position to get here. It's obviously disappointing how we ended the season (in the regional) but I think we'll be better for it as a program.
"These guys have done a lot the last seven months and this was the goal, to make the NCAA Tournament. We look forward to getting back to it soon."
After a loss to Stanford on Thursday, Sacramento State (32-29), the No. 4 seed in the regional, created several scoring chances on Friday but scored just once in the first inning. Third-seeded BYU (38-20), which lost 13-2 to Cal State Fullerton on Thursday, kept its season alive and will play in another elimination game on Saturday at 1 p.m. against the loser of the winner's bracket game Friday evening.
Hornet freshman Parker Brahms pitched well over five innings in his first NCAA Regional appearance but took the loss. BYU scored three times on three hits and a hit batter in the third inning but had just one other baserunner in Brahms' four other innings. The WAC Freshman of the Year allowed just three hits and one walk with four strikeouts.
BYU starter Hayden Rogers allowed just one run over 6.1 innings, permitting three hits and three walks with eight strikeouts. The Hornets jumped on Rogers early as Ian Dawkins had a leadoff single in the bottom of the first and moved to second on a groundout. With two away James Outman lined a ball to the opposite field and left fielder Brennon Anderson slipped as he tried to make the catch and the ball got over his head for an RBI double.
Brahms set down the Cougars in order in the first and second innings, but Colton Shaver was hit by a pitch to open the third. Brahms got the next batter to pop out but Brian Hsu singled, Anderson drove in Shaver with a double, and Daniel Schneemann hit a sacrifice fly. BYU added a third run in the inning on an RBI single from Tanner Chauncey.
The Hornets got a single from Ricky Martinez to open the home half of third and he reached second on a wild pitch but was stranded there. Brahms allowed just one more baserunner through the fifth inning but in the sixth the Cougars loaded the bases with none out behind two singles and a Hornet fielding error. Bronson Larsen drove in one run with a single but Austin Root got a fielder's choice groundout and a double play ball to get out of the inning with the deficit at just 4-1.
Sacramento State got two aboard with one away in the bottom of the sixth but BYU got a double play of its own. In the seventh the Cougars added on as Anderson was hit by a pitch, Schneeman singled, and Chauncey brought them both in with a double.
The Hornets threatened again in the bottom of the seventh loading the bases on a single and two walks but again couldn't bring a run in. Freshman Austin Roberts threw two scoreless innings to keep the game at 6-1 but Sacramento State did not get another base runner.
Chauncey finished 3-for-5 with 3 RBIs and Schneeman had two hits. The Cougars outhit the Hornets 9-4 while both teams had one error. Sacramento State left seven runners on base while BYU stranded six.
Dawkins ended the year reaching base in each of the last 24 games of the season and tied the program record with 28 multi-hit games. He had 89 hits in his first season as a Hornet, the fourth most hits in a season in program history, while hitting .340 with a team-high 15 stolen bases.
Martinez hit 3-for-5 (.600) with a double and a .667 on-base percentage in two games in the Regional after going 2-for-3 against Stanford on Thursday. As a team the Hornet pitching staff ended the year with a new Div. I record of 412 strikeouts, finishing the season just 11 strikeouts shy of the overall program record of 423 set in 1988. Hornet pitchers had 412 strikeouts while issuing just 182 walks.
Sacramento State recorded its sixth consecutive 30-win season in 2017 with a winning record for the sixth consecutive year after reaching the NCAA Regionals for the second time in the last four years.