Matt Smith powers Sac State baseball past Stanford 3-2

Smith drives in all three runs as Hornet walk-off completes comeback


Deanna Sanchez

The Sacramento State baseball team rushes the field after Matt Smith’s walk-off hit during the ninth inning of the home game against Stanford University at John Smith Field on Monday, March 29, 2020. The Hornets were named the 24th ranked team on Collegiate Baseball’s top-25 poll on Monday, marking the first top-25 ranking in Sac State history.

Dylan McNeill

After going 10-2 in three straight weekends of Western Athletic Conference play the Sac State baseball team was scheduled for a rest. However, head coach Reggie Christiansen had other plans.

Christiansen added a non-conference matchup versus PAC-12 powerhouse Stanford, who was 14-3 heading into Monday’s ballgame.

Freshman Cole Tremain got the start on the mound for the Hornets, the first of his collegiate career. The right-hander held his own, allowing two runs in two innings before turning it over to the bullpen.

The Cardinals also went to the bullpen early with three pitchers appearing in the first three innings, however they didn’t allow a run until the 7th.

In that 7th inning Sac State shortstop Keith Torres drew a walk and center fielder Trevor Doyle reached on a fielder’s choice which set up a two-out, two-run double by left fielder Matt Smith. 

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Late in the game Sac State went to pitcher Jack Zalasky who went three innings striking out six batters, giving up just one hit and sending the game to the bottom of the 9th. 

The bottom of the 9th inning started with two Sac State straight batters being hit by a pitch, which put the Hornets in scoring position without even having to swing the bat. 

Then Smith came to the plate with a chance to win the game, taking a the 0-1 fastball to the opposite field deep enough in the right-center field gap to score the fleet-footed Torres from second. 

“We’re performing at all facets of the game well, we’re hitting well, we’re pitching well, playing defense well,” Smith said. “When you put those together you have a good caliber baseball team, and you get the results we’ve got.”

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Smith’s 18th RBI on the season sent the game’s attendees home happy as the Hornets improved to an 18-6 record. 

Hornet baseball will be back in action Friday as they travel to Nebraska to take on the Creighton Bluejays in a four-game weekend series.