UC Davis 8, Sac State 2  

By Editor Rick Cabral 

Davis, Calif. – The Aggies (13-25) got six strong innings out of starter Justin Mullins (1-4) and the offense scored seven runs by the fourth inning to take the first game of this year’s Diamond Causeway Classic 8-2 on a muggy, warm day at Dobbins Field. 

Sacramento State (23-19) has now lost four in a row (they were swept by New Mexico State last weekend), and UC Davis has won four in a row, having swept the Tigers of UOP last weekend.


UCD pitcher Justin Mullins worked six innings to earn his first victory of the year against Sac State.

UC Davis scored an unearned run in the second inning off Hornets’ midweek starter Tanner Olson (3-4).

In the home half of the third, Brad Pluschkell led off with a single and went to second on Tanner Bily’s walk.  Alex Aguiar singled in a run. With runners at second and first, Tanner Olson got left-hander batter Cameron Olson to hit into a 3-6-1 double play. 

But then freshman Logan Denholm (Oak Ridge High) doubled in Bily to make it 3-0. And when Olson walked the next batter, Coach Reggie Christiansen sought Austin Root (Oak Ridge High) from the bullpen, ending Olson’s short outing (2.2 IP, 5ER, 5H). 

Root plunked the next hitter to load the bases. Aggies’ freshman Caleb Van Blake singled in two more runs to give UC Davis a 5-0 lead. 

Riding a 5-0 lead in the fourth inning, Mullins had retired the first nine batters when Bronson Grubbs (Pleasant Grove) broke up the no-hitter with a single. Two outs later, Matt Smith (El Dorado High) also singled, but Mullins preserved the whitewash, stranding the runners. 

In the Aggies’ fourth, Christiansen brought in Friday starter Sam Long for an inning of work, and Davis made him pay. The first hitter Pluschkell worked a full count and then singled off the left-handed Long (Del Campo High). On the very first pitch he saw, Bily blasted a home run over the left field wall to give the Aggies a 7-0 advantage. 

Long bore down and struck out the next four hitters. That's right--four in a row, as the third batter's strike three pitch bounced to the backstop to continue the inning. Long fanned the next man up to record the rare 4 Punchouts in a Frame.  

State battled back, scoring twice in the sixth inning on Josh Egan’s sacrifice fly and Brandon Hunley’s hot smash that was mishandled for an error by Davis’ shortstop, Pluschkell. That made it 7-2 and ended Mullins’ afternoon.  

But UCD answered when Cameron Olson hit a solo smash over the right field wall for his third home run of the year. In the final three innings Aggies relievers allowed just one hit to preserve the 8-2 victory, their first over the Hornets at Dobbins Stadium in six games. 

UC Davis starter Mullins was backed by a solid defense, notably outfielder Alex Aguiar who made two great catches in left field, including a sensational catch leaping high against the fence to rob Trent Goodrich of extra bases in the first inning.

Over his six innings, Mullins allowed seven hits, two runs (one earned), walked none and fanned five. With this impressive outing his earned run average dropped from 5.40 to 4.58. 

Van Blake led all hitters going 3-for-4 with a double and a triple.  Pluschkell and Bily each went 2-for-4 with the latter knocking two with his home run. Grubbs and Goodrich both had a pair of hits for the Hornets, who totaled eight for the afternoon. 

These two teams meet again next Tuesday with the Hornets hosting UC Davis at John Smith Field. Game time is 3 p.m.



UCD coeds enjoying the game against Sac State.


Hornets Lose Series Finale 13-6--Swept By New Mexico State 

(Sac State Media Relations with an editorial assist) 

LAS CRUCES, N.M. – New Mexico State used five home runs for a 13-6 victory over Sacramento State on Sunday in Las Cruces.  

New Mexico State (25-18, 13-5 WAC) moved into sole possession of second place in the WAC with the win. Sacramento State (25-18, 12-6 WAC) drops to a share of third place in the conference.  

