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5/30/16

Sigg_HometownHeroes

Book Review
by Editor, Rick Cabral

Hometown Heroes by Clay Sigg 

Baseball fans feast on trivia. Home run records, most consecutive hit streaks. Or consecutive games played. 

Here’s one: name the last player with nine or more major league seasons that played for just one team? That should be fairly simple. He retired two years ago after playing twenty seasons for the New York Yankees—Derek Jeter. 

And you can probably guess the one right before him: teammate Mariano Rivera, who played 19 years for the Yankees. 

But the trend of “Hometown Heroes” or “single-franchise players” such as Jeter and Rivera is falling precipitously so that in the future we may only see a few retire with the same team with which they began their careers. 

This is the subject of a new book by Granite Bay author, Clay Sigg: HOMETOWN HEROES: The Single Franchise Baseball Stars of the 20th Century. 

Of the 18,000 MLB players Sigg has documented every one from 1901 through 2000 to start and finish with the same professional team. And he’s packaged it in a splendid coffee table presentation that is nearly worth its weight in gold. 

(Continue to Book Review)




5/27/16

Hornets Rally Twice But New Mexico State Wins 5-4

(Sac State Athletics) 

MESA, Ariz. – Sacramento State rallied from deficits of 3-1 and 4-3 but New Mexico State got a walk-off RBI single from Greg Popylisen in the bottom of the ninth for a 5-4 win on Friday at the WAC Tournament.  

In this elimination game Sacramento State (30-28) saw its season come to a close as New Mexico State (34-22), the No. 2 seed for the conference tournament, kept its season alive. 

The Hornets battled into the late innings for the second consecutive day but came up short by the same 5-4 score as Thursday's tough loss against Seattle U.  Sacramento State came back to tie Friday's game twice against Aggie closer Joe Galindo and narrowly missed a 3-run homer in the top of the ninth before NM State won it in the bottom half.  

Trailing 3-1 in the top of the eighth inning, the Hornets loaded the bases with two out on two hits and a walk before sophomore Vinny Esposito (Granite Bay High) delivered a two-run single into left field to knot the game 3-3. The Aggies would regain the lead in the bottom of the inning on a leadoff single, stolen base, and RBI single from Dan Hetzel. 

Down to its last three outs in the top of the ninth, sophomore PJ Floyd drew a leadoff walk and a sacrifice bunt and wild pitch moved him to third base with one away. Senior Chris Lewis tied the game with a line single up the middle then stole second and went to third on a wild pitch. Freshman James Outman’s fly ball to left field just missed leaving the yard for a 3-run homer as it was caught at the wall. 

The Hornets set down the first two Aggies in the bottom of the ninth but Brent Sakurai had a single and moved to second as Daniel Johnson reached on a fielding error. Popylisen then sent a 2-2 pitch into shallow right field and Sakurai scored with the winning run. 

Hornet senior Grant Kukuk and New Mexico State starter Matthew McHugh traded zeros for four innings. The Aggies scored twice in the bottom of the fifth on three hits before the Hornets got a run back in the sixth when sophomore Andrew McWilliam drove in junior Trent Goodrich with a 2-out single. 

Mason Fishback had an RBI single in the sixth inning to put the Aggies ahead 3-1 and the Hornets loaded the bases with two out in the seventh inning before NM State got out of the inning. 

Kukuk had another strong start in his final collegiate game, going seven innings and allowing just seven hits and three runs with no walks and three strikeouts. McHugh went 6.1 for the Aggies, allowing five hits and one walk and just one earned run. Galindo essentially blew the save twice and allowed two hits and three walks while getting just four outs but was credited with the win. 

McWilliam was 3-for-5 with an RBI and a run while ending the season having reached base in 19 consecutive games. Junior Kody Reynolds was 2-for-4 and raised his average to .300 for the year, as the Hornets had 10 hits in the game and created 16 at-bats with runners on base while hitting a superb .400 (4-for-10) with runners in scoring position. 

