SACRAMENTO, Calif. – For the first time this season, Sacramento State (31-21, 16-8 WAC) dropped a midweek game at home, falling to the visiting Saint Mary's Gaels (31-19, 15-9 WCC), 6-3 Tuesday night at John Smith Field.
Tuesday night's game was Sacramento State's final non-conference contest of the season. With the loss, the Hornets fall to 31-21 overall while remaining 16-8 in the Western Athletic Conference. Saint Mary's improves to 31-19 while their 15-9 WCC record remains the same.
Coming into Tuesday, Sacramento State was a perfect 4-0 in midweek games at home this season with wins over Cal, UC Davis, San Jose State, and Nevada. That streak came to an end against Saint Mary's, despite some late Hornet offense.
Sacramento State scored three times in the sixth, turning a 5-0 deficit into a 5-3 deficit and bringing the dugout and the stands to life. Despite the late spark, the Hornets were unable to climb any closer before falling, 6-3.
Steven Moretto drove in Dawsen Bacho with an RBI double to start the scoring in the sixth. With two outs, the Hornets caught a break as Ryan Walstad's grounder skipped under the glove of the Saint Mary's first basemen, allowing Moretto to score and Walstad to take second.
The very next batter was Michael Birch, who lined a 2-0 pitch up the middle to plate Walstad and bring the Hornets within two.
Birch, who started Tuesday night's game – just his second start of the season – went 2-for-3 with an RBI. His two hits were most on the team.
On the mound, Sacramento State used seven different pitchers. Although he took the loss, starter Even Gibbons threw three innings for the Hornets, the longest outing of his young career, while also striking out four.
Brady Rodriguez made his team- and WAC-leading 27th appearance while Stone Churby made his 25th. The bullpen danced around danger all night, putting runners on and then escaping tight jams. Sacramento State pitched out of bases-loaded situations in each of the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth innings while allowing just two runs in those four frames.
Conference play resumes for the Hornets in just two days as Sacramento State welcomes Grand Canyon to John Smith Field on Thursday, May 16. The three-game conference series is incredibly important for both teams as both the Hornets and Lopes have a shot at the regular season conference title.
It's not just the Hornets and Lopes playing a meaningful finale series, as five teams still have a chance at the conference title and two others are fighting for a spot in the WAC tournament. It all comes down to the final weekend in the WAC.
All three of Sacramento State's games against Grand Canyon will stream live online on both the WAC Digital Network and on HornetSports.com/Radio. First pitch for Thursday's series opener is set for 7 pm PT.
For more details on Thursday's game, including links to both radio and video broadcasts and live stats, be sure to visit the 2019 Sacramento State baseball homepage online at HornetSports.com.