Leon Lee Leads Sacramento
Into the Great West
By Editor Rick
The city of Sacramento has
seen its fair share of teams and leagues over the 150+ years they’ve been playing baseball in
the Capital City.
Next summer that list will
grow, with today’s announcement that Sacramento has been awarded a franchise and in 2016 will be
a founding member of the Great West League.
The Great West League will
be a high-level collegiate summer wood-bat program, that the organizers hope one
day will rival the Cape Cod League, America’s elite summer wood-bat program.
Ken Wilson and Leon Lee at today's announcement
that Sacramento will field a team in the new Great West League in 2016.
The local franchise will be led by Sacramento’s “Mr.
Baseball,” Leon Lee, who starred in the Japanese League from 1978 to 1987. His
partner and main investor is Vujadin Jovic, a former NBA agent who represented Vlade Divac (the
Kings’ new General Manager) and other Eastern European basketball stars.
Wilson, the Great West League president, was on hand to make the announcement in
concert with Lee at The Limelight Bar and Restaurant, Sacramento’s newest
sports establishment with a baseball theme. Wilson said Sacramento is the fifth franchise, and
he hopes to announce a sixth team later this week.
“We’re thrilled to be
getting a GWL franchise here in Sacramento,” Lee said today, “this is really a big thing for
baseball fans in Sacramento.”
International Baseball Association LLC—admittedly is behind, as they have yet to hire a general
manager and operational and marketing staff. More importantly, they’re unsure where the team
will play next season. Lee and his group have been negotiating with the city of Sacramento with
big plans to renovate Renfree Field, once home to semi-professional and amateur baseball
beginning in 1968.
But that announcement is
for another time.
Wilson, who is affiliated
with the Portland Pickles franchise, said the GWL has been brewing since 2013. “We wanted to do
it right, with a solid foundation.” Along with Wilson—longtime major league broadcaster for the
Mariners, Angels, White Sox, Cardinals and Oakland A’s, and a former league official of the
rival West Coast League summer program—will be Pat Gillick, long-time Philadelphia Phillies
executive who will run the Chico Heat. Other teams in the GWL include the Lodi Crushers and
Marysville Gold Sox, which has operated a successful program in the Horizon Summer
Wilson says the key to his
new league is “community support and corporate sponsorship.” He believes fans will support the
GWL because the quality talent level will rival comparable for-profit enterprises across the
United States, like the Cape Cod League. “Our league will be run like a minor league baseball
operation,” Wilson said.
When asked if Lee would
recruit local collegiate players, he said that he could field a top caliber team today with the
talent coming out of Sacramento. Lee should know.
The Grant High star was one
of Sacramento’s top prospects in 1971 and played seven seasons in the Cardinals farm system. He
then joined brother Leron Lee in Japan, and the Lee’s became “the Bash Brothers” of the Orient,
slugging homers and driving in runs with eye-popping ferocity.
After his playing career
was over, Leon Lee also coached and managed in the Japanese League, where he served as a
consultant to the film producers of the movie, “Mr. Baseball,” starring Tom Selleck. Hence,
Lee’s appellation “Sacramento’s ‘Mr. Baseball.’”
Lee and partners Eddie
Cervantes and Larry Wolfe have run a baseball academy for youth up to age 18, and Cervantes and
Lee also ran a summer-league program based in Lodi. So, Leon Lee is extremely well grounded
in amateur baseball in the Sacramento region.
Oh, and his son Derrek Lee
(El Camino High) enjoyed a 15-year career in the major leagues.
Finally, for the past two
seasons Lee also has served as color analyst for the Sacramento River Cats' home games, pairing
up with long-time play-by-play man, Johnny Doskow.
Stay tuned for more details
on the Great West League’s newest franchise.
~ ~ ~
Pollman and Madrigal Tabbed All-WCL in Summer League Action
Speaking of the rival West Coast League...
Gunnar Pollman, Sacramento State's junior catcher, and Nick
Madrigal, (Elk Grove High) incoming freshman shortstop at Oregon State University, were
selected First Team All-West Coast League, the NorthWest collegiate summer
Pollman, who caught for Klamath Falls, batted .314 with 10 doubles, two home runs and 11 runs
batted in over 27 games.
Madrigal, fresh off the Sac-Joaquin Division I championship, hit .303 with nine doubles, two
triples and 20 RBI for the Corvallis Knights, where he also stole a team-leading 40
Virginia Claims First CWS With 4-2 Win in Game Three Over
by Editor Rick
Freshman Pavin Smith
knocked in three runs, including a game-tying two-run homer and starter Brandon Waddell
toughened after a rocky first inning, to lead Virginia to a 4-2 win over Vanderbilt and its
first-ever College World Series.
For the Cavaliers, the win
was especially sweet, as they watched Vanderbilt celebrate a 2014 CWS championship on
this same field at TD Ameritrade Park. In the process, Virginia is the first Atlantic Coast
Conference team to claim the trophy since Wake Forest did it in 1955.
This game epitomized the
2015 College World Series, with solid pitching, great defense and timely hitting by the unlikely
Unlike the previous two
contests, which saw both teams shut out through the first five innings, there was immediate
action in this Winner-Take-All Game Three.
Virgina’s first two batters
both singled off Vanderbilt starter Walker Buehler. With one out, he pitched around Smith to
load the bases, then fanned senior Kenny Towns.
He got the next
hitter to fly out to center field to deny the Cavaliers a score, and cast a veil of
doubt early on Virginia’s dugout.
That veil grew larger when
the Commodores then scored twice in their half of the first inning.
Brandon Waddell issued a leadoff pass to Bryan Reynolds, who went to third on Rhett Wiseman’s
double to the left field wall. Dansby Swanson, the first player taken in the 2015 MLB Draft, hit
a high chopper to third base, scoring Reynolds on the fielder’s choice.
Cleanup hitter Xander Weil
whacked a double down the third base line, scoring Wiseman to give Vanderbilt a 2-0
struck again in their half of the fourth, but Virginia flashed incredible defense to negate
another score. Waddell threw out Jeren Kendall on a well-placed bunt down the first-base line
with Smith snagging the ball on a hop at first base.
After designated hitter
Penn Murfee doubled, Smith caught a fly ball over his shoulder in foul territory. Murfee tagged
and reached third base. Towns then trapped a rocket by Tyler Campbell behind the third base bag,
got up and fired a perfect throw to first to end the inning.
Smith's game-tying home run
in the fourth inning charged his teammates. Then in the fifth, the tall
redhead put Virginia ahead 3-2 with
a single to left field, notching his third RBI of the game.
The Cavaliers added an
insurance run in the seventh inning when Towns smoked a breaking ball into centerfield, driving
in Haseley for a 4-2 lead. It was Towns’ 7th RBI of the CWS.
Meanwhile, Waddell was
lights out, retiring 11 in a row as he continued to shut out the vaunted Vanderbilt offense from
the second through the seventh innings.
Nathan Kirby, who started
and won a game earlier in this CWS, came on in relief in the bottom of the eighth. All he did
was strike out Reynolds, Swanson and Weil.
Kirby, a first-round draft
selection, gave up a two-out single in the ninth inning to Murfee, but fanned the final batter
to close out the victory and send the ‘Hoos to their first-ever dogpile at the College World
“This is incredible what
(our players) have accomplished. Fortunately, we were able to piece it together,” O’Connor told
ESPN with great emotion and his players celebrating on the field. “Vanderbilt is all class.
Great opponent. We just feel fortunate to come away with this championship.
Virginia's 44 wins were the
fewest by a national champion since the USC Trojans posted 43 victories in 1968. The
Cavaliers almost didn't get into the NCAA Regionals after a 1-3 showing in the ACC
But now they've earned the
right to display the 2015 Championship in their trophy case.
Josh Sborz, who threw 13
innings, earned three wins and last night’s pivotal Game Two save, was selected the MVP of the
Down to Winner-Take-All Third Game Tonight
Virginia Spins 3-0 Shutout Over Cavs--Hoos Hot Now?
UVA Media Relations
OMAHA, Neb. -- Virginia evened the College World Series Finals at a game apiece by blanking
Vanderbilt 3-0 Tuesday night in front of 24,645 fans at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha. The Cavaliers
(43-24) forced a deciding Game 3 -- to be played at 8 p.m. Wednesday -- to determine the
national champion. UVa is seeking its first national championship.
Adam Haseley and Josh Sborz combined on a
seven-hit shutout, while the bottom of UVa’s batting order, Ernie Clement and Thomas Woodruff,
recorded six of UVa’s 10 hits while driving in all three runs.
“We're excited that we have a chance to
play again tomorrow night,” Virginia head coach Brian O’Connor said. “Adam Haseley rose to the
occasion on the mound and gave us just a high-quality start, and Josh Sborz did what he's been
doing this entire tournament in grinding out the back half of the game and showed what he's
made of. And then (Thomas Woodruff), I don't know when the last time he started a game was, but
he put some great swings on the baseball and played some great right field. It was just a total
team effort and I’m really proud that we have another chance to play and looking forward to
Making his first career NCAA tournament
start and his first start since May 16 at North Carolina, Woodruff went 3-for-4 with a pair of
RBI. Clement also had three hits -- his most since April 11 at Georgia Tech. Both had
run-scoring hits during a decisive three-run sixth inning.
In just his fifth start of the season and
the first since May 24, Haseley worked a career-high five innings, allowing four hits and three
walks while striking out one and holding the potent Vanderbilt offense scoreless. Haseley also
led off and went 1-for-4 at the plate. He became the second starting pitcher to also hit
leadoff at the CWS, joining Clemson's Bailey Hendley (June 15, 1958).
Sborz (7-2) worked the final four innings
to earn his third win of the College World Series and has not allowed an earned run in his last
27 innings, including 13 frames at the 2015 CWS. He became the 11th player to earn three wins
in a single CWS and now has four career CWS wins, which is tied for second in the event’s
history. Sborz is the second player in history with three wins and a save in the same CWS,
joining Southern California’s Russ McQueen (1972).
Vanderbilt starter Philip Pfeiffer (6-5)
pitched 5.2 innings, allowing three unearned runs, eight hits and a walk while striking out six
in taking the loss.
Vanderbilt (51-20) put the first two
runners on base in the sixth inning. Rhett Wiseman singled to center and after Sborz entered
the game, Dansby Swanson reached on an infield single. Sborz rebounded to get Zander Wiel to
ground out before Bryan Reynolds hit a grounder to Daniel Pinero at shortstop, who stepped on
second and fired to first for the a double play.
Virginia strung together four hits in the
sixth inning -- all with two outs -- to score all of its runs and take its first lead of the
finals series. Pavin Smith and Kevin Doherty hit back-to-back singles before Joe McCarthy
reached on a fielding error by Wiel at first base to load the bases. Clement then singled
through the left side of the infield to score Smith. Woodruff followed by stroking a single to
center to bring Doherty and McCarthy home for a 3-0 lead.
Vanderbilt threatened with runners at
second and third with two outs in the ninth inning before Sborz struck out Nolan Rogers to end
Lights Out, Vandy Takes CWS Game One 5-1
Fulmer brought his nasty stuff on Monday and
Vanderbilt has a 1-0 lead in the College World Series final.
Fulmer, the No. 8 overall pick in this year's
Major League Baseball draft, allowed only two hits in 7 2/3 scoreless innings and struck out seven
and the defending national champs are now one win away from a repeat.
In earning the win, Fulmer tied a school
record for wins in a season with his 14th.
Connor Jones matched Fulmer almost pitch for pitch until the sixth, when Will
Toffey finally broke a scoreless tie with a two-run double to right. Jones ultimately took
the loss, allowing four runs on seven hits and striking out six in 6 1/3 innings of
Swanson, the No. 1 overall pick in the draft,
and Bryan Reynolds had two hits and one RBI apiece for the Commodores.
The Commodores (51-19) and
Cavaliers (42-24) meet again Tuesday at 7 p.m., with a third game set for 7 p.m. Wednesday, if
MLB Draft News
SACRAMENTO STATE PITCHER NICHOLS SIGNS FREE AGENT CONTRACT WITH TAMPA BAY
(Sacramento State Media Relations contributed to this report)
Sacramento State senior right-handed pitcher Ty Nichols has signed a free agent contract with the
Tampa Bay Rays.
As a senior Nichols put together arguably the greatest single season pitching performance not only
in program history but also in WAC history. He was 6-0 with a 1.23 ERA in his senior season,
shattering the single-season program record for ERA (min. 50 innings pitched) and ranking fifth in
all of NCAA Div. I in ERA.
Over his last 57 innings pitched Nichols allowed only five earned runs and just 29 hits, a 0.79
ERA, 0.74 WHIP, and .149 opposing batting average. For the season he also ranked 10th in
the nation with just 5.60 hits allowed per nine innings and was 13th with a 0.90 WHIP.
He also had a WAC-best .181 opposing batting average and earned First Team all-WAC
After four Hornets were selected in the Major League Baseball Draft last week Nichols becomes the
fifth Sacramento State player to sign an MLB contract. The five MLB signees are the most the
program has had in a season since 1993, when three players were drafted and three signed as free
Nathan Lukes, the career record holder for hits (244), this week penned his contract with the
Cleveland Indians, who took him in the 7th Round. A two-time all-WAC first team selection, Lukes
hit .345 in 2015 with 7 home runs and 38 RBIs.
Brennan Leitao, taken by the St.
Louis Cardinals in the 26th round, inked his deal yesterday. Leitao is Sacramento
State's all-time leader with 31 career wins and 398.0 innings pitched. He is also third in
program history with 226 career strikeouts and is the first player in program history to be a
three-time all-WAC selection. He went 7-4 with a 2.20 ERA as a senior after being selected as a
Louisville Slugger Preseason All-American.
Also signed this week were junior
closer Sutter McLoughlin, drafted by Philadelphia in the 22nd Round, and senior
shortstop Scotty Burcham, taken in the 25th Round by Colorado. McLoughlin shattered
the Sacramento State program record with 33 career saves and also recorded the lowest career ERA
in program history at 1.93 (min. 100 innings pitched).
An all-WAC second team selection as a senior, Burcham hit a career-best .329 with four homers and
33 RBIs in 2015, and finished his collegiate career second in program history with 235 career hits,
topped only by Lukes.
Last week, two UC Davis seniors
inked their professional contracts. First baseman Nick Lynch was selected by Los Angeles Angels
of Anaheim in the 30th Round and catcher Izaak Silva, taken by the same club one
round later, has done the same.
Lange, Bregman and Crew End Titan's Season With 5-3 Win
by Editor Rick
LSU freshman Alex Lange
allowed Fullerton State three runs in the first, then shut down their offense, while junior Alex
Bregman led a 13-hit Tigers attack en route to a 5-3 victory in this elimination game at the
College World Series.
The Titans, who lost a
heartbreaker yesterday to Vanderbilt, were in for a big challenge with the All-American Lange on
the hill. But the 6’4” right-hander had control issues early and CSU Fullerton capitalized in
the first inning.