Lewis, who led the Hornets in 2016 with hits (69) average (.308), doubles (16) and home runs (7), ended his storied career by recording a hit in his 13th consecutive WAC Tournament game. He ends his Hornet career second in program history with 136 career RBI, third with 232 hits, and fifth with 47 career doubles. He was the WAC Freshman of the Year, a Freshman All-American, and a two-time all-WAC selection and two-time all-WAC Tournament choice. He was also the MVP of the 2014 WAC Tournament leading the Hornets to the first Div. I NCAA Regional in program history. 

Other team highlights in 2016 included: 

-       Reggie Christiansen’s Hornets team (30-28) won 30 games for the fifth straight season; 

-       Junior Tyler Beardsley, last night’s hard-luck loser, finished with the lowest earned run average (1.71) of pitchers with 25+ innings, and led the team in saves (11); 

-       Junior Max Karnos who started 15 games led the starters with the most wins (7-3) and the lowest ERA (3.58); 

-       Junior Sam Long (5-8), who led the staff in innings pitched (85.2), tossed a gem in his final game last night, lowering his ERA to just under 4 runs per game (3.99). 

 


5/26/16

Seattle Rallies in 9th, Top Hornets 5-4 at WAC Tournament

(Sac State Athletics)

MESA, Ariz. – Trailing 4-1 in the bottom of the ninth inning top-seed Seattle U strung together five hits with Dalton Hurd's walk-off RBI single giving the Redhawks a 5-4 win over No. 4 Sacramento State on Friday night in the WAC Tournament.

A fantastic start from junior Sam Long and strong relief work from senior Tyler Beardsley (4-2) permitted just one run and only four hits through the first eight innings of the game, but the Redhawks opened the bottom of the ninth with three straight singles against Beardsley before Curtis Perrin had a two-run double, Griffin Andreychuk hit a sacrifice fly, and Perrin scored on Hurd's one-out single up the middle.

Sacramento State (30-27) lost when leading after seven innings for the first time this season (had been 23-0).

The regular season conference champion and top seed in the WAC Tournament, Seattle U (36-19) moves on to face Utah Valley in the winners bracket tomorrow night at 7 p.m. Earlier on Thursday CSU Bakersfield eliminated Northern Colorado with an 11-6 win and Utah Valley beat second-seeded New Mexico State 3-2.  

The Hornets will play in an elimination game on Friday at 3 p.m. against the winner of the 11 a.m. game between New Mexico State and CSU Bakersfield.

Long allowed just one run and three hits with six strikeouts over six innings. He walked two men in the first inning and gave up a run on a Sean Sutton RBI single but that would be the only run he allowed. The Hornets tied the game at 1-1 in the third inning when PJ Floyd hit a two-out single before advancing to second and third on Seattle errors and scoring on a wild pitch.

Redhawk senior Ted Hammond also had a strong start as he allowed just the one unearned run through six innings, but in the seventh inning the Hornets staged an uprising. With two outs and a man on first, the Hornets strung together four incredible at-bats against reliever Connor Moore (4-0).

All four of the ensuing at-bats went to full counts. Moore got a six-pitch strikeout before junior Trent Goodrich drew a six-pitch walk and senior Chris Lewis had a nine-pitch walk to load the bases. Sophomore Andrew McWilliam then had a nine-pitch at-bat, fouling off four straight pitches before doubling into left field to clear the bases and put the Hornets ahead 4-1.

Moore got the last out of the seventh inning and pitched the eighth and ninth to earn the win when the Redhawks rallied. Seattle U outhit the Hornets 9-4 while no player on either team had more than one hit in the contest and McWilliam and Perrin had the only multi-RBI lines.


5/25/16

Sac State Rallies For 8-7 Win over Northern Colorado  in WAC Tourney

MESA, Ariz--  No. 4 Sacramento State (30-26) rebounded from a six-run first inning deficit to take the first game of the Western Athletic Conference tournament 8-7 over No. 5 Northern Colorado (16-33). 

