SERIES RECAP: Sac State baseball wins third straight conference series

Hornets take two from Seattle University, move to 9-9 in conference play


Dominique Williams

Hornet fielders get set to take the field as senior shortstop Keith Torres gives a thumbs up to the dugout Friday April 15, 2022 at John Smith Field. Sacramento State sits in third place in the WAC conference at 9-9.

Dylan McNeill

Sac State baseball picked up their third straight conference series win this weekend as they took two games from Seattle University at John Smith Field, evening out their record in the Western Athletic Conference at 9-9. The Hornets are currently tied for third in the WAC.

Despite suffering a staggering 19-0 loss Tuesday at home against Fresno State, the Hornets were able to lean on their short-term memory and secure a series win behind the hot bats of senior Dawsen Bacho and sophomore Josh Rolling. 

Bacho went 7-12 in the series with two walks and two home runs, and Rolling went 6-9 with a walk and two home runs.

Friday game one: Hornet hitters tally 15 runs, mercy rules Seattle U

Sac State enjoyed a 15-5 win in the first leg of Friday’s double-header. The offense totaled twelve hits, working eleven walks and being hit by three pitches. 

“They walked and hit I think 13 or 14 guys, so they gave us a lot of opportunities, but our guys took advantage of it and had some guys swing the bat really good,” said Hornets manager Reggie Christiansen. “Eli pitched out of some trouble and got through six and gave us a chance to win.” 

The offense began their work in the second inning when senior infielder Nick Iwasa drove two runs home with a single to left field. Later, Josh Rolling drove a three-run homer just over the fence to give the Hornets a 5-2 lead.




“I can’t get RBIs unless other people are on base, the team put me in a good position to succeed and I had the opportunity to drive them in; that’s all I wanted to do,” Rolling said.

The Redhawks got the game within one run in the sixth inning. The Hornets responded by scoring nine unanswered runs to end the game, finishing with a walk-off double by designated hitter Dawsen Bacho to score sophomore Gunner Gouldsmith and enforce the mercy rule to end the game.

Sophomore pitcher Eli Saul’s record remains lossless as he picked up his sixth win of the year. Despite Saul not having his sharpest stuff on Friday, the right-hander still went six innings while allowing just three earned runs.

The Hornets have won all nine games Saul has pitched. His earned run average sits at 3.02 over 50.2 innings pitched.

Friday game two: Hornets come out flat, drop second half of double-header 8-2

After allowing 14 free passes in the first half, Seattle pitching allowed zero walks and hit only one batter, limiting the Hornet chances offensively. The Redhawks took advantage of some questionable Sac State defense and took game two of the series with a score of 8-2. 

“A couple of the balls, guys just mis-played it, but more important than that, I just wasn’t happy with the effort after the fact,” Christiansen said. ”We just have to do a better job of preparing better but also when things don’t go our way, we [have] to handle it more professionally.” 

Although the Hornets weren’t charged with any errors, back-to-back misplayed balls in the outfield led to a triple and a double for Seattle in the third inning as Sac State’s deficit grew. Christiansen pulled both outfielders after the inning Friday night.

The Redhawks totaled three runs in both the second and third innings to jump out to a 6-1 lead. A Hornet outfielder, sophomore Josh Walker, hit a solo shot– his third of the year – bringing the score to 6-2. 

That was as close as the Hornets got, giving up another two runs in the seventh inning which brought the score to 8-2. The score stayed there and the Hornets faced their second loss on a Friday this year.

“I think we just had a better approach the first game, hit the ball a little bit harder, the pitcher did a good job of mixing in the second game,” Bacho said. “We just didn’t do a very good job of adjusting but it’s baseball, we [have] to come back and win the series tomorrow.”

Saturday: Hornets use the long ball to grab series win, down Redhawks 7-4

Continuing his hot weekend at bat, Dawsen Bacho opened the first inning on Saturday by scoring with a three run blast. 

Two innings later, Josh Rolling left the ballpark as well– a solo shot that moved the lead to 4-0. 

The Hornets had one more long ball in them when Bacho again went deep, his second three-run shot of the game. Seattle U answered with a three-run homer of their own as senior outfielder Matt Boissoneault brought the game to 7-4. 

“Getting the series win was huge,” Bacho said. “I just felt comfortable at the plate today and put two good swings on it; they just happened to go out.” 




On the mound, the Hornets got 4.2 innings from sophomore pitcher Noah Takacs, allowing four runs. Sophomore Max Pettey picked up the win with a scoreless 1.1 innings and junior Jack Zalasky got the final nine outs for the Hornets, picking up his fourth save of the year. 

“I just try to keep the same mindset the entire time, trying to get strike one, taking every pitch like it’s the most important pitch of the game, trying to get an out with every pitch,” Zalasky said on his three-inning save.

Zalasky wears a noticeably faded hat that looks beat compared to his teammates’ hats, and according to Zalasky, he has worn it since 2018.

“I’ve worn it since my freshman year; it fits me too good,” Zalasky said. “It’s not a superstitious thing, it just fits me better than any hat. I got a bunch of new hats, they just don’t fit me the same.”

The Hornets are on the road for four games next week, starting with a Tuesday matchup against the University of the Pacific before another weekend WAC series against Dixie State. 

The Hornets lost to Pacific earlier this season and dropped two-of-three from Dixie State in Sacramento last month.