Hornets complete comeback with 4-3 win over Wolf Pack

Baseball team uses platoon strategy with 9 different pitchers


Jose Fabian - The State Hornet

Sac State sophomore catcher Dawsen Bacho celebrates with his teammates upon returning to the dugout after scoring a run in a 4-3 win over Nevada Tuesday at John Smith Field. With the win, the Hornets now have won 30 plus games for the eighth straight season.

Shaun Holkko

The Sacramento State baseball team completed a comeback Tuesday to defeat the University of Nevada 4-3 and secure their 30th win of the 2019 season.

The Hornets (30-18, 15-6 WAC) returned home to John Smith Field Tuesday for a single-game against the Wolf Pack (25-24, 11-16 MWC) following a four-game road trip.

Sac State came into Tuesday’s contest seeking redemption against Nevada after losing to the Wolf Pack team 6-2 in Reno on April 3.

The Hornets four-game road trip consisted of a single-game at the University of San Francisco Dons and a three-game series at Western Athletic Conference foe, the Northern Colorado Bears.

Sac State scored first against the Dons with one run in the top of the first inning. Both teams scored one run in the third inning, leading to a 2-1 Hornets lead after the top of the eighth inning.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, San Francisco hit a double to score two runs and take a 3-2 lead. The Hornets were unable to mount a comeback with their final three outs and lost 3-2 to the Dons.

“That loss was a kick in the butt,” Sac State sophomore catcher Dylan McPhillips said. “We came in a little flat and it carried on throughout the whole game. It wasn’t something that we took lightly at all.”

Sac State then traveled to Greeley, Colorado to take on WAC opponent, Northern Colorado, in a three-game series.

Like in the game against San Francisco, the Hornets scored first against the Bears with one run in the second inning of game one. Northern Colorado responded with three runs in the third inning to take the lead.

Each time the Hornets scored a run, the Bears would match it. Sac State scored one in the fifth, Northern Colorado scored two. The Hornets scored one run in the top of the sixth to tie the game at five, then the Bears scored one run to retake the lead in the bottom of the sixth.

Northern Colorado scored two more runs in the seventh and Sac State scored one in the eighth. The Bears went on to win game one of the series 8-6.

The Hornets offense exploded in game two. Sac State scored five runs in the top of the first inning and one in the second. Northern Colorado responded with six runs in the bottom of the second and one in the third to take a 7-6 lead.

Sac State then scored three runs in the sixth inning and five runs in the seventh to take a commanding 14-7 lead. The Hornets went on to win game two by a score of 15-10.

The Hornets offense continued to play well in the third and decisive game of the weekend series. Sac State scored first with five runs in the third inning. Both teams scored twice in the fourth. The Hornets then added three runs in the fifth inning to take a 10-run lead at 12-2.

Northern Colorado failed to score again, enabling the WAC 10-run rule to take place, ending the contest after seven innings.

Sophomore catcher Dawsen Bacho led the Hornets to the series victory with his offensive production, including hitting a home run in all three games. Bacho had six hits, 11 RBI’s and six runs scored in three games.

Sac State took two out of three games from the Bears to reclaim a tie of first place in the WAC with New Mexico State and the University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley.

The Hornets then returned home for a single-game against Nevada before leaving for the final road trip of the 2019 season.

Sac State scored first in the third inning on an RBI double from sophomore infielder Keith Torres. The Wolf Pack took the lead in the top of the fifth inning with three runs to take a 3-1 lead.

Many players on the team have dubbed Sac State the “Heart attack” Hornets for their comeback ways.

With one out and two runners on base in the bottom of the eighth inning, McPhillips hit a two-run single to right field to tie the game at three.

The Hornets retook the lead for good with a sacrifice fly from freshman outfielder Trevor Doyle to score McPhillips from third base.

“I started off slow in the beginning,” McPhillips said. “I think I was getting a little jumpy and a little eradicative there. I talked to (Sac State head coach Reggie Christiansen) before my (at-bat) and he just told me ‘Shooters shoot and hitters hit, so go and hit the ball.’”

Sac State beat Nevada 4-3 to split the home-and-home series with the Wolf Pack.

Sac State sophomore right-handed pitcher Stone Churby made his mark when given the opportunity. Churby could not have pitched any better than he did Tuesday night. The sophomore threw nine pitches and recorded three strikeouts, achieving an immaculate inning and earning the win.

With the victory, Sac State won its 30th game of the 2019 season. The Hornets have now won at least 30 games in eight straight seasons, the longest active streak in California Division I baseball.

“It’s a credit to the players and coaches that we have had,” Christiansen said. “It’s really cool and something that we are proud of. That 2012 team did something (special), going from last place to first place, it really started then.

“Each team that has come through here has known what’s been built before them and they just want to continue to add to it, so it’s pretty awesome.”

The Hornets will go on the road this weekend for the final time as they play a three-game series at WAC opponent, Utah Valley. First pitch Friday is scheduled for 5 p.m.