The Hornets outhit the Aggies 15-10 on Sunday and had scoring opportunities in each of the last eighth innings of the game, generating 16 at-bats with runners in scoring position in the game. Senior Chris Lewis hit his fourth home run of the season while Dan Deely, Gunner Pollman and Trent Goodrich all had three-hit games, with the latter driving in two runs. 

Sacramento State took the early lead again on Sunday as Lewis launched a solo home run in the second inning. New Mexico State came back with a 2-run homer in the bottom of the third but the Hornets drew even when Goodrich drove in Deely with a single in the fourth. 

The Hornets jumped to a 5-2 lead with three runs in the top of the fifth. Lewis led off with a single before sophomore Andrew McWilliam drove him in with an RBI triple. McWilliam would score on a sacrifice fly from Pollman, and Deely drove in the third run of the inning. 

The Aggies answered immediately with three runs in the bottom of the third to tie it 5-5, and in the home half of the sixth inning NMSU opened things up with five runs on four hits, with three of the four hits home runs. New Mexico State finished the scoring with three runs in the eighth inning on a 3-run homer by Daniel Johnson, his second home run of the game.   

Johnson homered in each game of the series, and over the three games he hit 10-for-15 (.667) with four home runs, 13 RBIs, seven runs scored, and a stolen base. Senior Grant Kukuk was handed just his second loss of the year for the Hornets.  

Sac State hit a solid .290 for the series, as Pollman hit .500 (5-for-10) and Deely hit .455 (5-for-11). But the slugging Aggies built on their WAC-leading scoring average and swept the Capital City collegians. 

The Hornets conclude a stretch of eight of nine games on the road with the first of two meetings with Causeway rival UC Davis. The foes will meet at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday in Davis.  

~ ~ ~

Washington Takes Series with 7-4 Win On Sunday in Berkeley

(Cal Media Relations with an editorial assist)

BERKELEY, Calif. — California lost the rubber match of a three-game series to Washington 7-4 at Evans Diamond Sunday.

The Golden Bears’ (24-16, 10-11) scored three runs in the third inning when catcher Brett Cumberland launched a three-run home run. It was his Pac-12 Conference leading 12th home run on the season.

The Huskies’ (25-15, 11-7) scored three runs off Cal’s starting pitcher Matt Ladrech (3-3) who went 3.0 innings before being replaced by Joey Matulovich who got the loss (0-1). Following Cumberland’s home run in the bottom half of the third, which tied the game, Washington retook the lead in the top of the fourth with a RBI single.

Cal had the bases loaded with no outs in the bottom of the ninth but could only score once, as Robbie Tenerowicz lined out, Cumberland struck out (for the third time in the game for just the third time this year), and Mitchell Kranson grounded out to end Cal's chances of a comeback against the Huskies closer and Pac-12 saves leader, Troy Rallings.

Aaron Knapp (Granite Bay High) and Brian Celsi (Jesuit) both had one hit in three at bats.


Parker Hits Three Homers, River Cats Crush Bees Again

(River Cats Media Relations with an editorial assist

Salt Lake City, UT    The River Cats came out swinging on Sunday, crushing the Bees 16-6 in the series finale in Salt Lake. Starter Chris Stratton settled in after a rough first inning to earn his third victory, and the offense again jumped all over the Bees pitching staff to finish off a historic offensive series.  

The River Cats offense has been on fire since landing in Salt Lake – they’ve piled up 48 runs over the four games and have collected 72 hits. The red hot offense put together innings in which they scored four, five, six, and nine runs, and they averaged 12 runs per game during the four game stretch. Every Sacramento starter recorded at least one hit in three of the four contests, and the team tied a franchise record for hits in a game on Saturday with 24. The team batting average has jumped 35 points since April 26 and is now at .285. 

This afternoon’s hitting clinic was highlighted by Jarrett Parker’s three home runs and a four-hit game from Miguel Olivo. Olivo came one hit shy of the cycle for the second straight day, going four-for-five with a double, a home run, four runs scored and an RBI. George Kottaras added his first home run of the year, while Ryan Lollis continued his strong play with a 3-for-6 day including two doubles. 

