Sports / Baseball
Coming off of a 15-inning win against UT Rio Grande Valley on Sunday, the Sacramento State baseball team walked off in the bottom of the 11th inning on a two-out single by Gunner Pollman to win a non-conference game against Fresno State 5-4 Wednesday night in Sacramento.
Sac State (25-15) starting pitcher Tanner Olson had a brilliant midweek start, going six innings while giving up only four hits with no strikeouts and no walks. Out of the four hits given up by Olson, only one of them was an extra-base hit, which was just a double. Jonny Palsha pitched in relief of Olson and gave up four earned runs on four hits while striking out two and giving up a walk. Chad Perry relieved Palsha and pitched two strong innings, giving up no runs on just two hits with a strikeout. Austin Ragsdale earned the win with one hitless and scoreless inning pitched.
The first six innings between Fresno State and Sac State were a pitchers duel between Olson and Fresno State’s trio of Edgar Gonzalez, Brennon Williams and Tim Borst, as no runs were scored in the first six innings.
Sac State got the first run of the game across in the bottom of the seventh inning. Pollman led the inning off with a two-strike single up the middle, and Vinny Esposito followed with a first-pitch single to center field to put runners on first and second base with no outs. Brandon Hunley reached base safely on a fielding error by the third baseman to load the bases with no outs. Dan Deely hit the ball right back to the pitcher who threw to third for the first out of the inning, scoring Pollman on an RBI fielder’s choice. Fresno pitcher Dylan Lee struck out the next two batters to minimize the damage.
The next half inning, Fresno State (26-16) exploded for four runs. Korby Batesole led the inning off with a walk. Nick Warren executed a sacrifice bunt to move the runner into scoring position with just one out. Zach Ashford capitalized with an RBI single to right center field to score Batesole.
Ryan Dobson bunted for a single to put runners on first and second with just one out. Kevin Viers hit an RBI double down the right field line past Esposito on a bad hop. Jake Stone executed the third bunt and second sacrifice bunt of the inning to score Dobson and advance Viers to third base. Viers scored during the next at bat on a wild pitch, giving Fresno State a 4-1 lead.
Sac State shrank the Fresno State lead by one in the bottom half of the eighth. Matt Smith was the first runner aboard of the inning on a fielding error by the shortstop. Trent Goodrich hit a double down the left field line and advanced Smith to third base with one out. Pollman hit a sacrifice fly ball to left field, scoring Smith.
Sac State tied the game in the bottom of the ninth inning on a huge hit by Smith. Chris Lewis started the rally off with a one-out single to third base. Bronson Grubbs followed with a walk. Andrew McWilliam grounded out to second base and advanced runners to second and third with two outs. Smith came up big with a two-out, two-run single through the left side of the infield to tie the game at four runs apiece.
The Hornets ended the game with a walk-off single by Pollman in the bottom of the 11th inning. Lewis led the inning off with a first-pitch single to right field. Grubbs followed with a sacrifice bunt to advance Lewis to second base. Andrew McWilliam reached base safely on a fielder’s choice to shortstop that advanced Lewis to third base.
Goodrich was then intentionally walked, which put Pollman in the hot seat. Pollman converted the run with an RBI single to walk the Hornets off the field with their heads held high and arms in the air.
Sac State will face off against New Mexico State this weekend in a three-game series at Presley Askew Field in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Game one starts at 6 p.m. on Friday. New Mexico is currently in third place in the Western Athletic Conference with a record of 10-5, while Sac State is tied for first with Seattle University at 12-3.