June 22, 2017

Bulldogs’ 5-run first inning puts Sac State away early

Sacramento State junior pitcher Michael Warning winds up to throw against Fresno State Wednesday at John Smith Field. (Photo by Max Jacobs)

The Sacramento State baseball team was shut out for the second time this season in a 9-0 loss to Fresno State Wednesday night at John Smith Field.

The Hornets, who fell 7-6 to rival UC Davis last night, gave up 14 hits to the Bulldogs, including a five-run rally in the first inning.

“The energy was better than expected, but when you give up five runs in the first (inning) it is deflating and hard to come back from,” Sac State coach Reggie Christiansen said. “These guys are resilient, and with a big weekend coming up, there’s a lot of reasons to get excited.”

The five-run rally in the first inning started with back-to-back doubles from senior third baseman Jesse Medrano and senior second baseman Scott Silva to get the first run on the scoreboard. A single from junior left fielder Jared Akins drove in Silva to push Fresno State’s lead to 2-0.

With two men on base, senior right fielder Jake Stone advanced to third base on a throwing error after his bunt attempt to extend the Bulldogs’ lead to 4-0. An RBI single by senior center fielder Ryan Dobson brought Stone to home plate to give Fresno State a 5-0 lead before the Hornets’ offense stepped into the batter’s box.

The Bulldogs forced Sac State (13-13, 2-4 Western Athletic Conference) senior pitcher Chad Perry out of the game after the first inning, but four pitchers out of the bullpen kept Fresno State off the scoreboard through the sixth inning. Senior pitcher Max Karnos, who threw two strikeouts and gave up no hits in the sixth inning, said he has felt positive about the direction of the bullpen this season.

“It’s our job to get the bats hot, and the best way to do that is to get out of the inning quickly,” Karnos said. “That helps our momentum.”

Fresno State got back on the scoreboard in the seventh inning after Silva laid down a bunt and scored junior shortstop Korby Batesole off of a throwing error by Sac State senior third baseman Brandon Hunley, advancing Silva to third base. Following the run, a sacrifice fly from Akins drove in Silva to score two more runs in the inning. A solo home run over the center field wall by Silva in the ninth inning then extended Bulldogs’ lead over Sac State, 9-0.

“We need to forget about today,” junior center fielder Ian Dawkins said. “We will get out there and focus on the next game.”

Sac State will next play Grand Canyon (12-16, 6-0 WAC) Friday at 6 p.m. at John Smith Field in game one of a three-game series.

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