Trailing 7-5 in the sixth inning, the Hornets scored three runs on an RBI double by pinch-hitter Brandon Hunley (Christian Brothers) and the game-winning two-run homer by P.J. Floyd (Whitney High) which gave the Hornets an 8-7 lead.

Sac State starting pitcher Max Karnos was roughed up for six earned runs in the first and only inning he completed. 

Austin Root (Oak Ridge High) came on in the second and pitched five innings of five-hit ball, allowing just one more run to the Bears. Chad Perry (Marysville High) and closer Ty Beardsley combined for three scoreless innings to preserve the win. 

In the ninth inning Beardsley allowed a one-out single. With the tying run on first base and two outs the right-hander struck out the last batter on a full count to earn his 11th save of the season. Root (1-1) was the winner in relief. 

Down by six in the bottom of the first inning, Sac State rallied to score two runs on a Andrew McWilliam RBI single and Kody Reynolds run-scoring double. 

In the third, the Hornets added two more on senior Chris Lewis’ seventh home run of the season. 

The Bears outhit the Hornets 12 to nine, but made two errors in the contest, while the home team played clean baseball. Floyd went 2-for-3 with three runs scored. Reynolds and catcher Gunner Polman each went 2-for-4 for the Hornets. 

Allen Cook (3-2) came on in relief of Northern Colorado starter Corey Nakamura in the third inning. He tossed 3.1 innings, gave up four runs (3 earned) and was handed the loss. 

Sacramento State will play its second game either tomorrow afternoon (3 p.m.) or evening (7 p.m.) depending on who wins this evening’s contest between No. 3 Utah Valley vs. No. 6 CSU Bakersfield. 


5/25/16

River Cats wear hole in Sky Sox with big inning 

(River Cats Media Relations)

WEST SACRAMENTO, CA – All six runs came in one inning for the Sacramento River Cats (19-28) Wednesday afternoon against the Colorado Sky Sox (19-23), but that was okay with Clayton Blackburn who strung together six shutout innings in the ‘Cats 6-0 win.

Sacramento sent 10 men to the plate against the Sky Sox starter Jorge Lopez in the bottom of the second inning, scoring six times on four hits and three walks. It all started when catcher Andrew Susac (Jesuit) opened the inning by reaching on an error. That was followed by a Mac Williamson double to put two runners on with no outs.

After Ryan Lollis grounded out, scoring Susac, Sacramento strung together six straight baserunners, taking advantage of three singles and three walks. Gorkys Hernandez smoked a two-run single up the middle, scoring both Grant Green and Hak-Ju Lee.

Making his first start since May 8, Blackburn allowed a leadoff single before retiring the next 12 he faced. The right-hander threw six shutout innings, giving up just two base hits and one walk while striking out five. It was his first scoreless start of the season and Blackburn lowered his ERA from 5.51 to 4.46 while improving to 2-3.   

 

Romo_RCats_Cabral
Sergio Romo pitched a perfect seventh inning
in his second rehabilitation stint with the River Cats.

Blackburn was followed by San Francisco Giants reliever Sergio Romo, who made his second rehab appearance with Sacramento this afternoon. Romo threw a crisp 1-2-3 inning, striking out one and throwing nine of his 16 pitches for strikes. In two innings with Sacramento, Romo has allowed one run and struck out four.


5/24/16

THREE SAC STATE BASEBALL PLAYERS NAMED ALL-WAC 

(Sac State Athletics)  

MESA, Ariz. – Sacramento State had three players named to the All-Western Athletic Conference (WAC) team at the conference awards banquet Tuesday night in Mesa, Ariz. Junior right handed pitcher Max Karnos was named to the first team while senior outfielder Chris Lewis and junior right handed pitcher Tyler Beardsley were selected to the second team. 

