SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Trailing 1-0 in the home half of the seventh inning, Sacramento State's Martin Vincelli-Simard launched his first career home run out to left field, sparking the Hornets to five runs in two innings and a 5-2 win over the Pacific Tigers Saturday night at John Smith Field.
Sacramento State pulled to .500 with the win and is now 3-3. The loss was the first of the year for Pacific, now 6-1, which is off to its best start in program history.
Vincelli-Simard's seventh-inning blast came on the first pitch of the inning and turned a 1-0 Hornets deficit into a 1-1 ballgame while also chasing Pacific's starter, Ryan Shreve, from the ball game.
"It's a great feeling," said Vincelli-Simard of his first career home run. "The pitcher threw me a lot of curveballs in previous at bats so I went up there with a new plan and it was a good one."
Following the home run, the Hornets were able to manufacture the go-ahead run thanks to some help from the Tigers' bullpen. Dawsen Bacho followed Vincelli-Simard with a base hit and later advanced on the first wild pitch of the inning. After an infield single by Trevor Doyle put runners at the corners, Bacho scored on the second wild pitch of the frame, giving the Hornets a 2-1 lead.
"The guys kept fighting," head coach Reggie Christiansen said after the game. "A big home run by Simard, that certainly got us going a little bit."
The team continued to take advantage of a wild Tigers bullpen in the bottom of the eighth inning, scoring three more runs with the benefit of just one hit.
Keith Torres walked and Steven Moretto was hit by a pitch to put two on with one out. Both advanced after a bit of luck on a double-steal play, and it was Vincelli-Simard who delivered the big hit again, scoring both with a two-run single into right field.
"The home run, it does build confidence for that later at bat," added Vincelli-Simard. "But really, I'm not even in that situation if Keith and Mo don't get on."
Aaron Ziedman pinch ran for Vincelli-Simard and immediately stole second, before advancing to third and then scoring on two more wild pitches by the Pacific bullpen, making it a 5-1 game.
Vincelli-Simard finished the night 2-for-4 with three RBIs and a home run to lead the Hornets offense.
As a team, Sacramento State stole six bases and took advantage of four Tigers wild pitches and two hit batters.
On the mound, Scott Randall picked up the win, his first of the season, after throwing seven innings of one-run ball for the Hornets. Randall allowed just three hits and one walk while striking out seven.
"I was really just trying to get ahead of hitters early and trying to get them to make weak contact," the sophomore starter said after the game.
Randall noted that the Tigers started to square him up a bit in the middle innings, going so far as scoring a run in the fourth, but after changing up his approach, threw another three scoreless innings after that.
"Scott was outstanding," Christiansen said of his second-year starter. "Especially after the last couple of days, we needed a quality start out of him and he didn't disappoint.
"He's just always competitive. He even fought me a little bit, wanted to go back out their for the eighth."
Instead, it was Travis Martizia who got the eighth and ninth innings for the Hornets. Although he allowed a ninth-inning run to the Tigers, Martizia picked up his first save of the season as Sacramento State won, 5-2.
This four-game set against Pacific comes to a conclusion with the series finale tomorrow afternoon at John Smith Field. First pitch is scheduled for 2:00 pm and the game will broadcast live online on both the WAC Digital Network and HornetSports.com/Radio.
For more information on video and audio streams, live stats, tickets, and more, be sure to visit the 2019 Sacramento State Baseball Schedule at HornetSports.com.