SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Sacramento State baseball team took the field Monday for the fourth and final game against the Washington Huskies this season with a chance to win the series. Instead, they came out on the wrong side of an 8-5 contest, splitting the four-game series with two wins apiece.
Sacramento State fell behind early as the Huskies struck for three runs in the top of the first inning.
"I think we got off to a tough start today, giving up those three in the first," said head coach Reggie Christiansen. "There was some bad luck there, too."
Freshman southpaw Brady Rodriguez, who made his Hornets debut on Opening Night, pitched just one inning for Sacramento State before giving way to another freshman Travis Martizia. Martizia tossed three innings, allowing one run on one hit and a walk with two strikeouts in his debut.
"I thought Travis came in, it was his first college appearance, and he did a good job keeping us in the ballgame," Christiansen said of the freshman after the game.
In total, Sacramento State used four different pitchers Monday afternoon and all four of them were true freshman. After Martizia, the Hornets turned to Dash Dunham and Stone Churby, both of whom also made their Sacramento State baseball debuts.
"We pitched four freshman today, and we started four freshman in the lineup, and I'm really proud of all of those guys," Christiansen added. "Especially in a position to play a school like Washington, from a Power 5 conference, and our guys weren't intimidated one bit."
Although the staff gave up eight runs on the afternoon, the Hornets offense didn't go quietly, putting up five runs of there own and created multiple chances for even more.
They did much of that by showing patience at the plate and taking advantage of Huskies mistakes. Sacramento State drew seven walks and had three runners reach on Washington errors.
"I thought our at bats continued to get better as the weekend went one," Christiansen noted after the game. "I think we have a chance to have a really special offense.
"Hitting with runners in scoring position wasn't where we would've liked it this weekend, but that's baseball and you have to give their guys credit."
In total, Sacramento State left 13 men on base in the loss. For the series, they were 5-for-25 with runners in scoring position.
James Outman continued to be a bright spot in the offense, wrapping up the four-game series with a 1-for-3 game in which he drew two walks and reach base three times. Through four games this season, he leads the team with a .400 average.
The 4-5-6 hitters for Sacramento State provided most of the damage today and throughout the series. In today's game, Vinny Esposito, PJ Floyd, and Steven Moretto combined to go 4-for-11 with two doubles, a triple, five runs scored, and three RBI.
Ultimately, Sacramento State splits the four-game season-opening series against Washington. The split marks the fifth consecutive season in which the Hornets have either won or split a season-opening series against a Power 5 Conference team.
"This is the fifth year we've won or split against a Power 5 conference and I'm really proud of that," noted Christiansen. "It could've been easy for our guys to walk in here today and feel content with winning two out of three but our guys got after it today."
Sacramento State takes the field again this Friday as they host San Francisco at John Smith Field on Friday, Feb. 23. First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 pm PT.