Number three hitter David
Olmedo-Barrera tripled in Tyler Stieb to give the Titans a 1-0 lead. With LSU’s infield drawn
in, Jerrod Bravo (Ponderosa/ Sacramento City) singled past the shortstop Bregman, scoring
After Tanner Pinkston
singled, moving Bravo to third base, junior transfer Dalton Blaser (Roseville High/Sierra
College) laid down a sweet safety squeeze along the first base line, scoring Bravo and giving
Fullerton State an early 3-0 lead.
In the LSU third, Bregman
sliced a single through the 5.5 hole to start a rally that saw the Tigers score four times on
six singles. In the process, they knocked Titans’ starter Connor Seabold out of the game. Coach
Rick Vanderhook replaced Seabold with former Rio Linda High star Miles Chambers, who corralled
the Tigers through the next four innings. Chambers limited LSU to five hits and one earned run,
coming in the seventh inning.
But the way Lange (12-0)
pitched this afternoon, turns out the Tigers didn’t need the insurance run.
At one point, the freshman
retired 14 of 15 hitters, using a dominating mid-90s fastball, electricfying 12-6 curveball and
a changeup in striking out 10 while walking two batters. He allowed the Titans six hits in all,
but just three more through the final eight shutout innings, en route to a complete game
victory, his 12th of the season.
After the game LSU head
coach Paul Maineri said he wasn't worried about Lange after the Titans scored three quick runs.
"(Lange) has shown us all year that he is not going ever to throw in the towel. He's going to
fight you right to the very end. And he's the ultimate competitor, besides having a lot
of ability. I really wasn't worried about it."
The loss sends Cal State
Fullerton (39-25)—winners of the Big West—home after two tough losses at the CWS.
In post game comments
Vanderook summarized his team's efforts at the CWS this way: "We played two games here, and
didn't lose once. We got beat twice," he said, giving credit to Vanderbilt and LSU. "And I can
live with that."
Meantime, LSU (54-11)—which
was ranked first in the nation for much of the season—will face the loser of tonight’s game
between TCU and Vanderbilt on Thursday.
Lightning Strike Homer By 'Dores Kendall
Propels 4-3 Walk-Off Win Over Titans in Continuation Game
by Editor Rick
Who says lightning never
strikes twice in the same place?
Last night near
TD Ameritrade Stadium there was lightning, followed by a gully-washer that forced suspension
of a game in which Cal State Fullerton led Vanderbilt 3-0 in the sixth
continuation match, lightning struck again, this time off the bat
of Vanderbilt freshman Jeren
Kendall whose two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth gave the Commodores a 4-3 walk-off
win over the Titans.
Kendall smoked a
first-pitch slider from losing pitcher Tyler Peitzmeir (5-4) over the right field wall knocking
in Bryan Reynolds, who earlier in the inning had doubled home Xander Weil to cut the Titans lead
When the game resumed this
afternoon, Weil stood at the plate with a 3-2 count and Rhett Wiseman standing on third base
with two outs. But instead of Thomas Eshelman on the mound, who held Vanderbilt in control all
evening on Monday, Cal State Fullerton sent out Chad Hockin to finish the inning.
That’s because last night
Eshelman allowed Weil to foul off two pitches before lightning struck and the heavens
opened. Officials suspended the contest until 2 p.m. Central Time Monday.
When Hockin delivered the
belt-high fastball Weil slammed it in to right center field, scoring Wiseman and putting
Vanderbilt on the board with a 3-1 score.
Although the Titans ran out
to a quick 3-0 lead, Vanderbilt pitchers limited the West Coast team to five hits, with reliever
Kyle Wright, who tossed two-thirds of the ninth inning, the winner.
Kendall’s 8th round-tripper
of the year became the first walk-off home run at the CWS since 2009.
Fullerton State will
forever ingloriously remember this game. Everyone including Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin
agreed that with Titans’ starter Eshelman in control, the Commodores’ only chance was for an
And the 2014 National
Champions got their wish and made the Titans pay, as they now go on to play TCU in the winner’s
bracket tomorrow evening.
Fullerton State drops to
the loser’s bracket and tomorrow afternoon must play an elimination game against No. 2
Fullerton Rained Out in 6th with 3-0
Lead Over Vanderbilt
Cal State Fullerton starter Thomas Eshelman
was in firm command over Vanderbilt and the the Titans were leading 3-0 when the
game was halted due to a weather delay in the sixth inning. Nearly two hours later, with rain
drenching the field, it was announced the game will be resumed tomorrow at 9 a.m.
Eshelman, the strike-throwing machine, had
allowed just four hits, while striking out eight and walking none when the game was halted in
the sixth with two outs, a runner on third and a full count on the power-hitting, Xander
The Titans scored once in the third inning on
a walk, balk, a sacrifice bunt followed by a base hit by the number nine hitter, Taylor
Bryant, who mashed a hanging curve ball by Commodores' starter Carson Fulmer.
In the top of the fifth inning Fullerton
State scored two more runs off Fulmer, who was drafted eighth overall by the White Sox last week.
The first run came in on a wild pitch and leadoff man Josh Vargas knocked in the third
run to give the Titans what seemed a big 3-0 lead with Eshelman on the mound.
That will all change tomorrow morning when
the game is resumed with Weil at the plate with a 3-2 count and a new pitcher on the
Titans Feature Locals at
College World Series
by Editor, Rick Cabral
Cal State Fullerton
(39-23) is headed to the College World Series, thanks in part to several Sacramento
area ballplayers, who’ve played an important role in the Big West Champions road to
Among them are outfielders
Dalton Blaser (Roseville High/Sierra College), Dustin Vaught
(Bella Vista/Sierra College) and third baseman Jerrod Bravo (Ponderosa
High/Sacramento City), and pitcher Miles
Chambers (Rio Linda High).
For the second straight
year, only one squad emerged from the Western United States. The Titans almost didn’t make
it, taking two extra-innings games from host Louisville in the Super Regional.
Blaser led Cal State
Fullerton to a 3-2 win over the Cardinals in the first game of the Louisville Super Regional
last weekend, going 2-for-3 with two runs batted in. He also made a sensational diving catch of
a line drive in right field in the fourth inning. Bravo scored the winning run when Timmy
Richards was struck by a pitch with the bases loaded.
In Game Two, Louisville
roared back, winning 9-3.
In the top of the eighth
inning of Game Three, with the Titans trailing 3-1, Bravo shot a base hit through the left side
to score two runs and tie the game. Although Louisville had its chances with runners in scoring
position in the 9th and 10th innings, Titans All-American reliever Tyler Peitzmeier didn’t
allow the Cardinals to score. In the top of the 11th David Olmedo-Barrera hit a slicing ball
down the left field line that appeared to have landed just left of the left-field foul poll, but
was ruled a home run on the field. After a lengthy review, the controversial call was upheld,
giving the Titans a 4-3 lead.
Titans' ace Thomas Eshelman leads
the country in
Photo © CSU Fullerton Athletics.
Junior pitcher Thomas
Eshelman, who limited the Cardinals to one run over seven innings in Game One, closed in
the 11th inning for his first career save and secured the victory that sent Cal State Fullerton
to its 17th College World Series.
For Blaser, a
junior transfer from Sierra College, it’s been an amazing ride. “It hasn't been easy for us but we
are grateful for the road chosen for us,” he told BaseballSacramento. “We embraced the adversity
from the beginning of the season and used it to put us where we are now.”
Fullerton State dropped out
of the Top 25 early in the season and had to claw and scratch to win the Big West Conference on
the final weekend. They swept through the Fullerton Regional, twice defeating
For the season, Bravo hit
.312 with 24 runs batted in. Blaser, who has started more frequently down the stretch, batted
.272 with six doubles. Vaught, who played in nearly every game, hit .256. with 14
Chambers, a right handed
reliever, has appeared in 24 games and sports a 5-3 record with a 2.19 earned run
Fullerton State has the
unenviable task of lining up against the 2014 CWS Champion, Vanderbilt (47-19), which returns to
Omaha with two number-one draft picks in shortstop Dansby Swanson (.350,
15 HR, 62 RBI) who was selected first overall
in the 2015 draft by Arizona and starter Carson Fulmer (13-2
/ 1.82 ERA), plus a cadre of
returning players from last season’s title team.
But the Titans boast a
formidable one-two punch with Eshelman (8-5 / 1.58
and Olmedo-Barrera (.328/10 HR/45 RBI). Eshelman
leads the nation with an impressive 131:7 strikeout-to-walk ratio (18.71) and walks allowed
per nine innings (.46).
This will be the first
official meeting between the two schools. Game time is Sunday, 5 p.m. PDT. Also slotted in
Bracket Two are TCU (49-13) and LSU (53-10).
in Bracket One, Arkansas (40-23) faces Virginia (39-22), while Florida (49-16) plays Miami
(49-15). Teams from each bracket play a double-elimination tournament with the winners advancing
to the championship round to determine the CWS winner.
Fullerton State last
appeared at the CWS in 2013. Their last title came in in 2004 when head coach George
Horton's Titans swept Texas and former Fullerton State mentor, Augie Garrido. In all the Titans
have won the CWS four times.
This will be Rick Vanderhook's first College World Series as a head coach but his 12th trip to
Omaha as a Division I coach. He's made 10 trips with the Titans (1990, 1992, 1994-95, 1999, 2001,
2003-04, 2006-07) and one with UCLA (2010). He's been on the winning end three times as a Titan.
Once as a player (1984) and twice as an assistant coach (1995 under Garrido) and 2004 (under
Iowa Sends Oregon and
Nogosek Packing 2-1 in 11 Inning Thriller
Oregon pitcher Stephen
Nogosek (Woodcreek High) gave up the game-winning hit in the top of the 11th inning of the
Springfield Regional as Iowa advanced with a 2-1 win over the Ducks.
Nogosek, who led
Woodcreek to a Section II Championship in high school, came in relief in the seventh and
threw four shutout innings. With two outs and the bases loaded in the seventh the
sophomore right-hander--who consistently hit 94 on the radar gun--fanned the last batter to hold
the Buckeyes in check.
With his 4 2/3 innings of
stellar relief work, Nogosek (6-3) went five outs longer than in any of his 37 appearances
for the Ducks this season, who finished the year under head coach George Horton with a 38-25
~ ~ ~
Texas A&M Edges Cal 4-3, Forces Game 7
Aaron Knapp (Granite Bay High) was tagged out in a rundown attempting to score
the tying run in the 12 inning, as Texas A&M wins 4-3, forcing a Game 7 in the College
Station Regional tomorrow.
The Aggies scored the go-ahead run in the top of the 12th on a controversial
call involving the lead runner touching home plate just before the trail runner was tagged
out at third base. Replays showed the play too close to call, but the safe call stood
(college doesn't employ a replay system), and the Cal Bears failed to score in the home
Knapp drew a walk to open the inning. He advanced to second on a sacrifice. With
two outs, senior Chris Paul hit a chopper that bounced off the glove of the Aggies' first
baseman, who recovered and threw home. Knapp had rounded third and was heading for the plate,
but got in a pickel and was tagged by the Aggies' third baseman for the final out of the
Last night, Cal won the 14-inning thriller on a walk-off home run by catcher
With a win tomorrow the Bears will advance to the super regionals. They last
played in the College World Series in 2011.
Trojans Defeat Stanford 2-0
Behind Hart’s 5-Hit Shutout
Freshman Mitch Hart (Granite Bay High) tossed a complete-game shutout,
leading USC over Stanford 2-0 this afternoon and giving the Trojans an important series
Hart (7-2) allowed just
five hits, while striking out six in his second career shutout. With the win, the Trojans move
into a three-way tie for second place in the Pac-12 with a record of 15-9. Cal and Arizona
State, which defeated UCLA 2-1 today, also share a 15-9 conference record.
UCLA still tops the
Pac-12 standings with an 18-6 record.
For his shutout against
Washington State, Hart was selected Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week March 16.
With seven games remaining,
Stanford (21-28) is on course to posting its worst record since head coach Mark Marquess took
over the helm in 1977.
Hornets Sweep Northern
Colorado Behind Burcham’s Two Bombs and 5 RBI
Senior Scotty Burcham’s
two-home run afternoon led Sacramento State’s 9-3 win to complete a three-game sweep of Northern
Colorado at John Smith Field.
Burcham, who went 3-for-5
with three scored runs and five runs batted in, had a two-run homer in the Hornets’ four-run
fifth inning, a 2-run RBI single in the sixth, and a solo shot in the ninth inning for one his
most prolific days in the Green and Gold.
Senior Scotty Burcham knocked in five runs
with two homers in today's 9-3 win
over Northern Colorado. File photo
For the third consecutive game the Hornets (29-23) had more than a dozen hits, this time 14 in all
for a weekend total of 40 base hits against the Bears.
Senior Chris Lewis,
sophomore Gunner Pollman and freshman Vinny Esposito (Granite Bay High) each went 2-for-4. Lewis
and Pollman both had a double in the Hornets explosive afternoon.
Starter Justin Dillon (6-4)
gave coach Reggie Christiansen another quality start this weekend, going six innings, allowing
six hits and all three of the Bears’ earned runs. The sophomore from El Dorado
High walked one and struck out four. He was followed by relievers Ty Beardsley with
one inning and closer Sutter McLoughlin with two shutout innings.
For Sacramento State (15-9
in WAC), the win marks the seventh in a row—all coming in May.
Next up is a crucial
three-game series against Grand Canyon, which sits atop the Western Athletic Conference but is
ineligible to advance to the WAC tournament during its transition to Division I.
took its series with Chicago State this weekend and sits alone in second place in the
WAC with a 16-8 record. CSU Bakersfield (15-8-1) dropped two of three to Grand Canyon
and is one half-game behind Seattle in third place, and one-half game in front of the
Hornets who are fourth in conference.
The two top teams in the
conference earn a bye in the WAC tournament, and since Grand Canyon is ineligible, the Hornets
would be seeded third if the tourney was held next week.
~ ~ ~
In Community College Super
Regional action, Cosumnes River took it down to the wire, but lost the pivotal Game Three 3-2 in
11 innings to Feather River, which advances to the Sectionals.
San Joaquin Delta, the top
seed in the north, advanced easily, defeating Cabrillo College 11-0 behind the stout pitching of
former Grant High lefty Cameron Avila-Leeper on Friday and 8-2 yesterday.
by Editor Rick Cabral
HR Sets Hornets Career Hits Mark #230
SAC STATE DEFEATS NORTHERN COLORADO AT "HOME" 9-3
On Mother's Day Weekend, with his mom and
family members watching in the stands, local boy Nathan Lukes shattered the Hornets all-time hits
mark by blasting a home run over the right centerfield wall for career hit number 230, as
Sacramento State (27-23) took Game One from Northern Colorado 9-3.
After the record-breaking hit,
an emotional Rebecca Lukes--who has watched nearly every home game of her son’s three-year
career--said, “A mother can’t even explain…what it means to watch your child work so hard, and to
see his dreams come true. Awesome.” Nathan's father Travis, who has faithfully parked himself in
the upper row along the home side stands added, “It was a great thing to see. Well deserved.
He’s having a great season.”