Sacramento State had a player selected first team all-WAC for the fifth consecutive season and had multiple all-WAC selections for the fifth straight year. 

Karnos had the best ERA among all starting pitchers in WAC play, going 6-2 with a 2.27 ERA in nine WAC starts. He allowed two earned runs or fewer in seven of his nine WAC starts and has a 7-3 record with a 2.77 ERA overall this season. He allowed just 26 earned runs in 84.1 innings pitched with two complete game shutouts and a shared shutout.   

In his first season at Sacramento State after transferring from Western Nevada College, Karnos was especially effective in his last three starts of the regular season. Over his last three starts (three Hornet wins) Karnos allowed just three earned runs for a 1.17 ERA, a 0.96 WHIP, and a .187 opposing batting average. He has allowed just two extra-base hits (both doubles) over the three games and had a 16-inning scoreless streak. He threw a shutout against Utah valley and allowed just one run over eight innings at Grand Canyon. 

Lewis earned his second all-WAC selection in his storied Hornet career. A fifth-year senior from Newark, Lewis leads the team hitting .310 with six home runs, 39 RBIs, and 33 runs scored this season. He also has the highest on-base percentage and slugging percentage on the team with seven stolen bases, and in WAC play he hit .324 with 24 RBIs. 

Lewis leads the team with 19 multi-hit games and 10 multi-RBI games, including a pair of 4-RBI games. A former Freshman All-American and the 2014 WAC Tournament MVP, Lewis ranks third in program history in career RBIs (133) and hits (229) and is fifth in doubles (47) and career at-bats (777).  

Beardsley took over as the team's closer in 2016 and has been nearly unhittable, allowing just five earned runs over 43.2 innings pitched this year for a 1.03 ERA with a .207 opposing batting average. He did not allow a run in his first 15.0 innings pitched in WAC play and had a 0.28 ERA over his first 32 innings pitched this year. 

~ ~ ~

Hornets Hope to Reprise 2014 WAC Tournament Crown

Sacramento State (29-26, 16-11 WAC) opens tournament play tomorrow at 3 p.m. against Northern Colorado (16-32, 11-12 WAC) in the Western Athletic Conference Tournament. The six-team, double-elimination tournament runs through at least Saturday and possibly Sunday if necessary at Hohokam Stadium in Mesa, Ariz.  

For the second straight year, the Hornets are the No. 4 seed and lead the WAC with seven tournament wins over the last two seasons (Sac State won the title in 2014). 

In 10 career WAC Tournament games in Arizona, senior Chris Lewis has hits in all 10 games and is 18-for-39 (.462) with 10 RBI. He was named the WAC Tournament MVP in 2014 and made the all-tournament team last year. 

Sacramento State ranks second in the WAC in ERA, opposing batting average, WHIP, and double plays turned, while the offense is second in doubles and stolen bases, and fourth in home runs. 


5/23/16

Utes Edge Bears, 6-5, Take the Series 

(Cal Athletics) 

BERKELEY - Despite three shutout innings in the return of starting pitcher Daulton Jefferies, Utah scored two runs in the ninth inning to edge California 6-5 to win the series Monday night at Evans Diamond. 

The game was a seesaw battle that saw starting pitcher Ryan Mason (Placer High) enter in the ninth inning in his first relief appearance of the year with no out and a runner on first and the Bears leading 5-4 over the Pac-12’s top team. After striking out the next two hitters, Mason allowed a walk. Then Kody Davis knocked in both runs in with a double to right center for the eventual game-winning hit. 

Trailing 4-3 in the bottom of the eighth the Bears (30-20, 12-15) took the lead with a two-run double by sophomore Denis Karas who had three hits in the game. Senior Mitchell Kranson singled to start the inning, followed by a fielder’s choice by sophomore Brett Cumberland. A walk to senior Nick Halamandaris put two runners on. To show the importance of this game, senior Brian Celsi (Jesuit) who is out of commission due to a broken thumb, pinch ran for Cumberland. He scored ahead of Halamandaris when Karas sliced a double down the right field line. 

