Sac State baseball team finishes regular season with 33-22 record

Hornets open the WAC tournament against Utah Valley


Shaun Holkko

Sac State sophomore infielder Keith Torres hits a pitch against Saint Mary's College on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 at John Smith Field. The Hornets lost to the Gaels 6-3.

Shaun Holkko

The Sacramento State baseball team enter the 2019 Western Athletic Conference tournament Wednesday for the eighth straight season under head coach Reggie Christiansen, seeking the team’s third conference title.

The Hornets now prepare for their eighth straight appearance in the WAC tournament. Since 2012, Sac State has appeared in four championship games, two more than any other program. The team has won two WAC tournament championships since 2012, more than any other team in the conference.

Following a comeback victory at home on May 7 against the University of Nevada (29-24, 14-16 Mountain West), the Hornets suffered a series loss in Orem, Utah to Utah Valley University (14-39, 9-18 WAC), which sophomore infielder Steven Moretto said was a tough series for the Hornets (33-22, 18-9 WAC).

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“We didn’t pitch very well or swing well either,” Moretto said. “We were talking to a couple of their players and they even said that was the best ball they have played all season.”

The Hornets returned home to John Smith Field following the team’s trip to Utah on May 14 to take on Saint Mary’s College. Sac State came into the game seeking redemption against the Gaels after losing on the road 10-1 on March 5.

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The Gaels scored the first five runs of the game to take the lead. The Hornets attempted a comeback in the bottom of the sixth inning, scoring three runs. The Gaels added another run in the eighth inning and won 6-3.

“They’re a good club,” Sac State head coach Reggie Christiansen said. “We gave them a better game this time than when we were at their place. We didn’t pitch very well the first time. Offensively we’re going through a tough stretch right now as a club.”

Sac State then had one final series against WAC foe Grand Canyon on Friday and Saturday. The two teams played a close game in the first contest on Friday as it went to extra innings tied at two. The Antelopes scored three times in the top of the tenth inning, taking the lead and ultimately winning the first game 5-2.

The Hornets scored first in game two of the doubleheader on Saturday in the fourth inning on a two-run home run to left field from sophomore catcher Dylan McPhillips. Grand Canyon scored once in the fifth and once in the sixth to tie the game at 2.

Sophomore catcher Dawsen Bacho came through for his team with a walk-off RBI single to right field in the bottom of the ninth inning to win game two 3-2.

Bacho stayed hot as he hit a solo home run to left center field in the first inning of game two of the doubleheader. The Antelopes tied the game in the fifth inning before Bacho then hit a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning to retake the lead. Sac State went on to win the game 3-2 and win the final series of the season.

The Hornets finished the regular season 33-22, the most wins since 2014. The team placed third in the WAC with an 18-9 conference record.

Sac State had four players receive All-WAC regular season honors. Junior outfielder Matt Smith and Bacho were selected to the first team. Senior pitcher Tanner Dalton and sophomore pitcher Scott Randall were selected to the second team.

The Hornets open the WAC tournament in Mesa, Arizona Wednesday against No. 6 seed Utah Valley University at 6 p.m.