Nathan Lukes and his Hornets teammates
watch his seventh home run of the season rocket over the rightcenter field fence
for a record-breaking career hit No. 230 against Northern Colorado today at John
Smith Field. Photo by Rick Cabral.
On Tuesday night, Lukes tied the
team's career hits mark with a home run at Raley Field against UC
The Lukes family must feel mightly lucky to have seen their son break the career hits record,
especially since this weekend series against Northern Colorado was scheduled to be played in
Greely, Colorado. But predicted rain showers prompted the Bears to request a change of venue to
Sacramento State's John Smith Field, where they serve as the home team and the "visiting"
Hornets dress in road grays.
Consequently, Lukes came up in the top of the third inning with two outs and the game still
scoreless. Bears' left-hander Dylan Shiroki, who retired Lukes easily in the first inning on an
infield grounder to shortstop, went 3-0 in the count before Lukes took a called strike. With
that perfect left-handed swing, the Antelope native launched the next pitch, a fastball,
on a rocket drive to destiny. The two outfielders converged left of the flagpoles and watched the
ball land over the wall for his seventh home run of the season, and 230th hit of his
Freshman Devin Lehman and senior Scotty Burcham, who follows Lukes in the batting lineup, and is
hot on the heels of Lukes' career hits mark himself, congratulated Lukes as he touched home
The hit proved huge for a more important
reason, as the team entered today series tied with Northern Colorado (12-9) and North Dakota for
third place in the Western Athletic Conference. Lukes' shot gave the Hornets the all-important
early lead en route to today's WAC victory.
Scotty Burcham (No. 7) and Devin Lehman
congratulate Nathan Lukes after setting the Hornets new career hits mark of 230
with his seventh home run of the season. Photo by Rick Cabral.
The Hornets erupted for four runs in the
fourth inning, highlighted by sophomore Gunner Pollman's two-run homer to give the
“visitors” a 5-0 lead.
Meanwhile, Brennan Leitao (6-4) pitched another gem, going seven strong innings, allowing
three earned runs while scattering seven hits, walking one and fanning four Bears. Leitao himself
is a school record holder, with 30 career wins in four seasons. The senior righthander last week
learned he is one of 10 NCAA Division I student-athletes nominated for the 2015 Senior CLASS Award
for collegiate baseball.
Northern Colorado chipped away at the Sac State lead with single runs in fifth, sixth and seventh
innings, after which head coach Reggie Christiansen relieved Leitao with freshman pitchers Jeremiah
Moore and Ryan Smith who each threw a shutout inning.
Sacramento State tacked on two more runs in the ninth inning to take a 9-3 lead, the eventual
Lukes is another of Coach Christiansen's hometown recruits who played beyond expectations. As a
senior at Center High, he was tabbed Pioneer Valley League MVP after hitting .450 with four
home runs and 26 runs batted in. Despite those stats, Lukes was a walk-on at Sacramento State,
following older brother Shea Lukes, who pitched for the Hornets.
But Nate Lukes was in the starting lineup batting leadoff in his freshman season. Three
years later he has broken the all-time hits mark, surpassing Aurelio Jackson, who set his mark
in four seasons from 1998-2001. Lukes is projected be selected in
the mid-rounds of the MLB amateur draft this June.
Meantime, he's got five more home games (two more against Northern Colorado and next weekend's
three-game series against Grand Canyon) to push the mark even further.
~ ~ ~
Hornets Double Their Pleasure with 9-1 Game Two
(28-23) used a similar, though less historic pattern of sterling pitching and timely hitting to
take the second game of the double header against Northern Colorado 9-1.
Starter Ty Nichols
(4-0) tossed six innings of three-hit ball, allowing the Bears just one earned run, to win his
fourth game of the season.
Once again, the
Hornets offense started early.
In the second Inning,
Sacramento State freshman Vinny Esposito (Granite Bay High) doubled to lead off. Two outs later,
Brandon Hunley (Christian Brothers) singled up the middle, scoring Esposito with Hunley taking
second on the throw home. Freshman Dan Deely then doubled to left field, knocking in Hunley to
make it 2-0 Hornets.
scored a solo run in the fifth inning when freshman Devin Lehman (Granite Bay High) singled in
Nathan Lukes, and Esposito hit a solo shot in the sixth inning to make it 4-1.
The Hornets added a
pair of runs in the seventh inning. With two out, Lukes walked. Senior Scotty Burcham plated
Lukes with a double, and then scored on Lehman’s RBI single, giving the Green and Gold a 6-1
advantage. They added one more run in the ninth inning.
The Hornets tallied 13
hits total with Lehman and Esposito—who were playing last year for Granite Bay High—each went
3-for-5; Devin accounting for two runs batted in and Vinny one RBI.
Sophomore Sam Long,
(Del Campo High), the normal Saturday starter, relieved Nichols in the seventh inning and tossed
three hitless innings to earn his first-ever save as a Hornet. Nichols now sports a 1.45 earned
run average through 68.1 innings this season.
After losing five of
six at the end of April, Sacramento State (14-9 in WAC) has ripped off six straight victories,
five of which were conference wins.
In these two WAC wins,
Sac State scored 16 runs on 26 hits, including Lukes' record-setting homer in Game
Sacramento State goes
for the sweep against Northern Colorado tomorrow at noon.
Lukes Ties School Career Hits Record
With 2-Run Homer
Sac State Tops UCD
7-1 at Raley Field
by Editor Rick
Nathan Lukes tied the
school record for career hits with a two-run blast and Jake Stassi earned his first win of the
season as Sacramento State (26-23) defeated UC Davis 7-1 at Raley Field.
Nathan Lukes smoked this pitch over the
right field wall for a two-run homer,
tying the Hornets all-time career hits record.
With Bronson Grubbs on
first base, Lukes (Center High) drilled a 2-0 fastball over the right field wall to tie Aurelio
Jackson for 229 career hits, while extending the Hornets lead to 7-0.
In the second inning, the
sweet-swingin’ Lukes laced a double down the left field line, scoring Dan Deely, as the Hornets
made five runs that inning and took over the game from the Aggies.
Tonight’s victory marks the
10th win for Sacramento State in the last 11 games against their Causeway Classic rivals to the
On the hill for the
Hornets, Jake Stassi (1-5) spun a two-hitter through six innings, allowing the Aggies' only
run. UC Davis scored in the first inning on another of senior Nick Lynch’s patented doubles.
Lynch leads all Division I hitters with 27 doubles, and is now hitting a robust
Jake Stassi won his first game as a Hornet at Raley
Lynch also got the second
hit off the left-hander Stassi, who used his curve ball like a carnival magician hypnotizing
batters with his 11/5 Yellow Hammer. For Jake—the youngest of the three baseballin’
Stassi brothers of Yuba City—this marked his first collegiate win in two years. The fifth-year
senior took a medical redshirt last year at Long Beach State while recovering from an arm
Following Stassi to the
mound, three Hornets relievers—Jeremiah Moore, Ty Beardsley and Sutter McLoughlin (Rio
Ameriano)—each tossed a shutout inning, collectively limiting the Aggies to just one more
hit for a total of three safeties.
Lukes wasn’t the only
Hornets' batter peltin’ the pellet tonight. Scotty Burcham—who went 2-for-3—has now collected
multiple hits in 10 straight games, and is right behind his teammate with 224 career hits.
Burcham surely will surpass Jackson’s old record of 229 before the season is done: the question
is will he overtake Lukes before his senior season ends.
Also getting two hits were
Brandon Hunley (Christian Brothers) who had a double and one RBI and Deely who went
2-for-4. In all, the Hornets had 12 hits.
Starter Nat Hamby (0-3) who
allowed six hits and five earned runs took the loss for UC Davis, which dropped to 26-20-1 for
the year. They just returned from Santa Barbara this weekend where the Gauchos swept them in
~ ~ ~
The Hornets received some
unexpected good news this afternoon when Northern Colorado called to switch this weekend's
upcoming series from Greely to Sacramento State due to expected rains in Colorado. The
Hornets are tied with Northern Colorado and North Dakota for third place in the upcoming Western
Athletic Conference tournament. So this important series, scheduled under Colorado
skies, will now be played on the Hornets' home diamond, John Smith Field.
Sac State students Kennedy Kurtz (left) and
Leanne Krautheim share a laugh as a foul ball landed between them, striking Leanne
on the leg. As Mike Krukow would say, "Bring your glove!" At least this Gamer Babe
came up with the ball, which was fouled off by Hornets hero of the night, Nathan
Lukes. The young women were among 545 fans who came out for this Tuesday Causeway
Classic at Raley Field.
Sacramento State Completes Chi-State Sweep With 9-2 Win
(Sac State Media Relations)
CHICAGO – After scoring seven runs on Friday and eight on Saturday Sacramento State put up a
nine-spot on Sunday to complete a dominant three-game sweep of Chicago State with a 9-2
Senior Scotty Burcham posted his ninth straight multi-hit game going 3-for-4 with two RBIs in the
contest and is hitting .488 with a .511 on-base percentage in the last nine games. Junior Chris
Lewis also had three hits and two RBIs on Sunday while freshmen Bronson Grubbs and Vinny Esposito
and sophomore Brandon Hunley each had two hits.
On the mound on Sunday senior Ty Nichols got the start for the Hornets and had another superb
outing allowing just two runs (one earned) on four hits, one walk, and six strikeouts over seven
innings. Freshman Jeremiah Moore had two strikeouts in a scoreless eighth and junior Sutter
McLoughlin had a strikeout in a perfect ninth inning.
Lewis gave the Hornets a 2-0 lead in the first inning with a 2-run double with the bases loaded.
Two more Sacramento State runs scored in the second on a fielder's choice RBI from Lukes and an RBI
single by Burcham.
Chicago State got its two runs in the third inning, scoring a run on a fielder's choice and a
Hornet throwing error and making the score 4-2 on a Matt Schmidt sacrifice fly. The two-run deficit
was short lived as in the next half inning the Hornets got those runs back on another RBI single
from Burcham and a fielder's choice groundout from freshman Devin Lehman.
In the fifth the Hornets benefited from a Chicago State error and scored again on an RBI groundout
from freshman Dan Deely. The last two Sacramento State runs scored in the seventh inning on two
hits and two Cougar errors with a two-out single by Hunley plating two runs.
Sacramento State had hits in all but one inning on Sunday, totaling 14 hits with a pair of doubles.
Chicago State was held to four hits and just one walk while committing three errors. Starter Tyler
Abbott took the loss on Sunday allowing six runs on seven hits and three walks over four innings.
With a double on Sunday Hornet junior outfielder Nathan Lukes now has 227 career hits to rank third
in program history and sit just two hits shy of the program record. Burcham now has 222 career hits
as well, good for fourth all-time. Lukes is also now tied for second in program history with 128
career runs scored, just 10 behind the program record, and Burcham has 121.
Sacramento State (25-23, 12-9 WAC) outscored Chicago State (11-35-1, 4-15-1 WAC) 24-5 in the
series, wining each game comfortably while averaging eight runs scored per contest. The Hornets hit
.343 as a team in the series, easily the team's best series batting average this season, with six
starters hitting better than .360. The pitching was just as good with a 1.33 ERA and a .159
opposing batting average over the three games.
After its 10-day road trip the Hornets return home for a midweek contest against rival UC Davis at
6:35 p.m. Tuesday at Raley Field.
~ ~ ~
Gauchos Sweep Aggies with 13 Inning 4-3 Victory
SANTA BARBARA--In the third
and final game, UC Davis and UC Santa Barbara (34-10-1) battled 13 innings, but the Gauchos
prevailed when Paddy O’Brien hit a two-out single to score Kyle Plantier to take the game 4-3
and sweep the Aggies.
This entire weekend
appeared to be a huge challenge, as UC Davis (26-19-1) was up against the nation’s finest
pitching staff. Today they comported themselves admirably against sophomore right hander Shane
Bieber, who came in 6-3 with a 1.88 earned run average.
Though not the strikeout
machine that Friday’s starter Dillon Tate is, Bieber owned a 68-6 strikeout to walk ratio, which
would make any pitching coach drool.
While Bieber set down the
Aggies easily in the first inning, UC Davis starter Max Cordy (McClatchy) found himself in
trouble from the beginning. The Gauchos eventually loaded the bases on a hit, a walk and a hit
batter. But Cordy got the next hitter to ground out to end the inning.
In the Santa Barbara second
inning, Andrew Calica led off with a double, and scampered home on Clay Fisher’s single. Cordy
then gave up a single to Campbell Wear and walked Woody Woodward, and the two base runners
completed a successful double steal to put themselves in scoring position. Wear scored on Peter
Maris’ sacrifice fly and Cameron Newell singled in Woodward to give the Gauchos a 3-0
The Aggies answered in the
top of the fifth when Spencer Henderson led off with a single; just the second hit for UC Davis.
One out later, Mason Novak—who replaced Nick Lynch, the Aggies doublin’ machine —hit a
two-bagger to score Henderson and break the farm boys’ scoring drought. With a two-out
walk, Novak advanced to second base, and moved to third on a wild pitch. He scored on Tanner
Bily’s infield single to cut the Gaucho’s lead to 3-2.
Henderson went from
shortstop to the mound, replacing Cordy (8-2) who gave up eight hits, three earned runs, two
walks and had two strikeouts in four innings in the no decision.
In the eighth, Davis tied
the game 3-3 when Bily doubled to right field, went to third on a fly out and scored on a
fielder’s choice off the bat of Austin March.
Meanwhile, over his six
innings the Aggies’ left-hander Henderson—who had pitched only 21+ innings to date—had lulled
the Gauchos into an afternoon siesta, permitting just two hits, no runs, while striking out
To start the ninth, UC
Santa Barbara replaced Bieber with Kyle Nelson (3-1), who matched Henderson's zeroes on the
UC Davis closer Zach Stone
(3-2 with 10 saves) came on to pitch the 11th inning. In the 12th frame the defense bailed him
out with an inning-ending double play, giving the Aggies one more chance.
But the Davis offense,
which hadn’t scored since the eighth inning, capitulated to the freshman, Nelson (3-1), who
threw five innings of scoreless-hitless ball for the win.
In the 13th inning,
Plantier (who had two of the Gauchos' 14 hits in a substitution role) singled and was moved to
second on a sacrifice bunt. He went to third base on a groundout to the right side. Head
coach Andrew Checketts pinch hit O’Brien for Campbell Wear, and his single up the middle
completed the three-game sweep.
UC Santa Barbara is now
10-5 in the Big West, while UC Davis drops to 5-10 in conference.
On Tuesday evening, the
Aggies meet Sacramento State at Raley Field
for the second and final matchup between the Causeway competitors.
UC Santa Barbara's Jacome Dominant as Aggies Drop Game Two
by Editor, Rick Cabral
SANTA BARBARA--When UC Davis traveled to Santa Barbara, head coach
Matt Vaughn knew he was in for a tough weekend, as the Gauchos’ pitching staff sported a 2.12
earned run average—best in the nation among Division I schools.
