Sac State baseball gets walk-off victory

Joe Fleming

The Sacramento State Hornet baseball team stung the Air Force Academy with a rally in the bottom of the ninth to win in walk-off fashion on Friday, with a final score of 2-1.

Senior Kirby Young led off the ninth with a single to right field, which ignited the Hornets’ bats that had been stagnate all game. Two doubles that rolled all the way to the left field fence from sophomore Andrew Ayers and sophomore Blake Miller proved to be all the runs the team needed to beat Air Force.

“I was looking to drive something the opposite way,” Miller said, who is a right-handed batter. “But he threw me something inside and I turned on. It felt great.”

Following the game-winning hit, the entire Hornet baseball team rushed the field to celebrate with Miller. Team members collectively felt the timely hit was much needed to turn the tide on a somewhat disappointing season so far.

“This is a great win,” Miller said. “We’re right there and I think this could guide us over the hump.”

The Hornets were battling at the plate all game against the ace of the Air Force pitching staff, Evan Abrecht, who was touching 90 mph on his fastball and used his off-speed pitches to sit down batter after batter. Sac State entered the ninth with no runs and only four hits, but the Hornets’ starting pitcher never doubted his teammates.

“It was awesome. I know they’re capable of it. They just had to put those hits together,” said senior starting pitcher and walk-on Karl Maas. “I think it will be huge for the upcoming games this weekend. It gives (us) confidence to hit and I think our pitchers are going to dominate again.”

Maas pitched the first complete game of his Sac State career allowing one run in the first inning and seven hits overall.

“(Maas) comes out and competes. He throws strikes and works for us,” Young said. “Right now he’s our main guy.”

Maas was appreciative of the confidence his teammates has in him.

“I trust (the defense). They’re behind me for a reason and they’ll make (the) plays,” Maas said. “I don’t know if I’m “the guy,’ but it’s nice to hear that from my teammates.”

Coach Reggie Christiansen said sharing the field with members of our armed forces is an honor.

“It’s pretty cool. It really gives you a different perspective,” Christiansen said. “Hopefully our players understand that someday those players are going to be fighting for our country.”

Sac State improved to 10-24 on the season and play again today at home against Air Force in a doubleheader starting at 11:30 a.m.

You can reach Joe Fleming at jfleming@statehornet.com