Karas and junior Aaron Knapp (Granite Bay High) collected three hits on the night, each going 3-for-4, while Kranson also notched two hits. 

The Bears’ hopes to take the series were lifted when former Friday night starter Jefferies made his first appearance since March 24. He dominated the Utes through three complete innings with no runners reaching base. 

“I felt good. I felt like I could have gone a longer, which I guess is a good sign,” Jefferies said. “The last few weeks have probably been one of the worst experiences in my whole life, not pitching with these guys. I’ve said it before, these guys are like my brothers and Esquer is like a stepdad.” 

Cal jumped out to an early 2-0 lead with two runs in the bottom of the first off of back-to-back RBI singles from Kranson and Halamandaris. 

The Bears added one more run in the bottom of the fifth when Knapp scored off of an error. 

In the top of the sixth, Utah scored three times to tie the game at 3-3 off of a home run, an RBI single and a Ute who scored during a pickle play. The Utes took a short-lived lead in the eighth on a fielder’s choice before Karas knocked his double in the eighth. 

Monday’s game marked the final appearance at Evans Diamond for Cal’s 11 seniors – Celsi, Grant Diede, Brenden Farney, Halamandaris, Jesse Kay, Kranson, Mason, Devin Pearson,Sean Peters, Keaton Siomkin and Jordan Talbot. 

Added Esquer: “You don’t get a chance to coach a team like this that often. But just bad fortune with Jefferies going down and not being available for weeks, which is unfortunate for us because we’re a different team and program with him. This is a program that’s had Friday night starters the likes of Brandon Morrow, Tyson Ross and Erik Johnson. Those are all major league starters right there, and the guy who threw tonight is one of those.” 

Cal hits the road for the final series of the regular season, a three-game set at Washington State from May 27-29. All three games can be seen on the Pac-12 Network.

(Editor's Note: With last night's loss, the Bears RPI has dropped to 68, which places Cal out of the running for selection to the NCAA Regional Playoffs. Even with a sweep of Washington State next weekend, they're now a longshot to make the tourney. Pac-12 teams ahead of the Bears include: Arizona-25, Arizona State-39, Oregon State-52, Washington-53.

Utah at 101 RPI will only make the tournament if they win the conference. The Utes play host to Washington this weekend to determine the conference champion.
)



Gregorio, Romo dazzle on mound in 4-2 win

(River Cats Media Relations) 

The arms were on display Monday night at Raley Field as the River Cats (18-27) took the series opener from the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (18-22) by a score of 4-2. San Francisco Giants’ reliever Sergio Romo made his first rehab appearance following a stellar outing from starter Joan Gregorio.

Sacramento pitchers recorded 13 strikeouts for the first time this season.

Standing at 6’7”, Gregorio proved an intimidating presence from the mound, opening the night by striking out the side. A low-90’s fastball mixed with a sharp slider kept Colorado Springs off-balance and out in front all night. In total, the tall right-hander struck out a season-high eight, seven of which were swinging. He finished his night going five innings, giving up one run on two hits and three walks.

Following Gregorio was Giants’ reliever and fan-favorite, right-hander Sergio Romo. Making the first appearance of his rehab assignment, Romo was scheduled to go one inning or 20 pitches, and needed just 17 pitches to strikeout the side in the sixth inning.

“I think the best thing is I didn’t feel anything,” Romo said after his inning. “My arm felt great and I think that’s the best part. Also, the adrenaline you get in this situation, experiencing that is huge, something I haven’t been able to feel in a little while.”

Romo allowed a solo blast by Sky Sox shortstop Orlando Arcia. Arcia, the top prospect in the Milwaukee Brewers system, crushed the first pitch he saw to straightaway center to tie the game at 2-2.