Last night, they
got a first-hand look at the quality of the Gauchos’ staff, as ace right hander Dillon Tate
allowed just two runs in eight innings of work for a 3-2 victory over the
Today, UC Davis
faced junior left hander Justin Jacome who pitched even better, proving the Gauchos have a
dominant right-left combination on the night of the heavyweight fight.
Davis jumped on
Jacome in the fourth inning when Tino Lipson drew a one-out walk, stole second and took third
base when the catcher's throw sailed into the outfield. He scored on a sacrifice fly by senior
UC Santa Barbara
tied the score in their half of the inning on a Billy Fredrick RBI single.
In the bottom of
the sixth, UC Santa Barbara senior Peter Maris deposited a Raul Jacobson pitch over the right
field fence to give the Gauchos a 2-1 lead. Jacobson walked the next hitter Woody Woodward, who
advanced to second on a bunt and scored on Luke Swenson’s single up the
hit the next batter Fredrick, Vaughn brought in new pitcher Nat Hamby, who allowed an infield
single. With the bases loaded, Austin Bush knocked in Swenson, giving the Gauchos a 4-1
was mowing down the Aggies lineup. With two outs in the eighth, the southpaw walked senior Evan
Heptig, but then promptly picked off the Aggies runner at first base to close out the
(5-0) relieved Jacome in the ninth and retired all three batters on groundouts to earn his first
save of the season.
sterling innings, Jacome (7-2) allowed one unearned run while scattering three hits, walking
three and fanning seven on 115 pitches (75 for strikes). In the process, the lefty lowered his
ERA to 2.24.
impressive pitching performance by the Gauchos, who came into this weekend series ranked No. 11
by BaseballAmerica and are likely to break into the Top 10 on Monday.
UC Santa Barbara
worked Aggies pitchers for 11 hits. Maris, Swenson and Fredrick each had two hits and an RBI for
the Gauchos, who improved to 33-10-1 overall and 10-4 in the Big West Conference. The Aggies
drop to 5-9 in conference and 26-18-1 overall.
Lynch also had a
double, his 26th of the year, to lead all Division I players. With 51 career doubles, he is now
one away from the UC Davis school record.
The two teams
return for the third game on Sunday.
Prevail 8-1 Over Chicago State
Ill--Starter Sam Long (6-4) regained his form, limiting Chicago State to one earned run over six
innings and Brandon Hunley (Christian Brothers) supplied a two-run homer to power Sacramento
State to a 8-1 victory today.
Long (Del Campo)
scattered five hits and Tyler Beardsley pitched three shutout innings in relief to limit C-State
to one run. Meantime, the Hornets scored eight runs on 10 hits. Senior Scotty Burcham went
2-for-5 with a double and junior Dane Fujinaka also had a two-bagger for Reggie Christiansen's
squad, which claimed the series with the win today.
improves to 24-23 overall and 11-9 in the WAC.
2015 NorCal Community College Regional Playoffs--Day
No. 1 seed San Joaquin Delta dropped the first game to No. 17 Sequoias 8-4,
but came back to win the clincher 5-1 to advance to next weekend's Super
No. 9 Cosumnes River had no trouble taking Game Two from No. 8 Gavilan by the
score of 4-2 and will also advance to the Super Regionals.
No. 2 Fresno--which lost yesterday to No. 15 Skyline--took both games today by
scores of 16-6 and 11-8, and advances to the Super Regionals next weekend.
No. 13 Folsom Lake dropped both games to No. 3 Feather River and were knocked
from the playoffs in this their first season.
Sac State Takes First Game vs. Chicago State 7-2
CHICAGO, Ill--The first three Hornets hitters went 8-for-13 and knocked in four of the team's
seven's runs tonight leading to a 7-2 win over Chicago State in the first of a three-game
Sacramento State head coach Reggie Christiansen shook up the lineup, batting Nathan Lukes (Center
High) in the leadoff spot and freshman Devin Lehman (Granite Bay High) in Lukes' usual
number-three slot and it paid big dividends. Lukes went 3-for-5 with a double and one run batted
in, senior Scotty Burchm continued his torrid pace going 2-for-5 with triple and one RBI, and
Lehman went 3-for-3 with a double and two RBI.
Senior right-hander Brennan Leitao (5-4) threw six scoreless innings, allowing Chicago State
just two hits while earning the win. With the victory, the Hornets (23-23 and 10-9 WAC) snap a
four-game losing streak.
Chicago State falls to 4-13-1 in the WAC.
Lukes is now just four hits away from owning the school's all-time hits leader.
The two teams resume the series with Game Two tomorrow.
~ ~ ~
Aggies Lose 3-2 to Santa's Barbara Tate
SANTA BARBARA--UC Davis took one of the nation's top pitchers--Dillon Tate--to the brink today, but
suffered a 3-2 loss in Santa Barbara.
Trailing 1-0 in the fifth inning, the Aggies Tanner Bily doubled home a run, and senior Nick
Lynch knocked in another with a fielder's choice to take a 2-1 lead.
But the Gauchos tied the game in their half of the fifth, and then took the 3-2 lead in the sixth
Despite a well-pitched game, senior right-hander Spencer Koopmans (5-4) took the loss, snapping the
Aggies (26-17-1 overall and 5-8 in Big West) five-game winning streak.
As Tate allowed two earned runs over eight innings, his ERA rose to 1.63. He fanned
seven while walking two and hitting two batters.
~ ~ ~
Gauchos starter Dillon Tate, a projected first-round pick in next month's MLB
Amateur Draft, limited the Aggies to two runs today in winning his seventh game.
File photo Rick Cabral.
In the first round of
NorCal community college playoffs…
No.1 seed San Joaquin Delta
defeated No. 17 Sequoias 5-2
No. 13 Folsom Lake topped
No. 3 Feather River 8-7
No. 9 Cosumnes River
trumped No. 8 Gavilan 6-2
Watching a Pac-12 replay of a Tuesday game when
Fullerton State visited USC we saw someting unusual. And according to play-by-play man Ted
Robinson, "I've never seen that before."
The play involved Titans starting pitcher
sophomore Miles Chambers, a 2012 graduate of Rio Linda High. In the first inning, Chambers allowed
the first two batters to reach base on walks. He appeared uncomfortable on the mound. The next
hitter advanced the runners into scoring position. And at that point, Chambers called time
He ran toward the Titans' dugout, where he
changed into a new set of "spikes." At first, Robinson and Pac-12 analyst Scott Erickson (an
All-star pitcher who tossed a no-hitter for the Twins in 1994) wondered what prompted the switch.
"I'll admit, I've never seen that before," the always low-key Robinson
Then the camera zoomed in on the issue: the
bottom half of the shoe had separated from the upper part.
"A flat tire," Robinson joked. With the
equipment malfunction addressed, Chambers trotted back to the mound. Checking the runner at third,
he then struck out the clean-up batter, and retired the next hitter to strand the two runners on
Chambers tossed 3+ innings against the Trojans, allowing four hits and one
earned run (a homer), as Fullerton State took the game 5-3 in 12 innings. For the season, Chambers
is 2-3 with a 2.32 earned run average in 42+ innings of work.
LEITAO ONE OF 10 NATIONAL FINALISTS FOR BASEBALL
SENIOR CLASS AWARD
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - Sacramento State senior
right handed pitcher Brennan Leitao is one of 10 NCAA Div. I baseball student-athletes who excel
both on and off the diamond that were selected as finalists today for the 2015 Senior CLASS Award®
in collegiate baseball.
Leitao was one of 30 candidates for the award announced in March, and from that list a national
media committee selected the 10 finalists for the award. Those 10 names will now be placed on the
official ballot for a nationwide vote, and fan balloting will be coupled with votes from coaches
and media to determine the recipient of the award.
Brennan Leitao, Sacramento State University
Fan voting will run through June 8 on
seniorCLASSaward.com and fans can vote once per day. This year's Senior CLASS Award winner will be
announced during the 2015 College World Series® in June. The other finalists come from schools such
as UCLA, Arizona State, Oklahoma State, LSU, and Florida.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and
Achievement for Staying in School®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and
encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in
their communities. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an
NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community,
classroom, character and competition.
A four-year starting pitcher, Leitao has
excelled not only on the mound but also in the classroom and community. He is a three-time Academic
All-WAC Selection and is on track for his fourth such honor following his senior season, having
already completed his degree in three and a half years with a 3.33 cumulative GPA majoring in
Leitao overcame a broken back prior to his
junior in high school to become a Division I player and has worked his way into becoming one of the
premier pitchers on the west coast. He is Sacramento State's all-time leader in wins and innings
pitched and is third in program history with 209 career strikeouts with a 3.05 career ERA. He is a
two-time all-WAC First Team selection and in 2015 was named a Louisville Slugger Preseason
All-American and the WAC Preseason Pitcher of the Year.
He has also done a tremendous amount of work in
the community, serving as a volunteer coach for a 9-year-old travel team and volunteering 50 hours
teaching sports at his church in Irvine in the summers following his freshman and sophomore
seasons. He also has done multiple homeless feeds with the team at First Covenant Church in
Sacramento and has registered at least 20 hours of community service with the team each
Notre Dame Shuts out Sac State
(Sac State Media
Relations contributed to this report)
NORTH BEND, Ind. -- Two
Notre Dame pitchers combined on a four-hit shutout of Sacramento State (22-23) today, winning
A solo homer off Hornets
starter Jared Paredez in the first by senior Ryan Bull put Notre Dame (29-16) ahead
In the fourth inning, Sac
State reliever Grant Kekuk gave up two hits and an earned run, as the Irish took a 2-0 lead.
Although four Hornets
pitchers allowed only five hits, the offense was limited to two singles by red-hot Scotty
Burcham and not much else. Notre Dame escaped from
trouble with four double plays, adding to its Division I-leading mark of 55 coming into the
Burcham started a
final-gasp rally with a lead0ff single in the ninth inning. Nathan Lukes flied out and Vinny
Esposito grounded into a game-ending double play.
The non-conference loss is
Sacramento State’s fourth in a row. The team battled No. 15-ranked Iowa last night, but lost
4-3 in an 18-inning contest.
The Hornets are hitting
just .254 as a team this year, yet the pitching staff is holding the opposition to a .249
average and a 3.34 earned run average. By comparison the 2014 offense posted a .282 average,
while the staff ERA was only a little better at 3.27. Clearly, pitching has kept these Hornets
in most ballgames.
Sac State heads to the
the Windy City for a three-game Western Athletic Conference series against Chicago
Olson's Slam Rallies Aggies 9-7 at Santa Clara
Lynch Sets Two Records with Three Doubles
(UC Davis Media Relations)
SANTA CLARA --
Junior Cameron Olson's grand slam with nobody out in the seventh keyed a six-run UC Davis rally,
erasing a three-run deficit and helping lift the Aggies to their fifth straight win, a 9-7 victory
over host Santa Clara in a non-conference clash at Schott Stadium.
UC Davis improved to 26-16-1 overall heading into this weekend's Big West Conference series against
nationally ranked UC Santa Barbara, taking both midweek meetings with the Broncos in
Senior Nick Lynch also finished 4-for-4 in the game, tying a school single-game record with three
doubles and setting a new single-season record with 25, passing the previous mark of 24 held by Jim
Saunders that had stood since 1979.
Lynch now leads all D-1 hitters in the nation with 25 doubles.
Santa Clara, which jumped out to a quick lead after both teams combined for nine runs over the
first three innings, fell to 18-25 overall with the loss.
Trailing 6-3, the Aggies' big inning opened with an infield single by Tanner Bily and the bases
were quickly loaded thanks to walks issued to Tino Lipson and Lynch, bringing up Izaak Silva. The
senior catcher worked the count full before drawing a walk and driving home a run, then Austin
March rapped a single to right, scoring Lipson and making it 6-5.
The comeback was complete when Olson strode to the plate next and smashed a 2-1 offering from
reliever Nick Medeiros (1-1) over the wall in center field, clearing the bases and giving UC Davis
the 9-6 lead.
Riding a five-game winning streak, the Aggies head south on Friday for a three-game series
against No. 11-ranked UC Santa Barbara (31-10), whose pitching staff boasts a 2.12
earned run average-- best in the nation among Division I schools.
~ ~ ~
SACRAMENTO STATE OUTLASTED BY #15 IOWA 4-3
IN RECORD LONG 18-INNING GAME
(Sac State Media
IOWA CITY, Iowa - In the
longest game in program history, Sacramento State battled No. 15 Iowa for more than five and a half
hours before the Hawkeyes scored on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the
18th inning for a 4-3 win.
State (22-22) and Iowa (31-11) were scheduled to play a doubleheader on Tuesday but it was reduced
to one game after weather forced the Hawkeyes to play a doubleheader on Sunday. The teams ended up
playing 18 innings anyway in five hours and 40 minutes as both teams did not relent and the two
pitching staffs combined to strand 38 runners on base.
In the 18th Iowa center
fielder Eric Toole, in his ninth at bat of the game, led off with a single and reached third with
one away after another Hawkeye single and a Hornet fielding error. After stranding the bases loaded
in both the 15th and 17th innings, Iowa was finally able to get the winning run home on a sacrifice
fly to center off the bat of John Barrett.
No. 15 Iowa finished with
four runs on 13 hits and two errors stranding 18 runners on base. The Hornets had the bulk of the
opportunities until the last few innings, finishing with three runs on 17 hits and five errors with
20 runners stranded.
At 18 innings the game was
three innings more than the previous longest game in program history, a 15-inning game at home vs.
Seattle U last season that the Hornets won by the same score as Tuesday's game, 4-3. It was not the
longest game in WAC history, however, as former league member Fresno State played a 22-inning game
against San Diego in 2011.
~ ~ ~
CC Playoffs Start This Week
The Community College
baseball playoffs begin this week and three of the area’s six teams are in.
No. 16 Yuba College (21-15)
of the Bay Valley Conference will host up No. 17 Sequoias in a “play-in” game this afternoon to
see who goes to the 16-team “Big Dance” beginning Friday.
Folsom Lake (22-14), in its
maiden season, finished one notch ahead of Yuba in conference and will play at No. 3 Feather
River, a perennial playoff finisher.
No. 9 Cosumnes River
(23-13), which finished third in the Big-8 Conference, will travel to Gilroy to face No. 8
For the first time since
1980, Sacramento City College (17-19) failed to make the playoffs. On a positive note, American
River College (17-19) improved this season, finishing in a tie with their big brother Panthers
and one spot ahead of traditional power Sierra (14-21), which dropped to sixth in the
Big-8 Conference in 2015.
San Joaquin Delta College
33-2, which went undefeated through its first 28 games until losing at Sac City College,
is NorCal's No.1 team, and in some rankings the top CC in the nation. The Mustangs were led
by Cameron Leeper (Grant High), who finished 12-0 with a state-leading 101
Hornets Hitters Burcham and Lukes Play "Hit Parade" Like Few Before
By Editor, Rick Cabral
Sacramento State is on a 10-game road trip, their longest of the year. Next up tomorrow is No.
