The State Hornet

Hornets sweep doubleheader to win first series of 2019 season

Baseball team walk-off in game two, dominate game three

Sophomore+infielder+Nick+Iwasa+%28top+center%29+shouts+in+excitement+after+hitting+a+walk-off+single+in+a+2-1+win+over+North+Dakota+St.+on+Sunday%2C+Feb.+17+at+John+Smith+Field.+The+Hornets+swept+the+doubleheader+to+win+the+season-opening+series.
Back to Article
Back to Article

Hornets sweep doubleheader to win first series of 2019 season

Sophomore infielder Nick Iwasa (top center) shouts in excitement after hitting a walk-off single in a 2-1 win over North Dakota St. on Sunday, Feb. 17 at John Smith Field. The Hornets swept the doubleheader to win the season-opening series.

Sophomore infielder Nick Iwasa (top center) shouts in excitement after hitting a walk-off single in a 2-1 win over North Dakota St. on Sunday, Feb. 17 at John Smith Field. The Hornets swept the doubleheader to win the season-opening series.

Rachel Pinal - The State Hornet

Sophomore infielder Nick Iwasa (top center) shouts in excitement after hitting a walk-off single in a 2-1 win over North Dakota St. on Sunday, Feb. 17 at John Smith Field. The Hornets swept the doubleheader to win the season-opening series.

Rachel Pinal - The State Hornet

Rachel Pinal - The State Hornet

Sophomore infielder Nick Iwasa (top center) shouts in excitement after hitting a walk-off single in a 2-1 win over North Dakota St. on Sunday, Feb. 17 at John Smith Field. The Hornets swept the doubleheader to win the season-opening series.

Shaun Holkko

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






After losing game one of the series, the young Sacramento State baseball team swept a doubleheader Sunday against North Dakota State to win their first series of the 2019 season.

The Hornets (2-1) and Bison (1-2) were originally scheduled to begin the season on Friday but the game was postponed due to rain making the field too wet to play on following early rainfall that afternoon.

RELATED: Sac State baseball enter 2019 season with young team

Sac State struggled for hits in game one Saturday as they lost soundly to NDSU, 9-1. Saturday’s win for the Bison was their fourth straight opening day win.

The Hornets only managed to get three hits in the game. Junior outfielder Matt Smith knocked in his team’s only run when he tripled in the third inning to initially give his team the 1-0 lead.

“I think we’re young offensively,” head coach Reggie Christiansen said. “I think that we have a lot of guys in the lineup that have never really been a part of the Division I thing yet. So there are some nerves that went into it.”

Sac State had their ace, junior right-handed pitcher Parker Brahms (0-1), on the mound Saturday. He pitched four innings and allowed four hits, three earned runs and three walks while striking out eight Bison.

RELATED: Sac State sophomore pitcher continues to bring in the accolades

Most of game two looked like more of the same for the Hornets offensively, as they had one hit through five innings.

It was a pitchers duel in game two. Sac State had sophomore right-handed pitcher Scott Randall toeing the rubber against NDSU freshman left-hander Max Loven. Both pitchers went six innings without allowing a run. Randall finished with seven strikeouts, Loven with six.

The Bison took advantage of Randall’s departure as they scored a run in the top of the seventh inning. The Hornets came back in the bottom of the eighth to tie the game with a sacrifice fly from sophomore infielder Steven Moretto.

The two teams went to the bottom of the ninth inning tied 1-1 as the Hornets had an opportunity to walk-off and win.

With the game and series on the line, Christiansen made a crucial decision. He elected to substitute sophomore infielder Nick Iwasa into the game to pinch-hit for sophomore outfielder Griffin McCormick.

Iwasa, the son of Sac State Chief of Police Mark Iwasa, stepped up to the plate for his first at-bat as a Hornet with a situation that young baseball players dream of in their backyards as children. Two on, one out, game tied 1-1 in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Iwasa delivered when his team needed him most as he hit a single to right field, scoring Smith from second base to win the game, 2-1.

“Every baseball player lives for that moment,” junior right-handed pitcher Austin Roberts said. “Tie game, ninth inning, you all want to be that guy. Each guy that came up in that inning had absolutely amazing competitive at-bats.”

Both teams then had about 30 minutes before game two of the doubleheader. The Hornets came out in the final game of the series laser focused.

Moretto hit a bases-clearing double in the first inning to score three runs, which was all that starting pitcher Roberts (1-0) needed.

Roberts, who started 14 games in 2017 but only one in 2018, came out dealing in Sunday’s decisive game three. He pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing six hits, one earned run and two walks as he struck out 13 batters.

“Austin was unreal,” Smith said. “He goes out there and competes every pitch. He’s the guy I want on the mound in that situation. Third game of the weekend, going to win a series, that’s a good guy to have on the mound.”

Christiansen shared similar sentiments about the right-handed pitcher.

“He was electric,” Christiansen said. “Had great stuff [and] a good feel for three pitches. Certainly got himself in a little bit of trouble there early and [then] got himself out of it, so give him credit.”

Sac State went on to score five more runs to ultimately win game three 8-3.

The Hornets series win over the Bison was their sixth consecutive season-opening series win, dating back to 2014.

“Overall, it’s good to win two out of three,” Christiansen said. “We have a long ways to go. There are a lot of areas that we need to improve in but it’s certainly a teaching moment.”

The Hornets play next on Thursday at the University of the Pacific at 6 p.m. for a home-and-home four game series with the Tigers. Sac State will return to John Smith Field on Saturday at 6 p.m.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Left
  • Hornets sweep doubleheader to win first series of 2019 season

    Baseball

    Sac State baseball team loses series against Pacific Tigers

  • Hornets sweep doubleheader to win first series of 2019 season

    Baseball

    Sac State baseball enter 2019 season with young team

  • Hornets sweep doubleheader to win first series of 2019 season

    Baseball

    Three Sacramento State baseball players selected in MLB Draft

  • Hornets sweep doubleheader to win first series of 2019 season

    Baseball

    Home runs hurt baseball team in 5-2 defeat to University of Arizona

  • Hornets sweep doubleheader to win first series of 2019 season

    Baseball

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

  • Hornets sweep doubleheader to win first series of 2019 season

    Baseball

    Brahms ties strikeout record as baseball team wins series against Seattle University

  • Hornets sweep doubleheader to win first series of 2019 season

    Baseball

    Baseball team takes 2 out of 3 games against Northern Colorado

  • Hornets sweep doubleheader to win first series of 2019 season

    Baseball

    Baseball team blown out 14-7 against Tigers

  • Hornets sweep doubleheader to win first series of 2019 season

    Baseball

    Baseball program turns season around as WAC play is in full swing

  • Hornets sweep doubleheader to win first series of 2019 season

    Baseball

    Hornets sweep Chicago State in 3-game baseball series

Navigate Right