Hornets blow late lead in loss to Grand Canyon

State Hornet Staff

Sacramento State’s baseball team dropped its first conference game of the season Friday as it fell to Grand Canyon University in Phoenix.

After giving up a walk-off home run in a 14-inning marathon against the University of the Pacific on Tuesday, the Hornets (20-13, 9-1) lost via a walk-off single to the Antelopes (17-14, 7-3) in a 3-2 loss.

Despite the defeat, Sac State remains two games ahead of Grand Canyon for first place in the Western Athletic Conference standings.

The game was scoreless until the fourth inning when Hornets senior third baseman, Will Soto, lifted a sacrifice fly to right field to score senior center fielder David Del Grande.

The Antelopes would tie things up in the bottom of the seventh when junior catcher Humberto Aranda hit a solo home run off Hornets junior starting pitcher, Brennan Leitao.

It was the only earned run surrendered by Leitao, who lasted seven innings while giving up five hits and striking out five.

Sac State regained the lead in the top of the eighth, when junior first baseman Rhys Hoskins doubled home Del Grande to give the Hornets a 2-1 lead.

Activity was quiet until the bottom of the ninth when the Hornets called upon sophomore closer Sutter McLoughlin (2-1) to help close out the win. McLoughlin struggled with his control early on as he gave up a single and back-to-back walks, loading the bases with nobody out.

Grand Canyon tied the game at two when McLoughlin gave up his third walk of the inning. One batter later, senior Michael Pomeroy delivered the winning run as he knocked a single to left field.

Grand Canyon starting pitcher, Coley Bruns was left with the no-decision as he pitched six shutout innings, allowing six hits and three walks while striking out seven.

With game one of the series behind them, the Hornets will look to rebound Saturday afternoon against the Antelopes. First pitch will be at 1:30 p.m.