15-ranked Iowa of the Big 10 and on Wednesday they head to Notre Dame of the Atlantic Coast
Although the Hornets are not winning at the same clip as last year, two of their consistent
highlights this season have been s
enior shortstop Scotty Burcham and outfielder Nathan Lukes (Center High), who
are both closing in on the career hits mark of 229 set by Aurelio Jackson
Lukes, the lefthanded slugger, has 219 hits and is just 10 away from the career mark. Burcham,
who bats from the right side, is right behind Lukes with 211 total hits and shares fifth-place
with Hornets' Derrick Chung (2012) and Tim Wheeler (2009). Wheeler (El Camino High) became the
program's first-ever first-round draft selection when he was taken 32nd overall by the Colorado
Rockies in 2009.
Lukes has surpassed those two alumni, and is just seven shy of tying David Flores (2008), who
managed 226 hits over his illustrious career. Flores is in his first season as an assistant coach
to Hornets' head man, Reggie Christiansen.
By the time the team arrives home on Sunday, it is quite possible Lukes could be the program's new
record holder. With Burcham right behind.
Parker's Two Homer Day Leads River Cats in Win
(River Cats’ Media Relations)
Jarrett Parker paced the Sacramento offense today as the River Cats beat Tacoma, ending their
six-game losing streak.
Parker was 4-for-4 with two home runs – one an inside-the-park home run – and four
Sacramento's starting pitcher Ty Blach dazzled, tossing six three-hit innings and allowing
just one run while striking out three and walking none.
Aggies Sweep Tigers With 11-5 Victory in Stockton
U.C. Davis’ Austin
March pounced on Pacific pitching for two home runs and five runs batted in to lead the Aggies to
an 11-5 victory—and a series sweep—today in non-conference action at Klein Family Field in
March had a three-run homer
in the first inning, and a two-run blast in the fifth inning when the Aggies (25-16-1) pushed
their lead to 10-4. Senior catcher Izaak Silva continued his hot hand, going 2-for-4 and raising
his team leading batting average to .369.
Aggies junior right hander
Max Cordy (McClatchy High) scattered nine hits and five Tigers runs over five innings to win his
eighth game of the season. He now leads the staff with an 8-2 record.
Pacific starter Cory Popham
(1-4) took the loss. The Tigers fall to 9-32 for the season.
~ ~ ~
BY NORTH DAKOTA IN SERIES FINALE, 2-1
(Sac State Media
N.D. – Sacramento State junior outfielder Nathan Lukes hit his fifth home run of the season
and sophomore Sam Long allowed just five hits over seven innings but North Dakota rallied
with two runs in the seventh inning for a 2-1 win on Sunday.
Lukes broke a
scoreless tie with a home run in the fifth inning on Sunday, launching a 3-2 pitch over the
right field wall leading off the inning. Long had allowed just two hits over the first six
innings but North Dakota staged a rally in the seventh.
North Dakota (16-20,
10-8 WAC), which entered the weekend tied with the Hornets in the WAC standings, moved ahead by
taking two of three in the series. Sacramento State (22-21, 9-9 WAC) scored five runs in a win over
UND on Friday but was held to one total run over the last two games of the
posted a quality start, he now has lost four consecutive games for a 5-4
Senior Scotty Burcham
went 3-for-5 Sunday for his third multi-hit game in as many contests in the series, going 8-for-13
(.615) over the three games with two runs scored. Freshman Dan Deely went 2-for-3 on Sunday and
junior Chris Lewis had a single and a walk.
remain out east over the coming week for games against No. 17 Iowa and Notre Dame before a
WAC series next weekend at Chicago State. The Hornets and Hawkeyes will play a double header
on Tuesday in Iowa City beginning at 11 a.m. Pacific Time.
Ninth Inning Rally Falls Short in 5-4 Loss to UC Davis
Right fielder Tanner Bily
threw out the potential tying run with two out in the ninth inning to preserve UC Davis’ 5-4
victory over Pacific last night at Klein Family Field in Stockton.
The Tigers trailed 5-2 in
their last at bat, and quickly loaded the bases with no outs against Aggies’ closer Zach Stone.
A walk to Dallas Correa cut the lead to 5-3. Two outs later, and the bases still loaded,
Pacific’s dynamo Tyler Sullivan singled through the right side, scoring Nate Verlin.
But Bily’s throw to the
plate nailed pinch runner Jimmy Boras (Jesuit High) to end the game.
The Aggies scored two
runs in both the third and fourth innings off Pacific starter Will Lydon (1-8), and held a
5-0 lead when Pacific answered with one run in the sixth inning.
UC Davis starter Raul
Jacobson (4-2) pitched eight innings, allowing four earned runs on nine hits and two walks,
while striking out four Tigers. Stone earned his ninth save.
UC Davis managed eights
hits in the contest, including a 3-for-4 night for senior shortstop Ryan Heptig, who drove in
two runs. Center fielder John Williams—who knocked in the winning run with a suicide squeeze
bunt in Friday’s 4-3 win over Pacific—had two hits including a double.
No doubles this game for
Nick Lynch—the nation’s Division 1 co-leader with 21 doubles—who went 1-for-4.
team’s leading hitter—raised his batting average to .364 with a 4-for-5 night and one
With the victory UC Davis
improves to 24-16-1, while Pacific drops to 9-31 in a tough season for Ed Sprague’s
The two teams meet this
afternoon for the final contest in the three-game series.
North Dakota Shuts Down Hornets 10-0
North Dakota left
ch Muckenhirn spun a six-hit shutout, while his offensive mates pasted Sacramento State pitchers
for a 10-0 Mercy Ruling win at home in the second game of the series.
North Dakota pounced on Hornets’ starter Justin Dillon (5-4 from El Dorado High) for seven earned
runs in four innings. Meantime, the southpaw Muckenhirn silenced the Hornets’ bats, with Scotty
Burcham managing two hits in the contest.
Trailing 9-0 in the eighth inning, the home team managed one run off Anthony Castenada (Woodland
Christian) to give them a 10-run advantage, which after seven innings triggers the Mercy Ruling end
to the game.
With the loss Sacramento State falls to 22-20. The two teams sport the same 9-8 records in the
Western Athletic Conference, and will break the tie in the final game tomorrow.
Eighth Inning Suicide Squeeze
Leads to Aggies 4-3 Win Over Pacific
by Editor, Rick
UC Davis’ Izaak Silva
scored on an eighth inning suicide squeeze giving the Aggies a 4-3 lead, which proved to be the
winning run against University of the Pacific this afternoon at Dobbins
With storm clouds brewing in the West,
and 20-mile-per-hour winds blowing in the hitter’s face, Silva led off the eighth inning and
smashed a triple over the right fielder’s head that bounced against the wall under the flagpoles.
One out later, when John Williams squared around, Silva crashed hard from third base and scored
easily when the squeeze bunt was fielded by Pacific pitcher Taylor Johnson (0-1), who had no choice
but to throw out Williams at first base.
Aggies' Izaak Silva, shown earlier this month
against the Hornets, scored the winning run on a suicide squeeze play in the
eighth inning today as UC Davis defeated Pacific 4-3.
File photo Rick Cabral.
That gave the Aggies a 4-3
lead and held up when closer Zach Stone relieved starter Spencer Koopmans in the ninth
But not before Pacific made
things interesting by drawing a one-out walk by pinch hitter J.P. Yakel. Tigers head coach Ed
Sprague sent in pinch runner Jimmy Boras (Jesuit High) and sent him to second on the first
pitch. Silva, the catcher, gunned down Boras for the second out. Stone then fanned the final
batter to preserve the victory for UC Davis (23-16-1) and earn his eighth save.
Koopmans (5-3) pitched
eight innings, allowing five hits and three walks. Only one of the three Pacific runs was
earned, as Aggies’ second baseman Tino Lipson made two consecutive errors in the third inning,
leading to two Tigers scores that inning.
Lipson made up for his
infield gaffes by going 2-for-4, and starting two of the defense’s 4-6-3 double plays on
Pacific (9-30) opened the
scoring with a run in the second, but the Aggies came back to tally two runs in the bottom of
the second off starter Jake Jenkins. Cameron Olson (who had two hits today) tripled to right
center field, scoring Austin March, and Williams hit a single to shortstop which plated Olson
for a 2-1 UC Davis lead.
After the game, assistant
head coach Tony Schifano said the suicide squeeze was an easy call as “Johnny (Williams) can
really handle the bat. I gave him one pitch to hit, and we said ‘whether it’s a ball or a
strike, we’re going to squeeze on the next pitch.’” Schifano credited Silva who scored on the
play. “Izaak’s timing on the pitch was tremendous.”
Silva, who is the team’s
leading hitter with a .368 batting average, commented on the Aggie’s recent downturn due to
injuries. “It took us a little while to regain our identity, but we’ve had a couple of good
wins. Things are getting loose, and we’re getting back to (winning ways).”
On Tuesday, UC Davis won in
walk-off fashion 6-5 in the ninth inning over Santa Clara at home. Today’s victory meant another
close, one-run margin.
Silva said the eighth
inning triple “was awesome,” but conceded he was more pumped at his previous at bat. In the
sixth inning, Nick Lynch hita leadoff double, his 21st of the season, making him
the NCCAA Division I co-leader. Silva moved Lynch to third with a fielder’s choice to
the right side.
“Coach let me swing away
rather than bunt, and I got him over. Having a good approach there helped in my last at bat,
because you build confidence with at bats like that one.”
When Silva came to the
plate in the eighth inning, the Pacific outfielders once again were playing shallow, due to
the strong winds blowing from the southwest. Silva’s blow was one of four that sailed over the
Tigers outfielder’s heads this afternoon.
Silva, the scrappy senior
from Soquel, admitted that batting with the wind in the face makes it hard on the
hitter, but “it’s one of those things that’s going to happen and you don’t try to change your
swing. You’re just trying to shoot holes and get on base.”
His blast found a big hole
in right center field, and Silva ended up scoring the winning run in a victory that will boost
confidence in the Aggies’ locker room.
Overlooked in the loss was
the fine pitching by Tigers’ starter Jenkins (2-6), who scattered nine hits over seven innings,
allowing three earned runs. Entering today’s game with a 8.48 earned run average, he dropped his
ERA more than one point today.
The scene now shifts to
Stockton where the Tigers will host two non-conference games tomorrow and Sunday at Klein Family
~ ~ ~
SAC STATE OPENS SERIES
AT NORTH DAKOTA WITH 5-1 WIN
(Sac State Media
GRAND FORKS, N.D. - Senior
Brennan Leitao allowed just one run and two hits over six innings and senior Scotty Burcham had
three hits to lead the Hornets offense in a 5-1 win over North Dakota on Friday
With the win Sacramento
State (22-19, 9-7 WAC) moved one game ahead of North Dakota (14-20, 8-8 WAC) and opened a stretch
of nine road games in 10 days with a victory.
Leitao picked up his fourth
win of the year after allowing just three base runners in six innings of work. With four strikeouts
Leitao moved past former Hornet pitcher Roland DeLaMazza into third place in program history with
209 career strikeouts.
FRESNO STATE SHUTS OUT HORNETS 8-0 AT RALEY FIELD
A committee of Fresno State (20-21) pitchers shut out Sacramento State 8-0 tonight at Raley
The Hornets (21-19) managed just five hits against five Bulldogs hurlers, with starter R. Thomas
(2-1) notching the win after giving up four hits.
Reliever Grant Kukuk (2-3), who allowed just one run in two innings of work, took the loss for
Sacramento State. With the Bulldogs up by only 1-0 in the eighth inning, Hornets' pitcher Chad
Perry (Marysville High) allowed five earned runs in his one inning of work.
The loss also marks the first time that Sac State's leading hitter Nathan Lukes (Center High)
failed to reach base this season. Lukes, WHO went 0-for-4, is now hitting .361 overall.
Sac State hits the road this weekend for a three-game series against North Dakota, followed by two
games at Iowa and one at Notre Dame before visiting Chicago State on Friday, May 1.
(UCDavis Media Relations)
DAVIS, Calif. -- For the third time this season, senior outfielder Austin March came
up with runners in scoring position in the bottom of the ninth and did not disappoint, smashing a
single through the right side to plate teammate Nick Lynch all the
way from second base, sending UC Davis home with a 6-5 walk-off win over San Jose State on Tuesday
afternoon at Dobbins Stadium.
The win improved the Aggies to 22-16-1 overall, putting them one win shy of last year's win
~ ~ ~
Cosumnes River Hands Delta
Second Loss of Season, 8-1
by Editor Rick
With their ace pitcher
Cameron Leeper resting a tired arm, Delta College dropped just its second game of the season 8-1
to Cosumnes River College at Cecchetti Field in Stockton.
And the best hitting team
in the Big-8 conference trumped the best pitching staff in the state.
The Hawks were more than
happy to see Leeper, who is 11-0 with 91 strikeouts on the bench, as CSR is fighting for a
second place finish in the Big-8, which Delta wrapped up last week. Cosumnes River
Cosumnes River scored three
times in the first inning off starter Tucker McPhaul, who was erratic from the starter. Hawks
leadoff hitter Devin Pettingill drew a walk. With one out Alex Fitchett was hit by a pitch.
Cleanup hitter Logan Marston singled to load the bases.
Lefthander Tyler Blake, was
plunked—the second batter in the inning—to plate the Hawks first run. Fitchett scored on a
passed ball for a second run, and Chris Nicholson’s fielder’s choice made it 3-0.
Hawks pitcher Matt Stafford allowed one run in four innings today.
Hawks starter Matt Stafford
struggled early as well. Coming into today’s game, Stafford had only thrown 10+ innings this
year. When he went 3-0 on leadoff hitter Ryan Smith, Cosumnes River immediately got the bullpen
going. Smith hit a laser off the third baseman’s leg and eventually scored on Collin Theroux’
RBI single to make it 3-1.
But Stafford settled down
and shutout the Mustangs for three more innings.
In the second inning, the
Hawks picked up where they left off when McPhaul hit the leadoff batter. Gabe Abelia. When he
walked number-nine hitter Trevor Ray, the Mustangs brought in reliever Jacob Rosales. Rosales
mishandled a sacrifice bunt by Pettingill, and the Hawks again had the bases
Andre Gregory singled up
the middle to score one run. Rosales then hit Fitchett in the foot to plate the fifth CSR run,
making it four hit batters in less than two innings. Marston shot an RBI single through the
infield and a fielder choice by Blake added two more runs. Fitchett scored on a wild pitch
to make it eight runs in just two innings. The number-one ranked (PerfectGame) community college
team in the nation trailed 8-1.
And that was
Cosumnes River (23-11/13-6
Big-8) did all that damage on just as many hits (four) as hit batters.
Brett Elgin (7-2) relieved
Stafford in the fifth inning and pitched four innings of shutout ball for the victory, allowing
the Mustangs just two hits. Austin Ales pitched a shutout ninth inning.
The two teams meet again
Thursday at the Hawks' home park.
