SERIES RECAP: Keeping it consistent, Hornets take series for 5th straight weekend

Sac State baseball wins home series over California Baptist, taking 2 of 3


Dylan Mcneill

After starting conference play 3-6, Sac State baseball has won 10 of 15 as the baseball season heads into the final stretch while Sac State takes fifth series in a row.

Dylan McNeill

Sac State baseball made their fifth straight series win over conference opponents this weekend. The Hornets started Western Athletic Conference play 3-6 struggling to work at-bats and getting outs on the mound but since then, the Hornets have bloomed, going 10-5 in their last 15 games. 

This weekend was a big series for the third-place Hornets facing off against the second-place California Baptist. A sweep over the Lancers would have given the Hornets second place, but they’ll take two of three and sit just a .5 game back in the standings. 

California Baptist took two from Sac State in an early-season series when the Hornets were still finding their footing; now the two teams find themselves tied for the season at 3-3.

Friday: Hornets storm from behind, take 2-1 win

“It’s huge, every game is big,”  sophomore Trevor Doyle said. “To have a Friday night like that with our pitching staff doing what they’re doing, it gives you so much belief and gets you fired up for the tournament.”

It was a low-scoring affair Friday night as starting pitchers Eli Saul, a sophomore for the Hornets and Spencer Bengard, a sophomore for the Lancers, were both able to keep opposing batters off-balance as they picked up eight and seven strikeouts apiece. 

The scoring didn’t begin until the sixth inning when California Baptist scratched across a run. The first two batters of the inning were struck out by Saul before four Lancer batters reached in a row and chased Saul out of the game. 

Relief pitcher sophomore Max Pettey came in and got the Hornets out of the inning down to just one.

It was the Hornets’ turn in the eighth to strike as two doubles by junior Martin Vincelli-Simard and senior Nick Iwasa that brought the game back to even. 

Junior Trevor Doyle worked a full count before sending a base hit up the middle to score sophomore Colby Lunsford who was pinch-running for Iwasa to take the lead. 

“Their pitcher did a good job of keeping us off-balance all game long. Tino Simard had a really good at bat, then Nick tied it up, then Trevor had a really nice at bat some of the older guys coming through tonight, good to see.” Hornets manager Reggie Christiansen said.

Sac State closer Jack Zalasky came on in the ninth and worked a 1-2-3 inning to close the ballgame. Zalasky picked up save number six on the year.



“It’s great to get a win whenever, but when you got a lot of fans out here, especially a lot of little kids, you want to do good for them and pull out a win.”  Nick Iwasa said between high-fiving and signing autographs for kids postgame.


Saturday: California Baptist pitching limits Sac State, Hornets fall 6-2

Sac State’s offense held six hits– all singles– and only scored two runs as they fell Saturday 6-2.

The Hornets started sophomore Noah Takacs who went five innings, as he’s done in three of his last four starts. Takacs allowed three runs on three hits, with four walks and five strikeouts.

The Sac State bullpen allowed three runs in the seventh inning, moving the game to 6-0 when the Hornets had just two hits. The Hornets tacked on a couple runs in the eighth, scoring both runs on a throwing error which moved the score to 6-2.

Freshman outfielder Jeffrey Heard finished Saturday’s game 2-4; the only Hornet with multiple hits.

Sunday: Another weekend, another WAC series win, Hornets take rubber match 7-4

California Baptist scored two runs in both the second and third innings, giving them a 4-0 lead, looking well on their way for their second series win over Sac State this season.

The Hornets answered this with four runs of their own in the third inning evening of the game at 4-4.

Sophomore Jorge Bojorquez had a run-scoring double followed by a run batted in a single for Trevor Doyle followed by the game-tying double by Steven Moretto in the four-run third inning for the Hornets.

Sac State manager Reggie Christiansen meets with sophomore pitcher Eli Saul and senior catcher Dawsen Bacho Friday, April 29, 2022 during a 2-1 victory over California Baptist University at John Smith Field. Sac State remains undefeated with Saul pitching, as they are now 11-0 on Fridays (Dylan McNeill)

The scoring resumed in the sixth inning when senior Keith Torres scored on an error by California Baptist to give Sac State the 5-4 lead. The Hornets added a run apiece in the seventh and eighth to boost their lead to 7-4.

The Hornets turned to Zalasky to record the save and just like Friday, he faced the minimum while getting the Hornets their fifth straight conference win. The Hornets now have just six WAC games remaining.

“We’re starting to play some better baseball, that’s a really good team.” Christiansen said.

The Hornets return to John Smith Field Tuesday as they’re set to host the University of San Francisco at 6:00 pm.