Swarm Report March 12: Sac State baseball team demolishes, women’s tennis team remains winless

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Patrick Posuniak

Each day The State Hornet will recap all the action from the day of sports at Sacramento State.

In one of the most active Hornet sports days since athletics resumed play following the COVID-19 pandemic, Sac State saw some impressive highs and staggering lows. Despite seeing indisputable domination by the baseball team in its two-game series and a competitive showdown win for the volleyball team, the women’s and men’s tennis teams, in addition to the softball team, continued to struggle.

Sac State baseball team opens conference play with 2-0 start against Tarleton State

Senior outfielder Matt Smith swings his bat for the Hornets on Friday, March 12, 2021 at Cecil Ballow Baseball Complex against Tarleton State. The Hornets swept the Texans in the first two games of their four-game series. (Brady Johnson, Tarleton State Athletics)

The Hornets (9-4, 2-0 WAC) started out the WAC action with consecutive wins in the first two games of their series against the Texans (6-10, 0-2 WAC).

Despite struggling to find a rhythm at bat in the first three innings in game one of Friday’s doubleheader, the Hornets gained momentum at the plate after junior catcher Dawsen Bacho notched a solo homer in the top of the fourth inning. 

Sophomore outfielder Trevor Doyle followed up Bacho’s run with his own single that eventually allowed him to score a run off of an RBI hit from freshman outfielder Jack Bollengier.

In the top of the fifth inning, Doyle and Bacho also dinged back-to-back RBIs that put the Hornets at 5-0, which proved to be too much to overcome for the Texans.

The highlight of game one however, was the defensive showing by the Hornets. Senior pitcher Scott Randall dominated in his start, finishing with 7 strikeouts and allowed only one hit. 

“Feels good to get to a good start on the offensive for me,” Randall said. “I knew I had to attack early with them, nothing really different from my usual game plan.” 

Game two was an offensive onslaught by the Hornets, scoring a whopping 11 runs in the first three innings off of 10 hits.

Nine players finished with a hit in game two, five of which had multiple.

Junior Dylan McPhillips finished with 3 hits and 3 RBIs, and freshman Jorge Bojorquez totaled one homer in addition to two RBIs.

The Hornets are set to resume their series against the Texans on Saturday at 12 p.m.

Sac State women’s tennis team loses 9th straight match

Redshirt sophomore Jayden Nielsen returns a shot Friday, March 12, 2021 at the Santa Clara tennis courts. The Hornets dropped their match 6-1 against the Broncos. (Don Jedlovec, Santa Clara Athletics)

 

The Sac State women’s tennis team (0-9, 0-0 Big Sky) remains winless on the season after dropping its ninth consecutive match, losing to Santa Clara (2-3) by a score of 6-1.

Right out the gate, the Hornets made the match relatively tight and competitive in doubles.

Though redshirt sophomores Jayden Nielsen and Megan Tagaloa lost their opening doubles match 6-2, redshirt sophomore Shauna Casey and redshirt freshman Paige Alter won their match with scores of 7-6 and 8-6, keeping the possibility of the doubles point alive.

However, in the tiebreaker third doubles match, sophomore Grace Dodd and Tsevti Yotova were defeated in their doubles with scores of 7-6 and 7-5, resulting in the Hornets dropping the doubles point.

“I think they were a beatable team, we just didn’t go and take it,” Dodd said. “We would win our points when we took over the court first, but if we didn’t it was pretty even.”

Despite being defeated in every other singles match, freshman Jin Yu clinched her match with scores of 6-1, 6-2, and 10-7, breathing a silver of life in the Hornets.

“[Jin Yu] is doing very well,” Dodd said about her freshman teammate. “She is a great line six because she gives her opponents what they do not like and she is extremely smart.”

The Hornets are set to play again Saturday against Nevada at 12:30 p.m. PST. 

Men’s tennis team defeated in second straight match against Saint Mary’s

Freshman Jan Silva returns a volley Friday, March 12, 2021 at the Sac State tennis courts. The Hornets were defeated by the Gaels 4-1. (Jordan Lattimore)

The Hornets (2-6) were defeated 4-1 by Saint Mary’s (2-5, 0-1 WCC) coming off of a win against the Gaels in their previous match. 

Sac State made a valiant effort in the doubles match, but the aggression from Saint Mary’s after last week’s loss to the Hornets was on full display. Freshmen Mark Keki and Liam Liles lost their doubles set 6-4 in a gritty match. Seniors Hermont Legaspi and Michael Vizcarra dropped the second doubles set 6-4 as well, struggling to put pressure on the Gaels in challenging for the doubles point.

In singles, Sac State found slight success in singles, with freshman Mark Keki securing a victory in his singles set with a score of 7-5.

The Hornets’ next match will take place Sunday at 12 p.m. PST against Fresno State.

Sac State softball team suffers back-to-back mercy rule losses against Oregon State

 

The Hornets (6-12, 0-0 Big Sky) failed to secure any wins against the Beavers (9-5, 0-0 PAC-12) and have now dropped three straight games. 

Sac State struggled to find any momentum at bat the entire series, unable to get hits in either game. Meanwhile, the Beavers recorded 14 hits in just game two and 22 across the entire two-game series.

However, Oregon State only recorded one homer on the day, signaling a struggle for the Hornets’ defense to control the Beavers’ runners.

“We hold our opponents off from scoring, but once they start hitting and applying pressure, we play on our heels,” said sophomore infielder Lewa Day. “We need to just attack every pitch, just make more adjustments between at bats and prices and find what works.”

Sac State faces off with Oregon University on Saturday in the first of a two-game series against the fifth nationally ranked team in the nation.

Volleyball team defeats Portland State in tight matchup

Sacramento State celebrates after winning the match against Portland State in the Nest at Sac State on Friday, March 12, 2021. Sac State won 3-1. (Sara Nevis)

The Sac State volleyball team secured a strong 3-1 victory against the Portland State Vikings.

Freshman Bridgette Smith finished with a team high of 20 kills and 22 points on the night with Macey Hayden supporting her with 9 kills and 11.5 points.

Despite seeing an early 7-4 lead from the Vikings (3-12, 2-12 Big Sky) in the first set, the Hornets (8-5, 8-5 Big Sky) went on their own 6-2 run to give them a lead that was never recovered by the vikings. Sac State went on to win the set with a score of 25-20. 

The second set saw a gritty back-and-forth duel between Sac State and Portland State with three lead changes. However, after securing an 8-7 lead, the Hornets went on a 7-4 run to create a comfortable gap that gave them a 25-21 victory in set two.

The Hornets looked to finish things off in set four and prevent a Portland State comeback, engaging with the Vikings in a tight match that saw several ties and lead changes. Ultimately, the game ended with a close 25-23 Hornet victory.

Track and field team notches two 1st place finishes in Day 1 of Ben Brown Invitational

The Hornets had an impressive outing at the Ben Brown invitational in Fullerton, California. Senior Evan Stork won the men’s hammer throw with a 62.99 m launch. In the women’s hammer throw, junior Shantel Nnaji placed fourth with a 49.83 m throw.

In the men’s discus throw, freshman John Maka finished in fourth place with a 49.18 m throw,  and Stork who placed 10th and junior Neil Lequain finished not too far behind him in 10th and ninth places respectively.

On the track, junior Zach Blackwood and junior Isaiah Marable finished fifth and sixth respectively in the men’s 800-meter run.

Freshman Sarah Collier finished first, and freshman Mia Lawrence finished fourth in the women’s 800-meter run.

The team will resume the Ben Brown Invitational on Saturday at 10 a.m.