Week Recap: Sac State baseball beats UC Davis, drops three straight to Central Michigan

Shaky offense and overworked bullpen too much for Hornets to overcome


Isaac Streeter

Junior third baseman Jorge Bojorquez gets into a defensive position for an at bat versus UC Davis Tuesday, March 7, 2023. Sac State got its first win of the year over the rival Aggies, 9-6.

Isaac Streeter

Sacramento State baseball played five straight home games at John Smith Field and achieved back-to-back victories over UC Davis and Central Michigan before dropping three straight to CMU to end the week. 

Tuesday: Hornets sting rival Aggies 9-6 

Sac State got their first taste of the Causeway rivalry with a 9-6 win over UC Davis Tuesday, March 7. 

The Hornet offense had its way at the dish early, putting up three runs in the bottom of the second behind the bats of junior outfielder Garet Crenshaw and senior catcher Martin Vincelli-Simard. 

The man who stole the show for the Hornets was freshman outfielder Ryan Christiansen, who hit a double in his final at bat of the day to extend the lead to three after Vincelli-Simard’s go-ahead single earlier in the inning. 

While junior outfielder Cesar Valero is still working his way back into the outfield from injury, head coach Reggie Christiansen said sophomore outfielder Jeffery Heard is dealing with a hamstring issue. Reggie said the decision was made to play Ryan while the pair recovered.  

“Based on how [Ryan] played, we’ll determine how much more he plays,” Reggie said. “The coaches have been pressing me for about a week and a half to give him a chance.”

Junior right hander Kevin Haynes got his third start of the season and produced another disappointing outing. He was pulled after three innings, allowing three earned runs and five total. 

This is the first of three matchups this year the Hornets have scheduled with the rival Aggies with the next coming April 11. 

Wednesday: Gouldsmith delivers Hornets 5-3 win over Chippewas with pinch hit

The Hornets opened their series with the Central Michigan Chippewas with a 5-3 win Wednesday. 

Going into the 6th inning, the Hornets trailed the Chippewas 3-2 when junior second baseman Gunner Gouldsmith came to the plate to pinch hit. 

“Gunner is coming off the knee injury, we decided to give him the night off,” Reggie said. “He came to me before the game and said ‘Hey, I’ve got an at bat in me if you need it,’ and [he] certainly gave us a big one.” 

The switch hitter ripped a ball down the left field line that cleared loaded bases for Sac State and proved to be the winning runs. 

“I’m just doing anything I can to help the team win,” Gouldsmith said. “If there’s a spot where I think I can come in, if I’m supposed to have a rest day… I’m gonna do whatever I can [and] help us go 1-0 each and every day.” 

On the mound, freshman pitcher Xavier Richards put together a nice outing, pitching four innings and only allowing two runs while striking out two.

Senior closer Jack Zalasky provided the final six outs, earning his fifth save of the year.

Thursday: Hornets lose first extra-inning game of season 8-4 

Sac State dropped their first game of the series to the Chippewas 8-4 in extra innings Thursday. 

Freshman shortstop Wehiwa Aloy got the first runs of the game for the Hornets with a fourth-inning home run that drove in Gouldsmith. It was Aloy’s third home run of the year and extended his hit streak to 13 games. 

Gouldsmith continued to provide at the plate, picking up four hits in five at bats. Since his return to the lineup on March 3, Gouldsmith is hitting .444 and has recorded a hit every game he’d played to that point.

Junior pitcher Jasper Nelson got his first start of the year, pitching four innings and recording seven strikeouts without allowing an earned run.

The bullpen struggled, with sophomore reliever Tyler Stewart allowing four runs in one inning of work, tying the game and sending it to extra innings. 

In extras, sophomore pitcher Noah Lucchesi worked out of the bullpen for the first time this season and allowed four runs. 

“We’re kinda taxed on the pitching side,” Reggie said. “We’ve played a lot of games in a short period of time and we’re short handed.” 

Friday: Chippewas blow past Hornets 8-3 

Sac State lost their second game in a row to CMU with an 8-3 loss Friday. 

Redshirt junior pitcher Evan Gibbons got the start and allowed six earned runs in five and one-third innings before being pulled from the game. 

At the plate, the Hornets got multiple-hit performances from junior third baseman Jorge Bojorquez, junior center fielder Josh Rolling and Valero. Despite this, the hits didn’t result in as many Hornet runs as they did for Central Michigan, being outscored by five with just one less hit.

Aloy’s 13-game hit streak came to an end in the contest, but his on-base streak was protected with a ninth inning walk. Despite the freshman losing his streak, his teammate Rolling said Aloy was unbothered by it happening. 

“I don’t think he was thinking much of it — he’s a good team player,” Rolling said. “He really only cares about winning.”

Saturday: Hornet’s mercy ruled, lose final game of series 13-2 

Sac State lost the  final game — and the series — to CMU, getting mercy ruled in the 7th inning 13-2 Saturday. 

The Hornets sent five pitchers to the mound in the shortened contest, with Haynes getting his second start of the week and being pulled in the fourth inning.

After the game, Reggie said Haynes would return to the bullpen, but is still deciding who will take over for him in the rotation. 

Gouldsmith hit his first home run with a shot to right field in the third inning. From there, the Hornets only managed two more hits. 

Reggie said he and the team were taking the three-game losing streak hard and that it was a humbling experience for them. 

“I think ultimately, I’m responsible for it all,” Reggie said. “The way they play is the way they’re prepared, and obviously I need to do a better job.” 

This Week: 

Sac State will take on Fresno State in Fresno Wednesday, March 15. From there, the Hornets will open conference play with a three-game series at John Smith Field versus Grand Canyon University beginning March 17.