Ramiro Pena’s two-out, two-run double in the sixth inning gave the River Cats the 4-2 lead, which proved to be the game-winning hit.


5/22/16

Cal Rides Dodson’s Arm to 9-2 Win Over Utes

BERKELEY- Senior Nick Halamandaris belted his fifth home run of the season, and pitcher Tanner Dodson posted a strong game as California beat Utah 9-2 Sunday night at Evans Diamond. The Golden Bears (30-19, 12-14) evened the series with the win.

Dodson (Jesuit) went six and a third innings against the Pac-12 leader, allowing two earned runs on eight hits and he struck out two Utes. Senior Keaton Siomkinpitched the rest of the way, allowing no hits and he struck out two.

Five Bears garnered multi-hit games including sophomore Brett Cumberland who collected two hits, two RBI and two runs scored. The four other Bears to collect multiple hits were senior Devin Pearson, senior Mitchell Kranson, sophomore Preston Grand Pre and Halamandaris. Pearson also scored twice.

“I think they just needed to relax a little bit,” Cal head coach David Esquersaid, who is now just two wins away from 500 career coaching victories. “I think they’re pressing. I’ve said it all along, they want it so bad. They’ve put a lot of pressure on themselves. They just need to relax and play ball.”

The Bears and Utes conclude this series Monday, May 23, at 7 p.m. from Evans Diamond. The game can be seen on the Pac-12 Network.


5/21/16

Sac State Drops Final Game 6-3 and Series to Seattle

(Sac State Athletics)

Sacramento State dropped the final game of the regular season at hom on "Senior Day" as Seattle University won 6-3.

The Hornets pounded out 11 hits and chipped away after Seattle U took an early 6-0 after two innings. The loss was inconsequential for Sacramento State (29-26, 16-11 WAC), which knew after last night's loss that they would be the Number 4 seed in next week's Western Athletic Conference tournament in Mesa, Arizona. The Hornets will open play at 3 p.m. Wednesday against fifth-seeded Northern Colorado, who they swept at home in April. 

With the win and a loss by New Mexico State on Saturday, Seattle U (35-19, 21-6) won the regular season WAC title and will be the top seed for the conference tournament. For the second consecutive year the tournament will be played at Hohokam Stadium, the spring training home of the Oakland Athletics, in Mesa, Ariz.

Senior Chris Lewis was 2-for-5 with an RBI single in his final home game. The three other Hornet seniors also saw action in their final home game as Grant Kukuk was the starting pitcher, Josh Egan started at catcher, and Tyler Beardsley threw two scoreless inning of relief out of the bullpen.


5/20/16

State Falls To Seattle 3-0 After 2 1/2 Hour Rain Delay

(Sac State Athletics)

In a game that started at 9:30 p.m. after a two and a half hour rain delay, Seattle University (34-19, 20-6 WAC) sophomore lefty Nick Meservey permitted just two hits and one walk with nine strikeouts over eight shutout innings to lead the Redhawks to a 3-0 win over Sacramento State (29-25, 16-10 WAC).

Meservey took a no-hitter into the seventh inning on Friday, allowing just four base runners on two singles, one walk, and one hit batter. Sacramento State junior Sam Long matched Meservey as neither pitcher allowed a hit until the fifth inning. Long allowed just two runs (one earned) on four singles and three walks over six innings. He struck out a career-high nine batters, topping his previous career best total by two strikeouts, but took a hard-luck loss.

Sophomore Andrew McWilliam recorded the first Hornet hit with a one-out single in the seventh inning to continue his hitting streak to 15 games.

Zach Wolf earned his WAC-leading 11th save of the season pitching the ninth inning for the Redhawks. Junior Austin Ragsdale kept the Hornets close allowing just one run and four hits in three innings of relief.

Saturday will be senior day for the Hornets as they wrap up the regular season. Senior Grant Kukuk will start for Sacramento State and will be honored along with fellow seniors Josh Egan, Tyler Beardsley, and Chris Lewis after the game.

