Baseball drops midweek game to No. 21 Cal

Marshall Hampson

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The Sacramento State baseball team lost to No. 21-ranked California 7-3 on Tuesday at Hornet Field.

The Golden Bears started putting runs on the board early in the top of the first inning. By the end of the third inning Cal was able to extend the lead to 5-0.

Devon Rodriguez, Chad Bunting, Danny Oh and Marcus Semien all provided runs for the Golden Bears.

First baseman Josh Powers said the team was not playing as well as it could have at the start.

“A lot of guys on our team weren’t focused from the beginning,” Powers said. “We came out a little bit flat, they put some runs up and we ended up battling back there towards the end. Everybody just seemed a little distracted today.”

The Hornets didn’t manage to score a run until Justin Mezzaneras hit a double in the fifth inning. Andrew Ayers got credited with the RBI, connecting with a single while Blake Miller brought Ayers in for the score.

Trevor Paine ended the inning with an RBI single to bring in Miller. The offense brought the Hornets back 5-3.

Toward the end of the game, the Hornets began dropping fly balls and letting ground balls get by them. Associate head coach Reggie Christiansen said errors cost the Hornets the game.

“It was one of those games where a midweek game, we play a top-25 opponent and our guys got up for it,” Christiansen said. “Defensively, we didn’t give ourselves a chance to get back in it. I think all in all, our guys came out and they competed. But I think we certainly expected more from ourselves.”

Cal ended up scoring a run in both the eighth and ninth innings to end the game. Paine said playing a top-25 team was not an easy task.

“They have really good pitchers and they have really good hitters,” Paine said. “You just got to go out there and hit and think that they’re nothing more than just another team on the schedule. We just weren’t able to do that today, but it wasn’t for lack of effort.”

The loss drops the Hornets to 16-25-1 on the season, while the Golden Bears improve to 27-15.

The Hornets return to action Friday at Louisiana Tech for a four-game Western Athletic Conference series.

Marshall Hampson can be reached at mhampson@statehornet.com