Sac State Comeback Foils San
(Sac State Media
The Hornets mounted a four-run ninth inning
rally to come from behind and beat University of San Francisco in the City today
Freshman Dan Deely, who had the go ahead RBI
hit in the ninth inning, went 3-for-5 in the game with three RBI for his first career 3-hit
Junior Chris Lewis and sophomore Brandon
Hunley (Christian Brothers) each had two hits. Hunley had two of four Sacramento State doubles and
Nathan Lukes (Center High) and Vinny Esposito (Granite Bay High) each scored
Senior Jake Stassi (Yuba
City High) gave the Hornets a strong start, allowing three runs on eight hits with no walks and
three strikeouts over five innings. Junior Tyler Beardsley also pitched well in relief, allowing
just one run on four hits in three innings to pick up his first Hornet win.
Sutter McLoughlin (Rio
Americano) earned his sixth save of the season.
Sacramento State plays
again tomorrow night hosting Fresno State at 6:35 p.m. at Raley Field.
Hawks Travel to Stockton to Tangle
with Near-Perfect Mustangs
PLACE ON THE LINE IN IN BIG-8 CONFERENCE
by Editor, Rick
There’s a big community
college matchup in Stockton today, as Delta hosts Cosumnes River College in the final regular
series of the season.
Delta leads the state with
a 31-1 overall record and has clinched the Big-8 Conference championship with a 17-1 mark.
Cosumnes River, which nipped Sac City 8-7 on Friday to improve to 12-6, is tied with Santa Rosa
for second place.
On Friday Delta beat Diablo
Valley 1-0 as Colin Theroux knocked in Jacob Thomas on a first inning fielder’s choice and
pitcher Rick Delgado through a three-hit shutout to claim the Mustangs’ 31st victory. Delgado,
who struck out nine while walking one, is now 7-0.
But that nail-biter wasn't
as harrowing as it once might have been. Two weekends
ago Sacramento City College pasted the Mustangs 7-1 at Cecchetti Field with their first
loss of the season.
Delta had won its first 28
games, and are ranked No. 1 in the nation by Perfect Game (perfectgame.org).
Starting for Delta today is
lefthander Cameron Leeper (Grant High), who is second in the state with a
perfect 11-0 record and tied for first with 91 strikeouts. His 1.59 earned run average is third
best among California CC pitchers, as is his 10.32 strikeout-per-game ratio. Teammate Dean
Kremer is 9-0 with a 1.82 ERA.
The Mustangs' only Top
10 conference hitter is Kris Bartlett (.333). As a team they’re hitting .272, tied for
second in the Big-8.
By contrast, the Hawks .311
team batting average leads the Big-8 as they claim six of the Top 10 hitters with Alex Fitchett
(.361), Trevor Ray (.348), Andre Gregory (.344), Nico Toni (.336), Tyler Blake and Devin
Pettengill (both .333).
This is big game and
should be a good 'un.
SACRAMENTO STATE POWERS PAST CSU BAKERSFIELD 7-4 IN SERIES FINALE
(Sac State Media Relations)
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Freshman first baseman Vinny Esposito hit a pair of home runs and junior
Nathan Lukes went 4-for-4 and reached base five times to ignite the Hornet offense in a 7-4 win
over CSU Bakersfield in the series finale.
Sacramento State (20-18, 8-7 WAC) totaled seven extra base hits among its 13 knocks in the game
after being held scoreless in the first two games of the series. Sophomore Justin Dillon also threw
five strong innings in the win, which snapped a nine-game winning streak for CSU Bakersfield
(22-15-1, 10-4-1 WAC).
"I was proud of how we bounced back," Sacramento Sate head coach Reggie Christiansen said. "I
thought yesterday was kind of a low point in the season for us and it was important for our guys to
come back out here on Sunday and salvage the series. I was proud of the effort we gave and we
talked after the game that its one thing to do it once but we need to find a way to be more
Esposito had his first career multi-homer game, hitting a two-run home run to left in the fifth
inning and blasting a solo shot off the scoreboard in the seventh. He has hit three home runs in
his last five games with a team-high five homers overall this year.
Sophomore Brandon Hunley and junior Chris Lewis also had two-hit games on Sunday as the Hornets got
contributions throughout the lineup. Hunley's two hits were a double and an RBI triple and
sophomore Gunner Pollman also had a double. Lukes recorded his fourth career four-hit game and his
second of the season, doubling twice and also drawing a walk to reach base in all five of his
Sacramento State matched its season high of seven extra-base hits a week after scoring 13 runs on
seven extra-base hits last Sunday at Utah Valley. CSU Bakersfield's starting pitchers in the first
two games of the series held the Hornets scoreless on just six singles before the bats came alive
Dillon allowed just four hits and one run over five innings to match sophomore Sam Long with a
team-high five wins. Senior Ty Nichols allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits in three innings
before junior closer Sutter McLoughlin finished the game in a non-save situation.
Sacramento State will play two midweek games in the coming week, playing at San Francisco at 2 p.m.
Tuesday before hosting Fresno State at 6:35 p.m. Wednesday night at Raley Field.
~ ~ ~
Aggies Drop Game 6-3 and Series to UC Irvine
(UC Davis Media Relations)
IRVINE, Calif. --
A three-run fourth inning erased a two-run deficit for host UC Irvine, and the No. 19 Anteaters
stranded 11 UC Davis baserunners on the day, rallying to win the series with a 6-3 victory over the
Aggies in the finale on Sunday afternoon at Anteater Ballpark.
Despite collecting 10 hits -- four of those going for extra bases -- UC Davis fell to 21-16-1
overall and 5-7 in Big West Conference action. UC Irvine improved to 23-13 and 10-2 with the
Senior Nick Lynch finished with a game-high three hits, while Tino Lipson was 2-for-5 with a double, notching his fourth consecutive
multi-hit game. Senior catchr Izaak Silva, who also finished with a pair of hits, extended his
hitting streak to a team-high eight games.
Starter Max Cordy (McClatchy) gave up three earned runs in less than four innings of work, taking
his second loss of the season. He is now 7-2 on the year.
The Aggies won the first game of the series on Friday 8-3, then dropped a 12-inning game 4-3
UC Davis takes a break from Big West play next week, hosting San Jose State in a non-conference
mid-week contest on Tuesday (April 21) at 2:30 p.m., before taking on former league rival Pacific
in a three-game series beginning on Friday (April 24) at 2:30 p.m. at Dobbins Stadium.
Bakersfield's Barragan Shuts Out Sac State 5-0
Bakersfield (22-14-1) starter James Barragan (5-3) spun a one-hit shutout as the Roadrunners
took Game Two 5-0 at John Smith Field.
For the second straight
game, Sacramento State bats were mired in a meat locker, as Barragan fanned 10 Hornets hitters
en route to the victory. Chris Lewis picked up the lone hit for his team.
Yesterday, the Roadrunners
shut out the Hornets 1-0.
Bakersfield’s Jordie Hein
opened the game with a leadoff single off southpaw Sam Long (5-3). One out later, David Metzgar
singled to center field, with Hein scooting to third base. Metzgar then stole second
Long got two quick strikes
on Max Carter, who drilled foul balls wide of third base, including one that bounced off the
shoulders of Hein, the runner who was standing in foul territory near third base. Hornets
third baseman Dan Deely then cheated toward the bag. Carter shot a single just past Deely’s
outstretch glove, scoring both runners to give CSU Bakersfield a 2-0 lead.
In the fourth inning on a
1-2 count Roadrunners’ lefty Ryan Grotjohn led off with a home run over the right field fence.
Soloman Williams then singled off Long, and advanced to third base after a bunt and long fly
out. Hein hit a soft grounder to the left side, but shortstop Scotty Burcham couldn’t reach it
in time, and the Roadrunners had their fourth run of the game.
The Roadrunners, who now
own a nine-game winnings streak, collected 11 hits off Long and three
relievers. Meantime, Bakersfield’s
Barragan iced the Hornets bats all afternoon, as temperatures climbed into the
For Long, this was his
third consecutive defeat. Last weekend, Utah Valley shellacked him for nine earned runs,
and today he gave up four in five innings, raising his earned run average to 3.53.
The Hornets (19-18 / 7-7 in
WAC) have now dropped their third consecutive conference series. Bakersfield, meanwhile,
improves to 10-3-1 in conference and tomorrow will try to sweep Sacramento State in the series
finale at noon.
Gem Wasted--CSU Bakersfield's Carter Silences Hornets 1-0
by Editor Rick
Sacramento State (19-17)
starter Brennan Leitao came out on the short end of a 1-0 pitcher’s duel as Cal State
Bakersfield (21-14-1) took Game One in the Western Athletic Conference series at John Smith
Leitao went the distance in
allowing just one earned run on five hits, no walks, while striking out seven
Brennan Leitao notched his 200th career strikeout today in
a losing effort. File photo © Rick Cabral.
But CSU Bakersfield starter
Hayden Carter—with excellent defense behind him—was equally as good, as the Roadrunners (9-3-1)
claimed their eighth consecutive win in conference.
Plus, his offense pushed
across the game’s only run in the second inning when the Roadrunners bunched three consecutive
singles off Leitao. Chance Gusbeth singled to center field and Brandon Hunley’s perfect relay
throw to the plate was a hair late as Ryan
Grotjohn slid under the tag by Hornets’ catcher Gunner Pollman.
As it turned out, that was the only score of the day as both pitchers had their mojo working on the
Carter could point to a half dozen “web gem” style plays by his defense, including two layin’-out
catches by center fielder Jordie Hein. In the ninth inning, first baseman Max Carter gobbled up a
smash by Hornets’ leading hitter Nate Lukes, flipping in time as the pitcher covered the bag for
the first out. If Lukes’ ball rolls to the outfield, the Hornets have the leadoff hitter on with no
outs, and a speedy runner at first.
But it was not to be.
Leitao pitched one of his finest games of his career, and that’s saying something as he’s the
Hornets’ career leader in wins (27). Today marked his first complete game of the season, and was
his best outing in five starts dating back to a three-hit, eight-inning shutout at Cal Poly where
he also fanned seven on March 13.
In the process, Leitao (3-4) lowered his earned run average to 2.59, while his record dips under
.500. The Hornets are now 7-6 in the WAC.
Senior shortstop Scotty Burcham went 2-for-3 for the Hornets, who managed just five hits against
the right-hander senior Carter, who improves to 5-3.
The two teams meet again tomorrow (1 p.m.) and Sunday (noon).
Pacific Tigers -- Bring Back the Bunt!
On this Tax Day 2015, we are not here to advocate for the Flat Tax or even the abolition of
Instead in a roundabout way we are reminded of how the Pacific Tigers baseball team yesterday
taxed the Hornets with a display of bunting we have never seen at the professional or
collegiate level. Pacific bunted 11 times in the game and it resulted in a 9-6 victory for the
Last time a team attempted that many bunts, Japan took their first Little League World
Series title as Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” rocked the pop charts.
The Tigers -- whom the Hornets defeated 3-2 just a couple weeks ago -- entered the contest with a
7-27 record. And as the Green and Gold have taken it on the chin in two successive weekends in
conference play (a series sweep at the hands of Seattle U and just one win at Utah Valley
last weekend), one would have assumed the Hornets would be licking their chops at
the prospect of cleaning up against the seemingly-defanged Tigers.
Instead, coach Ed Sprague employed a technique more commonly used in the days of “Wee” Willie
Keeler and “Rabbit” Maranville. And it worked.
In his 12th season as the Pacific skipper, Sprague, who played 11 years in the major leagues,
knows a thing or three about baseball. He told BaseballSacramento that Pacific “had been
scuffling offensively,” averaging a paltry “four or five hits a game.” So he elected to implement
the aggressive bunting strategy at Sacramento State.
The plan, he said, was to treat certain batters “like National League pitchers; move guys
ninety (feet) and get guys up there who maybe have been swinging the bats a little better with
runners in scoring position.” Of the team’s 11 bunt attempts, four went for base hits (the team had
15 hits in all).
Leadoff man Tyler Sullivan, who opened the game with a bunt hit and started a two-run rally, was a
perfect 5-for-5. Two of his hits were of the bunt variety.
J.J. Wagner, who went 4-for-4, also had two bunt hits, including a suicide squeeze
bunt in the eighth inning that gave the Tigers their 7th run. This proved to be the
winning tally, as Pacific’s defense limited the Hornets to 6 scores.
In that eighth inning rally, three consecutive Pacific batters bunted, including Wagner. In
all, the Tigers were credited with six sacrifice bunts in the contest, two
that drove in runs. Former Stanford coach Dean Stotz, who spent 37 seasons on the
Farm, admitted about the bunt plethora: “That is wayyyy over the norm.”
St. Mary’s College leads the nation in sacrifice bunts with 1.64 per game.
Although the Hornets played errorless defense, several of Pacific’s bunts were mishandled, which is
one of the desired outcomes when an offense employs the bunt strategy. “The breaks fell our way,
which made it look like a great strategy,” Sprague admits with laughs the day after his team
recorded just its eighth victory of the season.
In 2012, writer Greg Jayne of The (Vancouver) Columbian went through the archives of Retrosheet and
did a study on the effectiveness of the sacrifice bunt in the pros from 1993-2010 (ironically,
this period happens to vaguely correspond to the Steroid Era). He found that teams that employed a
sacrifice bunt with a runner on first and no out decreased their run efficiency by 23 percent
versus a team that swung away.
“(O)uts are a commodity,” the study proved to Jayne. ”They are the currency by which the game
is governed, and willfully giving up an out is never worth the extra base that a bunt can provide.
It’s trading a piece of gold for a piece of silver. ”
Really? Tell that to Ed Sprague and the Pacific Tigers, who defied conventional wisdom yesterday by
spinning gold with a square-around strategy.
And in the process increased their win percentage by 14 percent.
I’ll take those metrics any day, especially on April 15.
Titans Act Like It, Take
Series with 13-3 Win on Sunday
By editor Rick
The Titans (19-15) and
Aggies came out swinging on Sunday, scoring two and three runs respectively in the first
But it was the boys from
SoCal who continued to pour it on, as Fullerton State added 11 more runs to take Game Three 13-3
the mound for UC Davis today was Max Cordy (McClatchy) who came in with a nation leading 7-0
record. By the time he departed in the fifth inning, the Titans were in firm
first inning, Fullerton State scored twice on RBI singles by Davi
Olmedo-Barrera and Scott Hurst.
Max Cordy earned his first loss of the season as Fullerton
State defated UC Davis 13-3 this afternoon.
UC Davis answered when catcher Izaak Silva homered over the left field wall for his first home run
of the season, making it 2-1. Nick Lynch gained first on an infield hit. And when Austin March
singled, Lynch moved to third on an errant throw by third baseman Dustin Vaught (Bella
Vista/Sierra), and later scored on a wild pitch, tying the game 2-2. Alex Aguiar’s sacrifice
fly brought home March, giving the Aggies a 3-2 lead.
It would be the last time UC Davis led.
Cordy got the next four outs, but in the third inning, Josh Estil reached on a throwing error by
Aggies’ second baseman Tino Lipson, who made three of the team’s four errors today. Olmedo-Barrera
doubled home Estil, tying the game at 3-3.