Stratton, the former first-rounder, would settle in nicely to get through six and earn his third win of the year. He finished the day with six innings pitched, six runs (five earned) on six hits, walking one and striking out two.   

Outfielder Mac Williamson was pulled from the game in the seventh inning after going 1-for-4 with a single and a run. It appears he may be headed to Cincinnati to join the San Francisco Giants as Angel Pagan today suffered a minor leg injury while running the bases.  


River Cats Offense Explodes on Bees, Snaps Streak In 14-1 Blowout

(River Cats Media Relations)

Salt Lake City, Utah – On a cold, windy night in Salt Lake City, the Sacramento River Cats (9-14) finally ended their 10-game losing streak against the Salt Lake Bees (15-8). Sacramento racked up 14 runs and tied a franchise-high with 24 hits. Grant Green, Ramiro Pena, and Miguel Olivo led the way for Sacramento, each coming up one hit shy of a cycle.

For the second night in a row, the River Cats were able to get off to a fast start thanks in part to Green, who hit a two-run home run in the second inning, to give Sacramento a 3-0 lead. The first baseman added a two-run triple in the fifth inning, his first of the season. On the night, he finished 3-for-6 with two runs and a season-high five RBI.

Not to be outdone was Pena, who added his own solo-home run in the fifth inning. The switch-hitter not only extended his hitting streak to five games, but went 3-for-4 with three runs, falling a triple shy. Last but certainly not least was the Olivo, who notched three hits of his own in six at bats. The veteran catcher had a single, double, triple, and two RBI on the night.

It was a breakout night for the Sacramento offense as a whole, as every starter registered at least two hits with six ‘Cats picking up at least three. All eight River Cats position players improved their respective batting averages and brought the team average from .263 to .278. In the three games this series, the River Cats have totaled 54 hits (18 per game) and scored 32 total runs.

Not lost in the offensive output for Sacramento was starting pitcher Ty Blach’s superb outing. The left-hander came into tonight’s game 0-2 against Salt Lake this season, posting a 10.38 ERA in 8 2/3 innings pitched. Tonight was a much different story for Blach, however, as the southpaw began the game by retiring the first 10 batters he faced, not allowing a baserunner until the fourth inning.

Last year’s Pacific Coast Leader in innings pitched (165 1/3), Blach went a season-high 7 2/3 innings in tonight’s outing, allowing one run (unearned) on six hits and three walks while striking out three. He would finish the night setting a season-high in pitches thrown with 98, 66 of which went for strikes, along with picking up his third win and lowering his ERA from 5.95 to 4.28.



New Mexico State Takes Game Two 6-2 Over Sac State

By Editor Rick Cabral

Las Cruces, New Mexico—The Aggies of New Mexico State (24-18, 12-5 WAC) continued shelling Sacramento State (25-17, 12-5 WAC) pitching today, claiming Game Two 6-2, and assuring a series win.

Coming into this important series Hornets head coach Reggie Christiansen knew that New Mexico State was the highest scoring team in the conference, averaging nearly six runs a game, with a team batting average of .282, good for second place in the WAC.

Yesterday, the Ags pounded Hornets starter Sam Long (4-6) and two relievers to the tune of 14 runs on 18 hits (Long allowed nine earned runs on 11 hits). Today, the Aggies continued the drumbeat off starter Max Karnos, who permitted six runs (five earned), 13 hits (five doubles and two home runs) in six innings of work. That, despite a brilliant, Houdini-esque defensive play by the pitcher.

With the victory, the Aggies climb into a shared second-place spot with the Hornets.

The Hornets opened the scoring in the first inning when Bronson Grubbs greeted New Mexico State freshman pitcher Kyle Bradish with a single. Chris Lewis’ fly ball down the right field line was caught. Grubbs tagged and outfielder Dan Hetzel’s throw to second base scooted into left field, and Grubbs scrambled to third base. He was knocked in by Andrew McWilliam’s RBI single. Dan Smith (El Dorado High) followed with a single, but the two runners were stranded, and Sac State had to be satisfied with a 1-o lead.

