Baseball blows out Texas-Pan American 10-2 to complete sweep


Sacramento State baseball’s infielders celebrate after getting the win against the University of Texas-Pan American on Sunday, March 22, 2015 at John Smith Field. The Hornets are now 3-0 in conference play.

State Hornet Staff

Sacramento Sate baseball began conference play with a sweep, beating the University of Texas-Pan American in the last game of the series today with a 10-2 blowout.

The Hornets raced out to a 5-1 lead in the first inning behind a two-run blast from Devin Lehman, who would stay hot at the plate throughout the game.

“I’ve just been trying to follow the approach the best I can,” said Lehman, speaking of his at-bats. “I put the best swing I can on each and every pitch.”

Lehman was a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate with a home run, three RBIs and a walk. Sac State combined for nine hits, pushing 10 runs across in the final game of the series.

“Today we kind of jelled a little bit as team,” Lehman said. “It was good to see all around that we are strong as a team.”

The team could not have asked for a better start in league play with their perfect, three-game opening series, and for a team who has suffered some tough losses, it was good to have everything come together.

“Our team is extremely talented,” said Sac State starter Justin Dillon. “Things haven’t really been going our way, but things are starting to click for us.”

Dillon threw four innings, giving up only one earned run and striking out two batters. Although he began the year as the team’s closer, Dillon has recently had more starting appearances.

“It’s been more comfortable,” Dillon said. “It wasn’t clicking right, so they moved me back, and I’m getting comfortable again.”

Ty Nichols has seen his role transform as well, getting more work in long relief in recent series. Nichols pitched three shutout innings, striking out three, and was the game’s winning pitcher.

“It’s a little bit easier to get going quickly; you get to throw a little bit harder,” said Nichols of relieving. “It’s a fun new opportunity.”

Although the Hornets jumped off to an early four-run lead, the team did not lose focus, and added valuable insurance runs late in the game.

“We found a way to add runs in the seventh, eighth, and ninth, and that’s huge for us going down the stretch,” Nichols said.

Austin Ragsdale and Tyler Beardsley pitched the final two innings, giving up a combined three hits, but no runs scored.

Ryan Jackson, the starter for Texas-Pan American, threw six innings, allowing five earned runs, and received his second loss on the year. Right fielder Correy Davis had three hits on the day, but no one was in scoring position to be driven in.

Young Hornets fans had the opportunity to run the bases and through a tunnel down the third base line created by the players following the day’s win.

“It reminds you to have fun,” Nichols said. “It’s still just a game, sometimes we take it too seriously.”

Players and fans alike enjoyed the opening conference series, with one fan waving a broom to symbolize the team’s sweep.

The Hornets will look to continue their winning streak at the University of Nevada, Reno at 4 p.m. on March 24 in a single-game matchup.