Hornets take care of business in Texas

Jerod Moreno

The Sacramento State baseball team attempted to get a doubleheader in on Saturday before the rain hit Edinburg, Texas. However, the second game of the doubleheader was postponed in the bottom of the 13 inning due to rain at the most climactic time possible. The game finished up on Sunday in 15 innings, giving Sac State wins in the last two games of the series.

Game Two (of series)

Sac State baseball had three multi-run innings, including a five-run second inning, to take down UT Rio Grande Valley 12-3 to even up the three-game series.

Sac State starting pitcher Max Karnos threw seven innings and gave up three runs, although only one of those runs was earned. Karnos allowed nine hits while recording two strikeouts and just one walk. Karnos’s record improved to 4-2 on the season. Jonny Palsha pitched two scoreless innings of relief to close the game out.

Sac State started off the game with a run in the top of the first with a little help from UT Rio Grande Valley. Andrew McWilliam hit a two-out single to right field. Matt Smith followed with a hit to right field in which the fielder misplayed and allowed McWilliam to score all the way from first base.

UT Rio Grande Valley answered back by scoring two runs with a little help from Sac State in return. Jose Garcia reached aboard safely on an error to shortstop. The very next batter, Scott Mercer, reached base safely on an error by the second baseman. Joseph Collazo advanced the runners to second and third on a groundout to second base. Victor Garcia Jr. capitalized on the Hornets’ mistakes and hit a two RBI single up the middle to take a 2-1 lead after the first inning.

Sac State scored in a big way in the second inning. The Hornets posted five runs on five hits and an error. The first three hitters of the inning got on base safely: Brandon Hunley with a single through the left side of the infield, Vinny Esposito with a single to center field and Dan Deely on an error committed by UT Rio Grande Valley’s starting pitcher. This loaded the bases with no outs.

Chris Lewis drove in the first run of the inning with a sacrifice fly ball to center field. Bronson Grubbs hit a single to right center field to reload the bases. McWilliam followed with a two-RBI double down the left field line, which still left two runners in scoring position for Smith. Smith dealt the final damage of the inning with a two RBI single to right center field to give Sac State the lead, 6-2.

Sac State scored two more runs in the fourth inning and three more in the seventh.

The Hornets combined for 17 hits in this nine-inning game, which was their best hitting performance of the 2016 season.

The Sac State offense was alive and well in game two as six hitters had multi-hit days. The attack was led by Lewis who went three-for-four with a double, three RBIs and a run scored. Esposito also had a three-hit day with two doubles, an RBI and two runs scored. Hunley, McWilliam, Grubbs and Trent Goodrich each had two hits on the day.

Game Three

Sac State won late in a 15-inning game, 5-3, to take the series win against UT Rio Grande Valley.

Sac State starting pitcher Grant Kukuk threw six complete innings while giving up two runs on seven hits with two strikeouts and a walk. Tyler Beardsley also added five innings of relief in the fifteen-inning game, allowing no runs on four hits with two walks. Tanner Olson closed the game out with scoreless innings while only allowing two hits.

Sac State took an early 2-0 lead in the second inning. Goodrich led off with a first-pitch drag bunt single. Josh Egan followed up with a four-pitch walk to put runners on first and second. Hunley hit a single to load the bases for Deely, who hit a two RBI single to left field.

UT Rio Grande Valley answered with a run of its own in the bottom half of the second inning. Jacob Huckabay belted a one-out double down the left field line and scored on a single by Austin Oakes.

UT Rio Grande Valley tied the ball game up in the sixth inning. After two quick outs by the Hornets, Kukuk gave up a walk which was followed with a single by Correy Davis to place runners on first and second base. Oakes took advantage of the situation and hit a RBI single to left field, which ultimately took the game into extra innings.

After six innings of no scoring, both teams decided to put up a run in the 13th inning, which extended the game into even more extra innings.

UT Rio Grande Valley gave up an unearned run to give Sac State the lead in the top of the 13th inning. Goodrich led the inning off with a walk and advanced to second base on a passed ball during the next hitter’s at bat. Egan advanced Goodrich to third base on a ground ball back to the pitcher. Vinny Esposito came up big with a clutch two-strike single up the middle to score the go ahead run.

UT Rio Grande Valley also scored in the 13th to extend the game. Huckabay led the inning off with a four-pitch walk. Cole Loncar hit a single to right field which advanced Huckabay to third base. Davis drew a walk to load the bases with no outs. Oakes hit an RBI single up the middle to tie the game up at 3-3. Olson entered the game and recorded three straight outs with the bases loaded to keep the game going.

The ace starting pitcher for Sac State pinch hit in the top of the 15th inning and singled on the first pitch through the left side of the infield. Goodrich followed with a hit to third baseman. The third baseman committed an error, which allowed Long to score from first and Goodrich to end up on third with no outs. Gunner Pollman followed with a single to left field which scored Goodrich to give them a two run cushion heading into the bottom of the 15th inning.

Olson gave up just one hit in the 15th inning to close the game out and give the Hornets the series win.

Sac State will take on Fresno State on Wednesday, April 27 at Raley Field, home of the Giants’ affiliated Triple-A team, the River Cats, in a non-conference game in Sacramento.