Cordy (7-1) gave up a pair of walks, sandwiched around another Hurst RBI single. Altogether, the
Titans scored four times in the third inning and took a 6-3 lead. When they added another run in
the fifth inning, Cordy was out of the game, and the rout appeared on.
After the three-run first inning, Fullerton State left-hander John Gavin (5-1) put up zeroes on the
board and allowed the Aggies just one more hit through five innings.
The Titans didn’t stop there, adding two in the seventh, one in the eighth and three runs in the
ninth, as head coach Rick Vanderhook rewarded the reserve players with at bats. One of those—Dalton
Blaser of Roseville High and Sierra College—made good on his pinch-hit appearance, knocking in a
run with a double.
Fullerton State collected 14 hits total, including three doubles and one triple, and still left 12
runners on the basepaths.
Davi Olmedo-Barrera had three hits and two RBI against UC Davis on Sunday,
including this run-scoring single in the first inning.
Fullerton State’s Olmedo-Barrera went 3-for-4 with a pair of RBI, while Hurst was a perfect 4-for-4
with two RBI. Tyler Stieb only generated one bingle, but drove in three runs for the Titans,
who are now 6-3 in the Big West Conference.
The Aggies (20-13-1 /4-5 Big West) were limited to six hits, including Silva’s home run and a
double by John Williams.
In addition to the Aggies’ four errors, when you factor in their seven walks, three hit batsmen,
four wild pitches and passed balls combined, this one felt more like a Pony League
tournament game, with the better team advancing to the next stage.
UC Davis hosts San Francisco on Tuesday, then heads south for a series against the Big West’s top
team, UC Irvine (8-1), which dropped its first conference game today to Long Beach
~ ~ ~
STATE TAKES SERIES FINALE AT UTAH VALLEY WITH 13-2 MERCY RULE
OREM, Utah –
Sacramento State scored in five innings, highlighted by an eight-run sixth inning, and all 10
Hornets that had at-bats in the game got hits in a 13-2 mercy rule win over Utah Valley in
seven innings to close the three game series.
Dillon allowed just one earned run over five innings for the win as Sacramento State (19-15,
7-5 WAC) ended its eight-game road trip with a conference win. After scoring 23 runs in the
first two games of the series, Utah Valley (12-21, 8-4 WAC) was held in check on Sunday by
Dillon and senior Ty Nichols.
Lewis had the big blow in the sixth inning with a 3-run homer, his second home run of the
series, and finished the game just a double shy of hitting for the cycle. Senior Scotty
Burcham also went 3-for-5 on Sunday with three RBIs while freshman Dan Deely hit his first
career home run and drove in two runs and freshman Vinny Esposito homered as
hit five home runs and scored 22 runs over the last two games of the series. Lewis and
sophomore Gunner Pollman each hit .500 in the series, with Lewis driving in seven runs and
slugging 1.071. Burcham hit .417 with six RBIs as the Hornets hit .320 as a team with 13
extra base hits and a .580 slugging percentage.
scored first in all three games of the series, on Sunday taking a quick 1-0 lead on a Burcham
RBI single in the first inning. Deely homered in the second to make the score 2-0, and after
the Wolverines got a run in the bottom of the second Sacramento State scored twice in the
third on a Burcham sacrifice fly and a solo homer from Esposito.
With the Hornets
leading 5-2 in the bottom of the fifth inning Utah Valley loaded the bases with nobody out
before Dillon got a pop up and a double play groundout to strand the three runners. The eight
Hornet runs in the sixth inning came on six hits, three hit batters, and a Wolverine error as
12 men hit in the inning and Lewis, Deely, freshmen PJ Floyd and Devin Lehman, and sophomore
Brandon Hunley drove in runs.
just one hit pitching the sixth and seventh innings to put the WAC 10-run mercy rule into
effect after the seventh inning concluded. Utah Valley starter Kaden Schmitt lasted just
three innings allowing four runs on six hits and a walk to fall to 0-2 on the season.
Wolverine relievers Kyle Valgardson and Eric Olguin combined to allow nine runs on seven hits
in 2.2 innings.
The 13 runs
scored on Sunday were a season high for Sacramento State, which also had its second 3-homer
game of the year. After two weeks on the road the Hornets play four home games next week,
hosting Pacific at 3 p.m. Tuesday at John Smith Field before a WAC series hosting CSU
Bakersfield next weekend.
HORNETS LOSE 11-9 AT UTAH
With left-hander Sam Long on the Mound and a
9-4 lead in the sixth inning, the outcome looked positive for Sacramento State. But Utah Valley
scored seven times that inning to take the second game of the series
Long (Del Campo) gave up a career-high 10
runs--nine of them earned--in taking just his second loss of the
Gunner Pollman and Scotty Burcham each had home
runs and three runs batted in for the offense, which on any other day would have been ample for
the usually stingy Hornet pitching staff. The nine runs scored was the most this year for Sac
State on the road.
Sac State drops to 18-15 overall and 6-5
in the Western Athletic Conference, where Utah Valley improved to 8-3.
teams close out the series tomorrow afternoon.
Aggies Drop Game Two 10-6
State Fullerton defeated UC Davis 10-6 today at Dobbins Stadium.
Cordy (McClatchy) will take his 7-0 nation-leading record on the hill for the Aggies tomorrow
against the Titans.
SACRAMENTO STATE DROPS SERIES
OPENER AT UTAH VALLEY
State Media Relations)
– Utah Valley scored 11 runs over the first four innings of the game in a 12-3 win for the
Wolverines in the opener of a three-game series Friday night in Orem.
Sac State junior Chris Lewis went 2-for-4 with a home
run and two RBIs for Sacramento State (18-14, 6-4 WAC), which dropped its fourth straight road
conference game after opening WAC play at 6-0. Utah Valley (11-20, 7-3) moved ahead of the Hornets
into third place in the league.
Aggies Defeat Eshelman and
Fullerton State 3-2
by editor Rick
Facing the Titans of the
Big West and their All-American pitcher, UC Davis this afternoon played solid baseball and
earned a 3-2 win over Fullerton State.
Titans ace Thomas Eshelman
came into the contest with a pedestrian 3-3 record, but the junior right-handed pitcher’s 2.20
earned run average and 59 strikeouts in 51 innings were testament to being named to everyone’s
Preseason All-American teams to begin 2015.
The Aggies (20-11 / 4-3 Big
West) seemed primed for the challenge.
In the bottom of the
second, senior Austin March stroked a double and was knocked home by Spencer Henderson’s single
to give UC Davis an early 1-0 lead.
After four full frames,
however, the momentum seemed to shift toward the orange and blue as Aggies starter Spencer
Koopmann appeared to tire on the hill, while Eshelman remained a strike-throwing machine,
placing fastballs on the knees with the precision and complexity of an M.C. Escher
In the fifth, Koopmans
(3-3) bounced three balls in the dirt, but regained his footing and boarded his fifth
shutout inning. The Aggies offense then mounted a second assault on the Titans
All-American, as freshman Brad Pluschkell laced a grounder just under the glove of Fullerton's
second baseman and was sacrificed to second base. Tino Lipson knocked him in with a single up
the middle to make it 2-0.
After senior Nick Lynch was
plunked, March singled in Lipson and suddenly the Aggies owned a 3-0 lead over the master
painter, Eshelman, and the Titans.
But to start the sixth
inning Koopmans walked the Titans leadoff hitter Timmy Richards, and then threw a pickoff
attempt to the wall, allowing Richards to scamper to second base. Junior Dustin Vaught (Bella
Vista/Sierra College) brought Richards home with a single to narrow the gap to 3-1.
Frustrated with the
Koopmans' leadoff walk, Aggies Head Coach Matt Vaughn had seen enough and brought in the first
of three relievers to hold off the Titans, who seemed to recapture the momentum. Especially
since ace Eshelman (3-4) refused to allow UC Davis any more runs in his eight-inning
The Titans scored once more
in the seventh inning on Vaught’s second RBI.
But in the eighth closer
Zach Stone took the hill for the Aggies and pitched two frames of shutout ball, including a
dominating three-pitch strikeout of the final batter to cinch the 3-2 victory over Fullerton
State and earn his 7th save of the season (earning Koopmans his third win of the
Tanner Bily and March each
had a pair of hits for the Aggies, while Tyler Stieb went 3-for-4 and Vaught had the two hits
and two RBI for the Titans.
Entering today’s ballgame,
Fullerton State enjoyed a 27-3 overall record against the Aggies, pointing to the importance of
“The way we’ve been playing
baseball lately, it’s a huge win,” admitted Vaughn, whose team is now tied with Fullerton State
with 4-3 conference records. “And we got back to some better baseball, especially against that
team over there and an All-American (Eshelman).”
Over their history, the
Titans have won four collegiate baseball championships, their last one coming in 2004 under
Coach George Horton.
The two teams meet twice
more at Dobbins Stadium with both starting times at 1 p.m.
UCD's Cordy and Lynch Among D-1
Despite dropping a Causeway Classic to Sac
State yesterday, Cal Davis coach Matt Vaughn has reason to be optimistic: his team is 19-11-1
(3-3 in the Big West Conference) and he has pitcher Max Cordy and Nick Lynch,
who are among the leaders in Division I statistics.
Courtesy of UC Davis Athletics
Cordy (McClatchy High), a junior right-hander,
is 7-0 on the season. He's tied for first in the nation with three other D-1 pitchers who
share that record. Cordy has thrown 41.2 innings this year, posting 41 strikeouts and 17
walks and a 3.46 earned run average. Quite an improvement over last year, when Max made 10
starts and finished 1-3 with a 5.62 ERA.
As a redshirt freshman in his first season with
the Aggies, Cordy was used mostly as a closer and posted
a 5-6 record with a 4.29 ERA in 35.2
Lynch, a senior from Burlingame, is leading the
team with a .384 average, and his 19 doubles lead the nation among D-1 hitters. He's also
slugging at a .685 clip.
This weekend the Aggies will
host Fullerton State, which is one game up on UC Davis with a 4-2 conference record.
They're both looking up at UC Irvine, which is 6-0 in the Big West.
~ ~ ~
Cameron Leeper (Grant High)
and the Delta College Mustangs continued their pursuit of perfection yesterday with a 2-1
victory over Sacramento City College. The Panthers' loss was the first by ace starter
Ben Ritchey (6-1). The former Capital Christian star allowed two earned runs
over his eight innings.
With the win, Leeper elevated his record to a
state-leading 10-0 as the Mustangs improved to 27-0. The southpaw also leads the
state with 83 punchouts.
HORNETS SNAP 3-GAME LOSING
SKID WITH 4-2 WIN AT UCD
(Sac State Media Relations)
DAVIS, Calif. – Three Hornet pitchers held UC
Davis to just two runs and Sacramento State broke a late tie with a run in the eighth and another
in the ninth for a 4-2 victory over the Aggies in the first of two meetings this season between the
Sacramento State (18-13) won its fifth
straight game against the Aggies in Davis and picked up 2.5 points in the all-sport Causeway Cup
competition. UC Davis (19-11-1) lost for just the fourth time at home this season in its 13th home
After a 15-7 Hornet win over the Aggies in
Davis last year, the first inning looked like a harbinger of another offensive shootout. With one
out in the top of the first senior Scotty Burcham tripled into the gap in right center and the
following batter, junior Nathan Lukes, was hit by a pitch. Junior Chris Lewis then singled to shortstop to score Burcham and
sophomore Brandon Hunley followed with another single to make the score
State's Chris Lewis smoked an infield single
in the first inning to bring home the game's first run.
UC Davis came right back in the
bottom of the first with consecutive singles from Tanner Bily and Tino Lipson. The Hornets cut down
Lipson on a stolen base attempt but, with Bily at third, Austin March lifted a sacrifice fly to
right to bring in the run and make it a 2-1 game.
In the fourth inning UC Davis got a leadoff
double from Isaak Silva and, after a single moved the runner to third, tied the game on a sacrifice
fly from Brad Pluschkell. Meanwhile, two Aggie pitchers retired 11 straight batters and allowed
just one more Hornet baserunner into the seventh inning.
Burcham jump started the Hornet offense in
the eighth inning on a one-out single. Lukes replaced him on base on a fielder's choice, stole
second, and then scored the go-ahead run on a throwing error by UC Davis shortstop Evan Heptig. In
the ninth, freshman Vinny Esposito had a one-out double and came in to score on a
two-out single from senior Kyle Moses
Junior closer Sutter McLoughlin needed just five pitches to set down the Aggies in
the ninth with his 31st career save. In his five save appearances this year McLoughlin has five
saves and has needed just 38 pitches to do so without allowing a baserunner over 4.2 innings
Senior Ty Nichols got the win in relief for the Hornets throwing four
scoreless innings and allowing just four hits and no walks. He entered after
senior Jake Stassi threw the first four innings and allowed just two
runs on six hits. Justin Mullins was the third of five UC Davis pitchers and took the loss allowing
one unearned run on two hits and a walk in 2.2 innings pitched.
Burcham and Esposito each had two hits for
the Hornets while Silva went 3-for-4 with a run scored to lead the Aggies. UC Davis had a 10-8 edge
in hits but committed the games only error, leading to the game-winning run. Each team left seven
men on base.
UC Davis came into the game ranked fourth in
the NCAA with 79 stolen bases this season, averaging 2.6 steals per game, but was 0-for-1 in stolen
bases attempts against catcher Gunner Pollman on Tuesday and had a runner picked off at second by
Nichols. The Hornets totaled three steals in the game in as many attempts.
baseman Brandon Hunley prepares to apply the tag on UC Davis runner Tino
Lipson, who came into the game 18 for 21 in the stolen base department until
he was gunned down by State catcher Gunner Pollman. Pollman, who is closing in on
a .500 caught stealing percentage, is on the watch list for the Johnny Bench
Award for the nation's best Division 1 catcher.
Sacramento State concludes its eight-game
road trip this weekend in a WAC series at Utah Valley starting at 5 p.m. Pacific time on Friday.
The Hornets and Wolverines are tied for third place in the WAC with identical 6-3 conference
Panthers Sweep DVC With
Today's 10-6 Win
Sacramento City College
(13-14, 5-7) earned a sweep this week against Diablo Valley
College with a hard fought 10-6 victory today at home at Union Stadium.
The Vikings tied the game
by posting three runs in the top of the seventh inning, but SCC Panthers rallied in their half
of the seventh. They quickly loaded the bases and then scored five runs on two walks, a
fielder’s choice and two DVC infield errors to take a 10-5 lead.
In the first inning
Sacramento City trailed 1-0 on an unearned run off Panthers’ left-hander Brandon Langdon. The
offense loaded the bases on an Anthony Fellman base hit, a hit batter and a walk. Boston Romero
drove in the first run with a fielder’s choice up the middle for a 4-6 force at second base.
Coach Sullivan’s team kept the line moving with a Kyle Blakeman RBI single, followed by the
first of Langan’s two RBI this afternoon.
First baseman Drake Atlee’s
fielder’s choice scored the fourth Panthers run and catcher Austin Spainhour knocked in the
fifth run. Vikings coach Steve Ward had seen enough from starter Andrew Merken, and brought in
left-hander Eric Crispell, who restored order on DVC defense.
