June 22, 2017

Offensive explosion leads Sac State baseball team over Dons 9-5

Sacramento State freshman Dawsen Bacho celebrates hitting a home run with freshman Ricky Martinez against San Francisco Monday at John Smith Field. (Photo by Max Jacobs)

The Sacramento State baseball team put together three home runs and 15 hits en route to a 9-5 win over the San Francisco Dons Monday at John Smith Field.

The Hornets — who only took one game of the three-game series against New Mexico State over the weekend — rallied to beat the Dons in a back-and-forth contest after scoring more than four runs for the first time since their 7-1 victory over Grand Canyon April 8.

Sac State (18-18, 4-8 Western Athletic Conference) coach Reggie Christiansen credited the team for stepping up at the plate two days after a 5-2 loss.

“Our guys answered the challenge,” Christiansen said of the hitting, which he was critical of after Saturday’s matchup. “Our offense wasn’t going very good and we needed to swing the bat well. Our guys showed up tonight — it was fun to watch.”

San Francisco (18-19, 5-10 West Coast Conference) took a 1-0 lead in the third inning off an RBI single from senior left fielder Matt Sinatro.

The Dons’ lead did not last long as Sac State freshman catcher Dawsen Bacho — who went 2-for-4 with two RBIs on the night — and junior first baseman Vinny Esposito both hit two-run home runs to get the Hornets in front 4-1 in the bottom of the third inning.

In the top of the fourth inning, San Francisco strung together three straight hits, including a two-RBI double from sophomore designated hitter Riley Helland to cut the Sac State’s lead to one run. Later in the inning, a base hit RBI from freshman center fielder Tyler Villaroman tied the game 4-4.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, senior designated hitter Kody Reynolds hit a solo home run to regain the Hornets’ lead at 5-4. This is was the third home run of the evening for Sac State, the most at home this season.

San Francisco evened the score at 5-5 in the top of the seventh inning with a sacrifice fly off the bat of junior second baseman Michael Perri.

With runners at first and third, a base hit RBI from Esposito got the Hornets in front. After Esposito was driven home by junior left fielder Andrew McWilliam, junior second baseman PJ Floyd cleared the bases with a two-RBI double to bring the score to the eventual final score 9-5.

Esposito — who was brought up to the plate following an intentional walk to sophomore right fielder James Outman — said he didn’t take the decision personal.

“It’s just strategic baseball,” Esposito said. “It does feel good to get an RBI, but it was just their strategy.”

Ty Fox (2-0, 4.56 ERA) got the win for the Hornets out of the bullpen in the seventh inning. He gave up one run in one inning pitched on one hit, striking out one batter.

Sac State will next play on the road Tuesday against San Francisco and will return to John Smith Field April 28 for a three-game series against CSU Bakersfield.

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