UPDATE: Sacramento State and Grand Canyon will play a doubleheader tomorrow at 2 pm PT at John Smith Field.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sacramento State (31-22, 16-9 WAC) went to extra innings for just the third time this season on Thursday night, before falling to the visiting Grand Canyon Antelopes (33-20, 18-7 WAC) by a final score of 5-2 in 10 innings.
The loss drops Sacramento State to 31-22 overall and to 16-9 in league play. Grand Canyon improves to 33-20 overall while climbing to 18-7 in the WAC.
With just two games left in the regular season, the Hornets now sit two full games out of first place and one back of UTRGV. Grand Canyon, New Mexico State, and Cal Baptist are in a three-way tie at the top of the conference.
The extra-inning loss on Thursday was the first of the year for the Hornets, who had been 2-0 in their previous two extra-inning affairs, both at home.
Austin Roberts wasn't as sharp as Hornets fans have come to expect on Thursday as he walked a season-high seven batters, including two intentional walks.
Despite that, the junior righthander put together an incredible gutsy outing, pitching around the walks and five hits to hold Grand Canyon to just one run over seven innings. Roberts struck out seven and threw a career-high 124 pitches (63 strikes). He ended his night by striking out the side in the seventh inning, stranding two Lopes runners, and preserving his team's 2-1 lead.
GOT 'EM! Austin Roberts strikes out the side to end the GCU threat in the seventh, Hornets still up by one. Seventh strikeout of the night for Roberts. #StingersUp— Sac State Baseball (@SacStBaseball) May 17, 2019
B7 | SAC 2, GCU 1 pic.twitter.com/qov1d68ozX
With the Hornets staff shorthanded this weekend, senior closer Tanner Dalton was called on in the eighth to lock down the six-out save. After striking out the first two batters he faced, GCU's Preston Pavlica homered to straight away left field. Left fielder Matt Smith made an impressive leap, but came up just inches shy of robbing the home run as he slammed into the wall.
The home run was just the first allowed by Dalton all season. Dalton ended up throwing three innings for the Hornets while allowing four runs, three of them earned. He struck out seven in those three innings while throwing 61 pitches. The 61 pitches were second most in an outing this year and his most since throwing 65 back on March 3. He was charged with the loss, his second this season.
Sacramento State had just four hits in the game, all against starter Piersen Ohl. The big hit of the night came off the bat of Dylan McPhillips, who lined a two-out, two-run single into left field to give the Hornets a 2-1 lead in the fourth inning.
With the loss, Sacramento State's shot at a regular season WAC title was dashed. The Hornets are two games back of New Mexico State, who holds the tiebreaker over the Hornets, with just two games remaining. While the No. 1 seed is no longer an option, the No. 2 seed is still very much alive for the Hornets as they head into tomorrow's doubleheader.
With heavy rains expected on Saturday, Sacramento State and Grand Canyon will play a doubleheader tomorrow at 2 pm.
The Hornets have had success in doubleheaders this season, sweeping three of their five while splitting the remaining two.
Tomorrow, Friday, May 17, is also Sacramento State's senior day celebration. The Hornets will recognize their two graduating seniors - Bronson Grubbs and Tanner Dalton - in between tomorrow's two games.
Again, Sacramento State will play a doubleheader tomorrow against the Grand Canyon Lopes with first pitch scheduled for 2 p.m. PT. Both games - and the senior day celebration - will stream live online on the WAC Digital Network. The game will also broadcast online at HornetSports.com/Radio.
For more details on tomorrow's, 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.