Baseball team sweeps season series against UC Davis after 5-2 win


Alex Daniels - The State Hornet

The Sacramento State baseball team celebrates after senior outfielder Andrew McWilliam, center, hit a home run against UC Davis at John Smith Field on Tuesday, May 8, 2018. The Hornets defeated the Aggies 5-2.

Alex Daniels

The Sacramento State baseball team defeated UC Davis 5-2 in the Causeway Classic on Tuesday at John Smith Field to sweep the season series.

The Hornets (27-20, 13-5 Western Athletic Conference) defeated the Aggies (15-28, 7-11 Big West Conference) in the only prior matchup this season 8-2 on April 17 at Dobbins Field.

Sac State started Tuesday’s victory trailing 2-0 after the top of the first inning due to a solo home run from junior infielder Caleb Van Blake and an RBI single by senior outfielder Ryan Hooper.

The Aggies, following the two runs in the top of the first inning, were then held scoreless. Sac State senior pitcher Ty Fox threw three innings in his start, giving up two runs on four hits and striking out two batters.

The Hornet bullpen combination of freshmen pitchers Travis Martizia and Brady Rodriguez, sophomore Austin Roberts and junior Tanner Dalton threw six shutout innings while giving up four hits and striking out eight batters.

Rodriguez, who threw two thirds of an inning, was able to get out of sixth inning without giving up a run despite the Aggies having the bases loaded with one out.

Rodriguez was able to get out of the same situation in the eighth inning during Saturday’s 4-3 loss to Seattle University that kept the Hornets in the game.

“I just stayed confident and trusted my stuff,” Rodriguez said. “I stayed focused and let my defense do the job.”

Sac State’s offense had five different players contribute with five RBIs total. Senior outfielder Ian Dawkins, senior first baseman Vinny Esposito, senior second baseman PJ Floyd and junior outfielder James Outman each went 1-for-4 with an RBI.

Senior outfielder Andrew McWilliam, along with Floyd, hit a solo home run. Floyd’s first inning home run was his ninth home run of the season, while McWilliam who was brought in to pitch hit hit his third home run of the year after his sixth inning solo home run.

Sac State coach Reggie Christiansen said it was good to get a midweek game especially against the school’s rival.

“Anytime you get to compete against UC Davis, it is a big deal for folks on campus and especially our team,” Christiansen said.

Christiansen said the team needs to now focus on their matchup this weekend against Grand Canyon University which are in first place in the WAC and one game ahead of the Hornets at Brazell Field in Phoenix.  

“Obviously every series is big and certainly I am not naive to think everyone is looking at the standings and the what-ifs,” Christiansen said. “At the end of the day, these three games aren’t going to be a complete deal breaker for us in trying to play in the NCAA Tournament.”

After the road series this weekend against Grand Canyon University, Sac State will finish the season at John Smith Field next week with a game on Monday against the University of Arizona and from Thursday to Saturday against Utah Valley University.