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The student news site of Sacramento State University

The State Hornet

The student news site of Sacramento State University

The State Hornet

Student news without fear or favor

Sac State regroups after a tough weekend in Phoenix

Hornets struggled against Grand Canyon University but rebounded at home
Adam Camarena
Redshirt freshman center fielder Brett Ott sliding into third base on a close play against the University of San Francisco Monday, April 1, 2024. Ott went one for four and scored two runs against the USF.

Sacramento State baseball went 3-2 in five games against Grand Canyon University, the University of San Francisco and the University of Nevada.

This was another rough patch for Sac State due to the inconsistencies of their offense, but they found success after changing their approach at the plate.

Series: Sac State 1, GCU 2

Sac State lost a three-game series to GCU with one win Thursday, March 28 by the skin of their teeth in the opening game and then losing to the superior offense of GCU in the final two games Friday, March 29 and Saturday, March 30.

“We were fortunate to get that win on Thursday,” Sac State head coach Reggie Christiansen said. “They certainly were better than us these past two days.”

The Hornets won the first game 5-4 by a close margin with three errors by junior pitcher Kade Brown in the ninth that almost cost them the game as GCU scored three runs.

Christiansen said he was happy to come out of that game with something despite the errors.

“I was pleased with how we played,” Christiansen said. “It got a little crazy at the end but we’ll take it.”

Christiansen said he was impressed with junior left fielder Matt Masciangelo’s performance at the plate.

“He’s had a good year. He’s got a good plan and he hit the balls pretty hard tonight,” Christiansen said.

Masciangelo tied the school’s single-game record by hitting three doubles on March 28 becoming the 13th Hornet since Ryan Walstad hit three in a game on March 14, 2021, at Tarleton State University.

“With the practice that we do every day and the training, we just hope that gets us to the end goal of winning every game,” Masciangelo said.

This was all that Sac State could muster when they were completely shut out by GCU’s defense and offense in game two winning 4-0. The Hornets had no hits and only two walks.

Freshman starting pitcher Connor Mattison from GCU had his first shutout in his first start with 10 strikeouts.

Junior outfielder Tyler White hitting a line drive against the University of San Francisco Monday, April 1, 2024. White would go three for five and score two runs after making his return to the lineup after being out with a sprained ankle since March 9 against Utah Valley University. (Adam Camarena)

The series finale ended in sorrow for the Hornets as they were completely outclassed by GCU, losing 12-4.

RELATED: Sac State falls in Causeway Rivalry rematch to UC Davis

Christiansen said the early scoring from GCU made it hard for the team to come back. He’s not too worried for next week because the lineup is changing.

“We’re getting Tyler White back next so I think we’ll be in a good spot,” Christiansen said.

Junior outfielder Tyler White has been out with a sprained ankle since March 9 against Utah Valley University and will return on Monday against USF.

Senior third baseman Jorge Bojorquez said it was the game of baseball having uncertain outcomes because it’s an unpredictable sport and anything can happen when two teams play.

“They’re a good program and it’s baseball,” Bojorquez said. “We come in and no matter your opponent just try and go play good baseball.”

Monday: Sac State 7, University of San Francisco 1

Sac State would bounce back with a dominant win over USF by shortening their swings to hit line drives and hard ground balls, hitting12 singles and one double.

USF walked in a run for Sac State in the first but would come back and scored a run in the third off a fielder’s choice ground out by junior second baseman Matty Fung to tie the game 1-1.

The Hornets then answered back with six runs through the third and fifth inning to take the lead with singles by senior outfielder Cesar Valero, sophomore first baseman JP Smith and redshirt freshman center fielder Brett Ott.

The Hornets finished the game 7-1 after holding USF and shutting out their offense.

“We swung the bat better and had some good pitching performances,” Christiansen said. “I feel good about the way we played in all three phases of the game.”

Sac State’s infield huddles together at the end of the game when they got the final out of the game against USF Monday, April 1, 2024. Sac State won the game 7-1 against USF. (Adam Camarena)

Sac State brought White back as the designated hitter in the lead-off spot and would go three for five with three singles against USF.

White said he was excited to come back but felt like it was another opening day for him because he was nervous.

“My first at-bat I was definitely a little nervous,” White said. “Through every at-bat, I got more and more comfortable and it feels great to be back in the lineup.”

White said that he was happy with how the team picked up his slack when he was gone and was happy that he could come back to help the team get back on track.

Tuesday: Sac State 7, Nevada 3

Sac State had another dominant performance, this time against Nevada, winning with their line-drive approach once again prevailing.

In the first inning, a single by Bojorquez turned two bases on an error by the left fielder of Nevada which also scored junior catcher Elie Kligman 1-0.

Nevada bounced back with fifth-year shortstop Justin Acal hitting a solo home run in the third and a sac fly by redshirt junior designated hitter Tyler Holder to score a runner in the fourth inning taking the lead 2-1.

The Hornets shut down Nevada with singles back-to-back and a double by Valero to finish the game 7-3.

Christiansen said he was happy with the performance by his team especially since they followed through with the game plan.

“We talked about being a little more aggressive today than we have been lately,” Christiansen said. “It all worked out.”

Christiansen said he believes his team can compete with California Baptist University in their next game because CBU is one of the better teams with an overall record of 17-12 and 6-3 in the WAC.

“We play them every year and they’re one of the best, these past couple years,” Christiansen said. “We certainly gotta play good to win that series.”

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About the Contributor
Kai Arellano
Kai Arellano, Sports Staffer
(he/him) Kai Arellano is a junior transfer from Los Medanos College, majoring in journalism. He has won fourth place in the 2023 State Publication Awards for Illustration presented by the Journalism Association of Community Colleges. This is also his first semester on The State Hornet. In his spare time he enjoys watching baseball and competing in mixed martial arts.
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