Sac State baseball team ousted 4-3 by Washington State

Sacramento+State+senior+infielder+Brandon+Hunley+swings+and+makes+contact+for+a+base+hit+against+Washington+State+Saturday+at+John+Smith+Field.+%28Photo+by+Matthew+Dyer%29

Matthew Dyer

Sacramento State senior infielder Brandon Hunley swings and makes contact for a base hit against Washington State Saturday at John Smith Field. (Photo by Matthew Dyer)

Max Jacobs

The Sacramento State baseball team failed to string three consecutive victories together Sunday afternoon, losing against Washington State 4-3 in its first game back after sweeping Saturday’s doubleheader.

The series, which has been plagued with rain since Friday’s postponed game, continued to be hit with light showers Sunday at John Smith Field. Despite the minimal showers, the game continued with no delay.

The matchup marked the collegiate debut for right-handed freshman pitcher Parker Brahms. Brahms stayed on the mound for six innings, striking out three batters and only allowing one run on four hits while light rain persisted.

“It didn’t affect me,” Brahms said. “With a couple of pitches the ball slipped — especially on the curveballs it slipped off — but other than that it had no affect on my pitches.”

Regarding Brahms’ performance, Sac State coach Reggie Christiansen expected a quality showing from the new addition to the team’s rotation.

“You never know until you get the chance to play someone else, but (Brahms) threw really well in the fall,” Christiansen said. “We expected him to go out there and compete.”

The first run of the game came as the result of a line-drive RBI single in the third inning from Washington State junior right fielder J.J. Hancock. This marked the third consecutive contest where the Cougars scored the first run of the ballgame.

Sac State responded in the fifth inning with a two-RBI double courtesy of sophomore second baseman Devin Lehman, driving in junior catcher Raul Ortiz and freshman shortstop Ricky Martinez to take a 2-1 lead. Lehman finished 2-for-4 with 2 RBIs total.

Martinez pushed the lead to 3-1 after a series of errors moved sophomore right fielder James Outman to third base, and Martinez was able to get Outman home with a sacrifice fly.

However, Washington State’s sophomore left fielder Justin Harrer narrowed the lead to 3-2 following an RBI single with one out in the eighth inning. Sophomore catcher Cory Meyer then crushed a two-run home run over the wall in left field to take a 4-3 lead over the Hornets.

Despite junior relief pitchers Austin Ragsdale and Ryan Smith holding Washington State scoreless following the home run in the eighth inning, Sac State was unable to recover, being held to a 4-3 deficit.

This marks the Hornets first loss of the 2017 season. Washington State freshman reliever Isaac Mullins received credit for the win, despite only facing a single batter.

“I definitely think our pitching staff looked good,” senior designated hitter Kody Reynolds said. “I’m excited to keep going and see where the journey takes us with this team.”

Sac State is scheduled to face Washington State in the final game of the four-game series at John Smith Field Monday at 6 p.m. However, with weather forecasts of heavy rain on Monday, there is a possibility that the game may be postponed.