Long, Esposito Earn Pre-Season WAC Honors

Sac State Media Relations

DENVER - The Sacramento State baseball team has been picked to finish second in the 10 team Western Athletic Conference (WAC) by the league coaches, the conference announced Wednesday.

Additionally, junior LHP Sam Long was selected as the WAC Preseason Pitcher of the Year and sophomore Vinny Esposito was chosen as the league's top first baseman on the Preseason all-WAC team.

The Hornets earned 74 points and four first place votes in the poll finishing just behind Grand Canyon, which had 77 points and five first place votes to be picked to repeat as WAC champion. As was the case last year, Grand Canyon is still not eligible to compete in the WAC or NCAA Tournaments as it reclassifies to Div. I. Seattle U was a distant third in the poll with 57 points


Sam Long, Sacramento State

Long (Del Campo High), a former Freshman All-American, enters his junior year seventh in program history with a 2.92 career ERA. He was also named a top collegiate prospect on D1baseball.com's College 300 going into the 2016 season.

Last year Long led the WAC and ranked 13th in all of NCAA Div. I with a 0.85 WHIP. He was also second in the WAC with a .198 opposing batting average and allowed just 64 hits and totaled a team-high 63 strikeouts to just 16 walks. He started the 2015 season 5-0 with a 1.73 ERA through seven games (six starts).

As a freshman, Esposito (Granite Bay High) led Sacramento State and was tied for third in the WAC with eight home runs. He was also third on the team with a .423 slugging percentage, totaling 28 RBIs. Esposito was strong defensively at first base as well, leading the WAC with 548 putouts with a .991 fielding percentage.  

Sacramento State has 17 total returning letter winners and 12 newcomers in 2016, with just two freshmen and 10 new transfers. The squad finished tied for fourth place in the regular season in 2015 and got within one win of reaching the championship game at the WAC Tournament before falling to eventual tournament champion CSU Bakersfield.


LaSalle Club Announces '16 Class HOF

The LaSalle Club Baseball will induct nine new members at its 62nd Annual Hall of Fame banquet next month.

The inductees include:


Bill Plummer  

Anderson Union High/Shasta College

Don Semon

Bishop Armstrong High (Christian Brothers)

Doug Carson

Bishop Armstrong 

Gary Darling 

Burbank High 

Mark Loper 

La Sierra High/American River College

Randy Brown

McClatchy/Sac City

Lowell Palmer

Norte Del Rio High 

Greg Sims

Sacramento High/Sac City College

Bill Walsh

Sacramento Solons 

The event will be held Saturday, February 20 at Christian Brothers High School. For ticket information and background on the nine players, visit www.thelasalleclub.com.




High School



For decades, Sacramento has been a hotbed of tremendous baseball talent. A few of the homegrown locals performing in the Major Leagues at present from the greater Sacramento area* include J.P. Howell, Dustin Pedroia, Manny Parra, Andrew Susac, and many more.

Among the hundreds of former professional players who have hailed from around here (and this is not an exhaustive list) include: Dusty Baker, Larry Bowa, Ken and Bob Forsch, Stan Hack, Woody Held, David Hernandez, Derrek Lee, Joe Marty, Butch Metzger, Steve Sax, Greg Vaughn, Fernando Vina and many others.

Numerous MLB managers have come out of Sacramento, including:
Dusty Baker (SF Giants, Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds) Larry Bowa (San Diego Padres and Philadelphia Phillies) Jerry Manuel (Chicago White Sox and New York Mets) Buck Martinez (Toronto Blue Jays) John McNamara (6 teams).

Many top-name big league players barnstormed through Sacramento from the teens through the early '60s. Among the barnstormers, none were bigger than Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, who performed as the Bustin' Babes and Larrupin Lous here in Sacramento in 1927 (you can read more about that tour at ThePitchBook.com).

After runnin' the bases here, if you would like to submit material that you believe should be included at BaseballSacramento.com, please send an email to
RAC (at) baseballsacramento (dot) com.

Also be sure to check out the All-Time Top 50 Players from Sacramento in the History section.


Rick Cabral

* The "greater Sacramento baseball area" extends west to Woodland, north to Yuba City, east to Grass Valley and south to the San Joaquin County line.

Updated 2/10/16
All contents © Rick Cabral, 2010-2016