In the second inning New Mexico State’s leadoff hitter Hetzel singled up the middle. KJ Hatch hit a chopper up the middle and Karnos the Magnificent—with his back to the backstop—kicked the ball up to his glove as if he was playing a game of hacky sack to start a perfectly completed 1-6-3 double play. Good thing he did, too, as the next two hitters singled. But Karnos retired the fifth batter in the inning to stop the rally.

The Aggies scored three runs off Karnos in the third inning on a two-run homer by Daniel “Call Me the Hitman” Johnson, followed by a RBI single by Hetzel.

Vinny Esposito (Granite Bay High) launched an inside fast ball over the left field wall in the fourth inning to cut the Aggies’ lead to 3-2. It was the sophomore’s second long ball of the season.

In the home half of the fourth inning Sac State shortstop Trent Goodrich couldn’t field Brent Sukari’s chopper and the runner hustled to second base (it was ruled a single and E-6 error). Karnos got two quick strikes on Johnson, but the left-handed hitter golfed a low inside pitch for a double and his third hit of the game. That scored Sukari, giving the Aggies a 4-2 lead.

In the sixth inning, New Mexico State struck again off Karnos, who allowed a lead0ff home run to Mason Fishback, and later an RBI double by his nemesis Johnson.

Christiansen replaced Kontos in the seventh inning with Jonny Palsha, who spun two shutdown innings. He even retired Johnson on a groundout in the eighth, spoiling the hitter’s chance to hit for the cycle. Johnson went 4-for-5 with two doubles, a home run, four runs batted in for a total of 10 bases.

Four other Aggies hitters went 2-for-4 today. The Hornets managed eight hits total, two by Smith and two by the catcher, Gunner Pollman.

Besides Esposito’s round tripper, and Karnos’ magnificent play, there was one other bright spot for the Hornets: Pollman continued living up to his given name, throwing out another attempted base stealer today for his WAC-leading 23rd caught stealing.

The two teams conclude the series tomorrow afternoon.

~ ~ ~

Tenerowicz Drove in 4 and Dodson Tossed Seven Strong In 7-1 Win

(Cal Athletics Media Relations)

BERKELEY, Calif. – The California Golden Bears (24-15, 10-10 Pac-12) picked up a big 7-1 win to even the series with the Washington Huskies (24-15, 10-7 Pac-12) on Saturday night at Evans Diamond.

Junior second baseman Robbie Tenerowicz was 2-for-3 with four RBI on the night, and freshman righty Tanner Dodson (2-3) of Jesuit High of was excellent in his seven innings, scattering seven hits, allowing just one run and striking out four Huskies. Senior third baseman Mitchell Kranson pitched in with a big two-run single in a four-run seventh, giving the Bears an opportunity to win the series on Sunday.


Huskies Take Game One from Bears 4-2 in Berkeley

by Editor Rick Cabral

Berkeley, Calif -- Washington's John Naff snapped a 2-2 tie in the top of the eighth inning when he smoked Erik Martinez' fastball over the centerfield fence with two outs, sending the Huskies to a 4-2 Game One win on a chilly night in Berkeley.

With the win, Washington (24-14, 10-6 Pac-12) retains a share of first place in the Pac-12. Cal (23-15, 9-10 Pac-12) meanwhile, with pitcher Ryan Mason back on the hill, has now dropped eight of its last nine conference contests.

One ray of sunshine for the Bears on a windy, chilly night by the Bay was designated hitter Devin Pearson, who went 2-for-4, including his solo shot over the left field in the seventh inning that tied the game 2-2.

Ryan Mason returned to the mound after missing a start last weekend. Here the Auburn native delivers a pitch to Washington batter KJ Brady in the first inning.

Pearson, who came into the game with the lowest batting average of the Bears starters at .227, doubled in the second inning to start a Cal rally that resulted in the game’s first score.

They could have gotten more in that frame, but the first of California’s physical and mental mistakes surfaced. With runners at the corners, and Robbie Tenerowicz--the Bears' hottest hitter of late--at the plate Brian Celsi (Jesuit) was caught napping off first base for the third out.