With the loss and a win on Saturday by Utah Valley, Sacramento State is locked in as the No. 4 seed for next week's WAC Tournament in Mesa, Ariz. The Hornets will play in the first game of the tournament at 3:00 p.m. next Wednesday against the No. 5 seed, which will be either CSU Bakersfield or Northern Colorado depending on results on Saturday.

Seattle U will have a chance to win the regular season WAC title on Saturday. The Redhawks are tied with New Mexico State atop the league standings heading into the final day of the regular season. SU can clinch a share of the regular season championship with a win tomorrow but would also need a New Mexico State loss to earn the No. 1 seed for the WAC Tournament.


5/19/16

Hornets Claim First “Night” Victory 6-3 Over Seattle U 

by Editor Rick Cabral

On a night when starter Max Karnos was less than “magnificent,” Sacramento State (29-24, 16-9 WAC) rose to the occasion, outscoring Seattle 6-3 in the first of a three-game series. 

It was also the Hornets first “night” victory at home under their new lights.

Sacramento State senior Chris Lewis—playing his final home series of his four-year career—banged out two hits and knocked in two runs.  

Karnos (7-3), who has been sensational all season (hence our nickname for him “Karnos the Magnificent” a spinoff of the Johnny Carson character) went six innings, allowing three hits and two earned runs. But the right-hander walked six, which kept the Redhawks in the game. Until tonight, he had walked only 20 batters in 78.1 innings.

The Hornets’ pitcher showed control problems from the start, walking Seattle’s first two batters on nine pitches. Then Karnos induced a 6-4-3 double play, leaving the lead runner on third. Cleanup hitter Sean Sutton lined out to right field to end the Redhawks rally. 

In the Redhawks second inning, with one out they loaded the bases on a pair of singles and a walk. Kurtis Perrin hit a smash to first baseman Kody Reynolds who tried for a double play, but was successful only in getting the lead runner at second base, which scored Seattle’s first run. 

The Hornets got their stingers working in the third inning. Gunner Polman lined a single to left field. Brandon Hunley (Christian Brothers) was hit by a pitch. Bronson Grubbs’ sacrifice was bunted too hard back to Seattle’s pitcher Ted Hammond, who threw out Polman at third base. Both runners advanced to scoring position when Hammond (8-3) was called for a balk.

Trend Goodrich’s smash up the middle was stopped by Seattle’s second baseman, but not in time to make a play and Hunley scored to tie the game 1-1. P.J. Floyd’s (Whitney High) sacrifice fly plated Grubbs for the Hornets’ second run. Goodrich stole second base, and scored on Lewis’ RBI single. Andrew McWilliam laced a double to left field and Lewis scored all the way from first to give Sacramento State a 4-1 lead. 

But in the fourth inning, Karnos again walked the first two batters he faced. Jeffrey Morgan lined a shot off the pitcher’s glove to load the bases. Kyler Murphy grounded out to shortstop to drive in Seattle’s second run, making the score 4-2. 

Karnos retired the side in the fifth, and after allowing a leadoff walk to open the sixth inning (his sixth bases on balls), the pitcher retired the next three batters to keep the Hornets in the lead, 4-2. 

Reliever Chad Perry (Marysville High) started the seventh inning and allowed an unearned run as the Redhawks closed the gap to 4-3. 

Hornets’ closer Tyler Beardsley pitched a perfect eighth inning, and the home team took the excitement of a shutdown inning to the plate.

Goodrich led off with a single and was sacrificed to second base. Lewis singled sharply to left field, and with Coach Reggie Christiansen “windmilling” the runner to score, Goodrich rounded third and started sprinting for home. Christiansen changed his mind late, held up his arms, but Goodrich ran right through the stop sign. Fortunately, the relay throw was bobbled near the mound and Sacramento State had an insurance run and a 5-3 lead.

