MESA, Ariz. - Four Sacramento State baseball players were named to the all-Western Athletic Conference first and second teams, the league announced Tuesday.
2019 marks the seventh time in the last eight seasons that Sacramento State has had multiple players selected to the all-conference first team. It is also the seventh time in the last eight seasons in which the team had at least four players named all-conference overall.
The WAC selects just two teams - a first and a second team - made up of 14 players each. The league also selects four individual awards. The full list of all-WAC selections can be found online at WACSports.com.
A junior outfielder out of Placerville, Calif., Matt Smith led Sacramento State in batting, hitting .319 in 47 games (47 starts) to go with a team-leading .476 slugging percentage. He hit four home runs, four triples, and nine doubles and drove in 32. He also led the team in hits (59) and runs scored (37). Smith put together a season-best 14-game hit streak for the Hornets from March 29 through April 20.
Smith was named the WAC's Hitter of the Week for the week of April 1 - 7. During that four-game stretch, Smith hit. 643 with a .737 OBP and a 1.286 slugging percentage. He was 8-for-10 in a weekend sweep of CSU Bakersfield.
In WAC-only play, Smith was tops in the conference, hitting .436 in 25 games. HE also ranked among the top five in the league in on-base percentage (.500, 5th), slugging percentage (.693, 5th), hits (44, 3rd), and total bases (70, 4th).
The first team selection is the first of Smith's career and his second overall. Smith was named to the WAC's second team in 2018.
A sophomore catcher from Novato, Calif., Dawsen Bacho led the Hornets with 45 runs driven in over the course of the season. That number, a career-high for Bacho, was also tied for 10th most in the WAC. He set a new career best when he drove in five runs in Sacramento State's wild 21-10 win at Cal Baptist earlier this year.
After missing last season as a redshirt, Bacho finished second on the squad in batting (.270), runs scored (36), hits (54), total bases (84), and walks (30). Bacho also hit five home runs this season, another career-high and third most on the team. Among those was Sacramento State's only grand slam of the season, a go-ahead blast that proved the difference in the Hornets' 5-4 win at Utah Valley.
Bacho also delivered in the clutch all season for Sacramento State, hitting a team-best .361 with runners in scoring position. He also had three walk-off hits this season.
In WAC-only play, Bacho's 38 RBIs were third most in the league. He also led the conference with five sacrifice flies against WAC opponents.
The first team selection is Bacho's first career all-conference selection.
A senior reliever and native of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, Tanner Dalton anchored the Hornets bullpen in 2019, piling up six saves to go with a 4-2 overall record and a team-leading 2.05 ERA. Dalton held opposing hitters to just a .176 batting average. Dalton's 44.0 innings were most among true relievers on the team (no starts) while his 11.1 K/9 was third highest on the staff.
Dalton's six saves this season were tied for third most in the WAC while his 25 appearances were tied for sixth most. The senior closer finished 21 games for the Hornets this season, tied for most in the league. His 2.05 ERA was third lowest among WAC relievers with at least 40.0 innings of work.
Like Smith, Dalton was named the WAC's Pitcher of the Week for the week of April 1 - 7. Dalton appeared in all four of Sacramento State's games that week. He directly impacted all three games against CSU Bakersfield, going 2-0 with a save in the three-game sweep.
The second team selection is the first career WAC recognition for Dalton.
A sophomore pitcher from Rocklin, Calif., Scott Randall was the Hornets' most consistent starting pitcher all season, making a team and a WAC-leading 14 starts in 2019. His 2.40 ERA was best among Hornets pitchers with 45.0 or more innings and ranked third in the WAC. He compiled a 7-1 record in those 14 starts and threw 82.1 innings, most on the team and fifth most in the league.
The right-hander also ranked among the WAC's top 10 in opposing batting average (.223, 6th), strikeouts (72, 10th), strikeouts looking (28, 2nd), wins (7, T-5th), and more.
Randall threw a complete game shutout on the road at Cal Baptist, the only complete game performance of the year for the Hornets and just one of six shutouts in the league all season. He needed just 99 pitches and one hour and 57 minutes to shut out the Lancers in a 1-0 Hornets win.
The second team selection is the first career WAC recognition for Randall. He was named a Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-American in 2018.
Up next for Sacramento State and the WAC is the 2019 WAC Tournament, which begins Wednesday, May 22nd at Hohokam Stadium in Mesa, Arizona. Everything you need to know about following the action cane be found online at HornetSports.com.