Mason, the 6’5” right-hander from Placer High, missed a start last weekend against the red-hot Arizona Wildcats. Tonight, he went 5.1 innings, allowing two earned runs on seven hits and two walks. He had three strikeouts on 73 total pitches (49 for strikes).

Washington scored solo runs off Mason (5-2) in the fifth and sixth innings to tie and take the lead respectively.

In the fifth with none out, Huskies’ Levi Jordan dropped a showcase bunt down the third base line, a surprise with two strikes. Next hitter AJ Graffanino made several attempts to bunt and during the at bat, Jordan took second base on a wild pitch; Mason’s second of the night. With two outs, Jack Meggs singled up the middle, scoring Jordan to tie the game at 1-1.

In the Huskies sixth, with one out MJ Hubbs singled through the left side. During the next at bat, he also took second base courtesy of a pitch in the dirt, this time a passed ball on Bears catcher, Brett Cumberland. Naff singled to right field and Celsi came up firing. Cumberland leaped in the air, came down with the ball and applied the tag on Hubbs. But the runner knocked the ball from the catcher's glove as he slid across the plate, giving Washington a 2-1 advantage.

Meantime, Washington starting pitcher Noah Bremer (4-3) from Berkeley was holding the potent Bears offense in check. But in the sixth, the Bears responded. After Cumberland popped up, Mitchell Kranson doubled to right center, a ball that may have hit the track stadium wall if not for the strong westerly winds. That was it for the sophomore Bremer, who went 5.1 innings, giving up the one earned run on five hits and two walks.

Reliever right hander Will Ballowe hit Nick Halamandaris, and Cal sensed they had something going. Then pinch hitter Jeffrey Mitchell Junior hit into a 6-4-3 double play, nicely turned by the Huskies shortstop Graffanino, who ranged to his right, leaped to snag the high hopper and while in mid-air flipped to second, where the ball was fired to first in time. The Washington fans, in force tonight, cheered the sterling defensive play.

Washington sent Alex Nesbitt (2-1) to pitch the seventh, and although he allowed Pearson's game-tying home run, he was the victor tonight. Martinez (3-2), who has been the long reliever for the Bears in recent games, took the loss despite giving up just one earned run on two hits. He looked strong, fanning five during his nearly three innings of work.

In the Bears’ eighth inning, Washington sent to the mound Troy Rallings, the Pac-12 saves leader. He walked Cumberland, giving Cal something to cheer. Sean Peters pinch ran for the catcher. Rallings promptly struck out the next two Berkeley batters.

When the reliever came out in the ninth, the score was then 4-2 and Rallings retired the side, icing the Washington win, while earning his 13th save.

The Huskies outhit the Bears 10-7, while the home team made two errors (a wild throw by Halamandaris on a double-play attempt, and an error by shortstop by Preston Grand Pre (his 12th), who knocked in Cal’s first run in the second inning.

Following the game, head coach David Esquer was heard  tongue lashing his veteran squad, reminding them of this missed opportunity to take a game from the conference co-leader (Huskies share the top spot with Utah).

After the game, Mason summed the loss perfectly: “They played a clean slate out there and we didn’t. That was the difference.” The senior pitcher said he felt strong and was proud of keeping the ball low through most of his outing. Mason said he could have gone deeper in the game if Cal had needed him.

Esquer added “Again, mistakes are the difference. And we can feel sorry for ourselves or just not make mistakes.” He laughed, but you could hear him crying as well, as Cal’s chances at a return to regional playoff action could be in jeopardy if they don't rebound soon.

Cumberland, who still leads the conference in several offensive categories, has cooled off of late, going 3-for-15 with one double, no homers and no RBI in his last five games. Leadoff hitter Aaron Knapp (Granite Bay) had another tough game, going 0-4 as his average dropped to .241. He continues to sparkle on defense in center field.

The two teams meet again Saturday night at 6 p.m., followed by an afternoon contest on Sunday. Saturday the Bears will send out freshman pitcher Tanner Dodson of Jesuit.


It was Krazy Kids night at the ballyard, as Cal welcomed Little Leaguers
(and others with nothing else on their minds but just getting crazy) from the East Bay.