McWilliam (one of the Hornets hottest hitters of late) then doubled Lewis to third base. With Seattle’s infield drawn-in, Reynolds’ hot smash was bobbled by the first baseman, whose only play was to step on first, which allowed Lewis to score. The Hornets suddenly owned a 6-3 advantage. 

With Beardsley on the hill in a closing role and a three-run lead, the Hornets usually seal the deal, and they did tonight earning the pitcher his 10th save of the season.

In addition to Lewis' fine day at the plate, McWilliam and Goodrich each went 2-for-4 with one run driven in. While the Hornets stole three bases in the contest, Seattle wisely didn't attempt one. Sac State catcher Gunner Polman leads the WAC with 28 runners caught stealing, one better than last year's mark. With the loss Seattle (33-19, 19-6 WAC) falls into a first-place tie in the Western Athletic Conference standings with New Mexico State (which owns the tie breaker with the Redhawks). The outcome of this series may well determine the WAC Conference champion and tournament seeding. Sac State and Utah Valley are now tied for third place.

The Hornets and Redhawks face off again tomorrow night (we’re still unaccustomed to writing that after all those afternoon games) at 7 p.m. at John Smith Field.  




5/17/16

Hornets Fall 9-6 In First Night Game at John Smith Field

(by Editor Rick Cabral)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Sacramento State (28-24) celebrated its first night game under the new lights at John Smith Field but unfortunately came away with a 9-6 loss to University of the Pacific (21-28) tonight in a non-conference matchup.

3_SSU_Coaches_Lights_Cabral
Former head coaches John Smith (left) and Cal Boyes (center) joined head coach Reggie Christiansen for the lighting ceremony tonight at John Smith Field.


Hornets former c
oaches John Smith and Cal Boyes joined skipper Reggie Christiansen on the field for the "lighting ceremony" which turned on the eight light standards at 6:50 p.m. Sacramento State President Robert Nelsen threw out throw out the first pitch before the Hornets took the field. An announced crowd of 881, the largest in many a moon, showed up for this event.

In the early going UOP dominated as the Tigers took a 7-0 lead by the third inning, thanks to big blows by their sluggers Danny Mayer and Gio Brusa. The rest of the crew chipped in too.

To leadoff, JJ Wagner doubled down the left field line. One out later, Brusa hit his 12th home run of the season over the wall in right field to give UOP a 2-0 lead.

Two innings later Danny Mayer clubbed a solo shot for his team-leading 15th home run of the season, placing him in a two-way tie for second all-time. The Tigers scored four more times in that inning to take a 7-0 lead.

UOP starting pitcher Ricky Reynoso allowed just three hits through the first three innings, with P.J. Floyd homering (his 3rd) over the right field wall to make it 7-1.

The Tigers scored again in the fourth when Brusa doubled to knock in Mayer who singled in front of him. That hit was Brusa's 46th career double, which puts him in second place all-time.

In the seventh inning, Kody Reynolds banged a tw0-run homer to cut the lead t0 8-3. But in the ninth, Brusa homered for the second time, extending the UOP lead to 9-3. He went 4-for-5 with four runs batted in.

The Hornets rallied in their final frame. An RBI single by Brandon Hunley (Christian Brothers) and a 2-RBI single by James Outman cut the gap to 9-6, but the Sacramento State rally fell short.

Reynoso (3-4), a freshman, went seven innings, allowing six hits and three earned runs for the win. He struck out seven and walked none.

Tanner Olson (3-5), who started for the Hornets lasted just 2.2 innings, allowed six earned runs and took the loss.

Relievers Austin Root of Oak Ridge High (4 innings, 3 hits, 1 run) and Chad Perry of Marysville High (1 inning no hits) cooled down the Tigers juggernaut, allowing the hometown Hornets to get back in the game.

UOP_Brusa_HR_Cabral
Gio Brusa homered twice and drove in four runs for the Tigers.




 


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