SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – The Sacramento State baseball team took on the San Jose State Spartans Sunday morning at San Francisco's Benedetti Diamond in their third game in three days this weekend. Despite a late push to tie the game in the ninth inning, Sacramento State dropped their fourth straight 5-4 to the Spartans.
Trailing 5-4 in the top of the ninth, freshman catcher Dylan McPhillips led off the inning with a base hit to center field. He was replaced by the speedy Ian Dawkins, who promptly stole second base, putting himself in scoring position with nobody out.
Josh Urps moved Dawkins to third with a successful sacrifice bunt and Bronson Grubbs came to the plate looking to tie the game. After working the count to 1-2, Grubbs turned on an inside pitch, smoking a lined shot right at the San Jose shortstop. With little time to react, Dawkins was doubled off of third base, ending the Hornets' threat and the game.
Sacramento State spent most of the afternoon trailing, falling behind early as the Spartans took a 4-0 lead through two innings. Three of the runs came against freshman starter Scott Randall, who needed 33 pitches to get through just one inning. The fourth – an unearned run after a Steven Moretto throwing error - came in the second inning against Ty Fox.
The Hornets battled back though, rallying for four runs against San Jose State in the fourth inning to tie the game. Sacramento State loaded the bases before anyone made an out and scored their first run of the afternoon on Moretto base hit. PJ Floyd then walked, bringing home the second run, before McPhillips drove a run home with his second hit of the day. Moretto scored the fourth run as Urps grounded into a fielder's choice.
San Jose State countered almost immediately, scoring the game-winner in the fifth inning on a one-out base hit by Brett Bautista.
Despite starting the game on the bench, McPhillips led the team with a 3-for-4 performance and an RBI.
As a team, the Hornets drew seven walks after not walking once in either of their two games against San Francisco. Matt Smith, whose .375 on-base percentage is second on the club, drew three of those seven walks, while Vinny Esposito, who leads the team in free passes, drew two of his own.
Despite the four-run fourth-inning, Sacramento State still had just two hits in nine at bats with runners in scoring position in today's game. This continues an early-season trend that sees the team hitting .119 (8-for-67) with runners in scoring position through seven games.
It's a trend they will look to reserve starting this Tuesday as they head to Pacific for their third straight road game. First pitch at Pacific's Klein Family Field is set for 6:00 pm PT.