~ ~ ~


(Sac State Media Relations)

LAS CRUCES, N.M. – New Mexico State used a six-run third inning to open up a big early lead and went on to complete a 14-4 win in eight innings in the opener of a three-game series against Sacramento State on Friday night in Las Cruces.

Sacramento State (25-16, 12-4 WAC) saw its nine game winning streak against the Aggies come to an end, losing to the team for the first time since 2013. New Mexico State (23-18, 11-5 WAC) entered the game as the highest scoring team in the WAC and showed it on Friday.

The Aggies totaled 14 runs on 18 hits, both season highs against the Hornets in WAC play. The Hornets put up four runs on eight hits, with freshman Matt Smith and junior Brandon Hunley both going 2-for-4. Hunley hit a solo home run in the second inning while Smith drove in two of the four Hornet runs.


Nogosek Saves Oregon’s 7-6 Victory Over OSU 

By Editor Rick Cabral 

Stephen Nogosek (Woodcreek High) earned his 10th save of the season Wednesday night as Oregon (18-16) held on to defeat No. 10 Oregon State (26-11) 7-6 at PK Park in Eugene. 

With the win, the Ducks snap a four-game losing streak which began with their midweek loss to the Beavers, followed by a weekend sweep at UCLA. 

The Ducks blew open the contest by scoring seven runs in the second inning. Oregon State chipped away at the deficit by scoring three runs in the third inning and two more in the fifth. 


Stephen Nogosek
Courtesy Oregon State Athletics

When Nogosek took the mound in the ninth the Ducks clung to a two-run lead. The junior struck out the first hitter, then allowed a walk which ignited the Beavers comeback hopes. Christian Donohue rifled a single to right field, but Ducks’ right fielder Jakob Goldfarb allowed the ball to stream through his legs and roll to the fence, allowing the runner to score and narrow the margin to 7-6. Donohue, standing at third with one out, represented the tying run. 

Pac-12 television announcer Ted Robinson was already talking about the prospect of “free baseball” (i.e. extra innings) when Nick Madrigal (Elk Grove High) stepped to the plate. Madrigal, who was 2-for-4 on the night and flashing a .358 average entering the contest, battled Nogosek in a 2013 high school playoff classic en route to the Herd’s section crown.

After a long at-bat, Nogosek got Madrigal to pop-up to first base, stranding the runner. Then the right-hander struck out Oregon State catcher Logan Ice for the third out to preserve the win. 

With that performance Nogosek notched his 10th save and lowered his earned run average to 1.11. His ERA would place him among the Top 10 rankings in Division 1, except his 24.1 innings do not meet the minimum threshold.

~ ~ ~ 


(Sac State Media Relations)

WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Trailing 4-2 with two out in the ninth inning freshman Matt Smith (El Dorado High) delivered a 2-run single to tie the score, and with two out in the bottom of the 11th junior Gunner Pollman delivered an RBI single to give Sacramento State a 5-4 win over Fresno State on Wednesday night at Raley Field.

The game started out as a pitcher's duel and was scoreless into the seventh inning, with junior Tanner Olson throwing six scoreless innings for the Hornets and allowing just four hits and no walks.

Sacramento State (25-15) improved to 5-0 in extra-inning games this season with its third walk-off victory of the year. The Hornets trailed Fresno State (26-16) 4-1 going to the bottom of the eighth inning but scored one run in the eighth, two in the ninth, and the game winner in the 11th inning.

The Hornets currently are tied for first place in the Western Athletic Conference with Seattle University at 12-3. Sacramento State has four more conference series remaining, including this weekend's visit to third-place New Mexico State (Saturday's game is televised--check your listings). That will be followed by a home series vs. Utah Valley (May 6), Grand Canyon (May 13, away) and final series of the season against rival Seattle (May 19, home).

Scattered in between are mid-week games against U.C. Davis (May 3, away and May 10, home) and UOP (May 17, home).

" Barnstormin' Across America

The Bustin' Babes and Larrupin' Lous



High School



 Updated 5/3/16
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