Crispell silenced the
Panthers' bats by posting five consecutive shutout innings.
The Vikings narrowed the
gap to 5-2 with a run in the third inning. After they scored their three in the seventh
inning, Sullivan summoned left-handed reliever Travis Magness, who secured the final out of the
inning. Turns out he earned the victory (4-1), as the Panthers then went out and scored five
Sacramento City had fewer
hits (8) than runs today, and made four errors in the contest, two by Romero, the Panthers’
second baseman, who had a pair of RBI.
With today’s win and the
sweep, Sacramento City is now tied with Sierra College for fourth place in the Big-8 conference.
Sierra was swept this week by Delta College (24-0), which remains undefeated with a 15-0
In other Big-8 news,
American River College (12-15 / 4-8) took two of three from Modesto, while Cosumnes River (17-10
/ 7-5) defeated Santa Rosa 2-1 today to take the series and move into a tie for second place
with Santa Rosa.
~ ~ ~
Hornets Snookered 2-1 At Seattle
Media Relations contributed to this report)
Speaking of sweeps, Sacramento State took the
backend of the broom bristles today as Seattle University defeated the Hornets 2-1 for
their third straight win.
Starter Sam Long (5-1), undefeated until
today, allowed just two hits and gave up the two runs in seven innings. But
the Sac State offense mustered only four hits off four Seattle U pitchers to drop the
contest and the third game this weekend. After this weekend, Long is the staff leader in
innings (48.2) and 1.85 earned run average.
Sacramento State (17-13, 6-3 WAC) was swept in a conference series for the first time since the
2013 season as the Redhawks held the Hornets to just five runs in the
With the victory, Seattle U (15-15 / 8-1
WAC) claims the top spot in the Western Athletic Conference and Sac State is suddenly
looking up at the front-runner in a three-way tie for third place with Northern Colorado and
With their series sweep of UTPA, Grand Canyon
(18-14 / 7-1 WAC) is one-half game behind Seattle U.
On Tuesday, the Hornets play at UC Davis, then
hit the road on Friday for a three-game series at Utah Valley.
HORNETS TOPPED BY SEATTLE U 5-2
IN GAME TWO OF SERIES IN SEATTLE
Sacramento State dropped its second
game in a row to Seattle University today 5-2.
Redhawks took Game One of the series 3-2 in 11 innings.
Hornets starter Brennan Leitao
allowed the Redhawks four runs over his four innings(three earned) lowering his record to
3-2. Justin Dillon (El Dorado High) was terrific in relief, allowing just one run over the
last four frames.
Seattle starter Skyler
Genger scattered four hits and limited the Hornets to two runs over his seven
and two-thirds innings of work. Sac State senior Kyle Moses had two of the team's
six hits in their third consecutive loss; the team lost at Pacific on
Sacramento State is now 17-12 overall
and 6-2 in conference, while Seattle U has moved into first place with a 7-1 mark, despite
their 14-15 overall record.
The two squads meet tomorrow
afternoon in the final game of the series. Sam Long (5-0) takes the hill for the Hornets, who
hope to salvage a win in the Northwest.
LEHMAN LIFTS SACRAMENTO STATE OVER PACIFIC
McLoughlin Sets WAC Saves Record With 30th Career
State Media Relations)
STOCKTON, Calif. – Freshman Devin Lehman (Granite Bay High) went 2-for-4
with two RBIs, including a game-winning RBI single in the eighth inning, to lift the Hornets
to a 3-2 win at Pacific on Tuesday night in Stockton.
Junior Sutter McLoughlin (Rio Americano High) picked up his fourth save of
the year and now owns the WAC record on his own with 30 career saves, breaking a tie with
former Louisiana Tech closer Caleb Dudley. After missing the first month of the season
McLoughlin is now 4-for-4 in save opportunities and has thrown just 33 pitches to record the
four saves, needing just seven pitches (all strikes) on
Sacramento State (17-10) won the first of two meetings this year with
Pacific (5-21), which had won three of its last six contests. The squads will meet again in
two weeks at John Smith Field.
SACRAMENTO STATE BASEBALL SOPHOMORE SAM LONG NAMED WAC PITCHER OF THE
(Sacramento State Media Relations)
DENVER - After taking a
no-hitter into the eighth inning and throwing eight shutout innings in a 1-0 Hornet win over New
Mexico State sophomore left handed pitcher Sam Long has been named Western Athletic Conference
(WAC) Pitcher of the Week.
Sam Long, Sacramento State
A sophomore from Rancho
Cordova (he played on Del Campo High 2013 section title team) was named WAC Freshman of the
Year and a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American last season. Long threw 7.1 hitless innings on
Saturday and allowed just one hit over eight innings. He did not walk a man and equaled his career
high with seven strikeouts.
Of his 107 pitches, 78 were
strikes, and he managed to work around three Hornet errors to pitch in his second shutout of the
season. Two weeks ago Long went the full nine innings at Cal Poly in a five-hit shutout, and in his
six starts this year Long has not allowed a run in three of them.
With his dominant
performance against the Aggies Long now leads the WAC with a .164 opposing batting this season and
five wins with a conference-low 24 hits, four walks, and eight runs allowed among all starters. He
is second in the league only to his teammate, senior Brennan Leitao, with a 1.73 season ERA (Leitao
Sacramento State has won
all six games Long has started this year, and for his brief career he is now 13-2 overall and is
6-0 in WAC games.
Sweep NM Aggies With 10-0 Mercy Ruling Win
State pitcher Justin Dillon (El Dorado High) tossed a three-hit shutout as the Hornets beat
New Mexico State (4-20-1) 10-0 to sweep the Aggies in an 8-inning Mercy Rule win at John
Smith Field this afternoon.
This marked the second
straight weekend the Hornets posted a conference sweep at home (last weekend was Texas-Pan
American), improving to 16-10 and a perfect 6-0 in the Western Athletic Conference.
Justin Dillon shut down the Aggies in a 10-0 victory for the
continued where southpaw Sam Long left off yesterday posting eight gooseeggs on the scoreboard,
while the Hornets offense provided a big cushion today.
Dane Fujinaka, in a rare
start behind the dish, opened the scoring when his double off the left field wall brought home
freshman P.J. Floyd (Whitney High) in the fourth inning. Fujunaka scored on a fielder’s choice
making it 2-0. RBI singles by Scotty Burcham and Nathan Lukes (Center High) doubled the lead,
and Burcham then scored on a wild pitch to make it 5-0 Sacramento State.
The Hornets added two more
runs in the fifth when freshman Devin Lehman (Granite Bay) singled in Floyd and Fujinaka to make
In the eighth, Lukes hit a
solo shot in the eighth inning to push the lead to 9-0. With his 3-for-3 day at the plate, Lukes
raised his average back over .400 and is now hitting .415. Pinch hitter Josh Egan knocked in a
run with his first hit of the year to make it 10-0, after which the game was called on the
10-Run Mercy Run.
Burcham, Fujinaka and
Lehman each had a pair of hits for Sac State.
Dillon, a sophomore,
improved his record to 3-3, deepening New Mexico State’s scoreless streak to 17 consecutive
innings. He struck out three while walking just one batter, lowering his ERA
The Hornets travel to
Stockton on Tuesday for a match against University of the Pacific at Klein Family Field. On
Thursday, they travel to the Northwest on Thursday for a three-game series against Seattle
Hurls Eight Scoreless Frames as Hornets Win 1-0
Sam Long (Del Campo) pitched eight shutout innings and closer Sutter McLoughlin tied a
conference record with a perfect ninth inning of relief to lead Sacramento State (15-10/5-0) to
a 1-0 victory over New Mexico State.
Long (5-0) was brilliant
against the Aggies, not allowing a hit until the eighth inning when Daniel Kennon doubled. After
Kennon advanced to third base on a wild pitch, Long stranded him there when he got the next
hitter on an infield pop up to preserve the whitewash.
The southpaw struck out
seven and didn’t walk a batter in one of his strongest outings as a Hornet pitcher. He fanned
the side in the third inning, after the first hitter reached on an error. Of his 107 pitches, 78
were strikes, lowering his earned run average to 1.73.
Aggies (4-19-1) starter
Riley Barr was nearly as stingy. Although he allowed nine hits, he limiting the Hornets to one
run in the fourth inning, when Dane Fujinaka’s fielder’s choice scored Scotty Burcham, who had
walked to lead off the inning.
That was all the Hornets
offense could muster, but the way Long was slingin’ it today, that’s all they
For the second consecutive
game, however, the Hornets defense made multiple errors; this time three of them by freshman Dan
Deely making his first start at third base.
The Hornets offense was led
by senior Kyle Moses and freshman Bronson Grubbs (Pleasant Grove High) who each had a
pair of hits and a double.
For the second straight day
McLoughlin (Rio Americano) entered the game with a save opportunity. Today, he pitched a perfect
ninth inning, including two strikeouts, for his third save of the season, and 29th of his
career, tying the Western Athletic Conference record for closers.
HORNETS HANG ON FOR 8-7 WIN OVER NEW MEXICO STATE
editor Rick Cabral
the first game of the New Mexico State series Sacramento State (14-10) made a month’s worth of
mistakes, but held on for an 8-7 victory this afternoon.
Losing 8-4 in the ninth inning, the Aggies
(4-18-1) kept it interesting, by scoring two runs and narrowing the Hornets lead to 8-6 off of
two relievers. Coach Reggie Christiansen summoned closer Sutter McLoughlin (Rio Americano High),
who finally shut the lights but not before New Mexico State scored once more for a 8-7
Hornets, ranked in the Top 15 in team defense, committed an eye-popping four infield
errors and made another mental error that didn’t go in the books.
Hornets ace Brennan Leitao started the game
with classic efficiency, retiring the first two batters and looking like the school’s career
26-game winner. The Aggies leading hitter Joseph Koerper—coming into the series with a
team-leading .376 average—shot a single to right field. Next second baseman Brandon Hunley
misplayed a routine hop, putting runners at first and second.
Leitao then struck out Michael Paulson, but
Hornets’ catcher Gunner Pullman couldn’t find the ball in the dirt as the bench yelled “Feet!,
feet!”, and then after retrieving it, casually launched the throw too late to first base, which
loaded the bases. When the next batter hit what appeared to be an inning-ending grounder, the
ball clanked off third baseman P.J. Floyd’s glove, and the Aggies led 1-0.
Sophomore Daniel Johnson of Vallejo then hit a
soft liner just over the glove of shortstop Scotty Burcham and two more runs scored, giving New
Mexico State a 3-0 lead. All three runs were unearned. Leitao struck out Derek Umphres with a
statement fastball, taking control of an abysmal defensive showing by the Hornets.
Sacramento State calmly responded in their
half of the first inning, knowing they were facing a pitching staff with an aggregate earned run
average over six, and a team that started the season 1-15.
Leadoff hitter Kyle Moses singled and Burcham
followed with a walk. Nathan Lukes (Center High) hit a soft infield chopper that put out the
lead runner. Burcham and Lukes pulled off a double steal just before Chris Lewis walked to load
singled to the second base bag, scoring Burcham. Then junior designated hitter Dane Fujinaka,
who has taken over as the team’s RBI machine, dropped a soft liner just over the shortstop’s
outstretched glove to tie the game. After Vinnie Esposito’s (Granite Bay High) shallow fly to
left field couldn’t score the runner from third, Brandon Hunley (Christian Brothers) did it with
a walk, putting the Hornets ahead 4-3.
about a long first inning.
the next two innings, the staunch Sac State defense of yore returned with two infield double
plays, as Leitao bore down, preventing the Aggies from scoring again before leaving the game
after five innings with a pitch count over 70. By that point, the Hornets offense had padded
their lead to 6-4 in the fourth inning on a Chris Lewis RBI triple and Dan Deely’s RBI
the top of the sixth inning, senior Ty Nichols relieved Leitao and quickly gave up a solo blast
to Paulson, which cut the lead to 6-4.
in the bottom of the sixth, Fujinaka came through again.
two runners on, he hit a perfect wedge shot down the right field line, scoring two runs, and
pushing the Hornets lead to 8-4. But those insurance runs proved critical, as the Aggies scored
three more in the ninth inning, before McLoughlin secured his second save of the season and 28th
career save, one shy of tying the Western Athletic Conference career record.
Leitao picked up his third win of the season
and 27th of his career, extending his personal
record. Going 2-for-4, Fujinaka had three RBI for the Hornets, while Johnson led the Aggies with
three hits and three RBI.
Lukes, who came in with a team-leading .414
average, went 0-for-4 and saw his average drop below .400 for the first time all season. He is
now hitting .398, but extended his on-base performance to a perfect 24 games.
two teams return tomorrow at 1 p.m. for game two of the series.
Cosumnes River (13-9/3-4) erupted for five runs in the second inning and three more in the
6th to take the first game of this week's series from American River (10-12/2-5) 10-4 yesterday
in Big-8 competition.
Blake (Franklin High) had three RBI for the Hawks, shortstop Andre Gregory (Jesuit) added two
more, while DH Nico Toni (Pleasant Grove) went 3-for-5.
Elgin (3-1) who allowed one earned run in three and two-thirds innings of relief, was the
Sacramento City--led by Kyle Blakeman's three RBI day--edged Sierra College 6-5 in
Right-hander Ben Ritchey (Capital Christian) allowed one earned run through seven innings to
win his fifth game of the season against no defeats.
Kyle Dixon went
4-for-4 for the losers.
Panthers are now 2-5 in conference (10-12 overall), while Sierra's record drops to 3-4 in Big-8
play (9-12 overall).
James Outing Helps Stanford End 5-Game Losing Streak
Logan James (Jesuit) provided four innings of scoreless
relief and Austin Barr hit a three-run home run to
lead Stanford to a 7-3 win against visiting San Diego on Monday. The Cardinal snapped a
five-game losing streak in the process.
who has moved to the bullpen, is now 2-1.
Sierra College RHP Tyler Milani was been
named the the California Community College Baseball Coaches Association’s (CCCBCA) baseball Pitcher
of the Week for the week of March 16th–March 22nd.
Against Diablo Valley, Milani (Woodcreek
High) scattered six hits in a complete game shutout. He struck out three and walked none, while
posting 72 strikes among his 100 pitches.
STATE SWEEPS TEXAS-PAN AMERICAN IN 10-2 VICTORY
Sacramento State (13-9/3-0)
secured a series sweep against Texas-Pan American by scoring five first-inning runs en route to
a 10 to 2 victory.
UTPA scored once in the top
half of the first inning when Logan Landon singled, went to second on a single by Jesus Garcia,
and was knocked in by Jacob Huckabay, to make it 1-0 Broncos.
Sacramento State quickly
answered and loudly when senior Scotty Burcham drilled a singled down the right field line, and
was advanced to second on Nathan Lukes’ (Center High) walk. Burcham stole third base and came in
on freshman P.J. Floyd’s infield single to tie the score 1-1. Designated hitter Dane Fujinaka
knocked in a pair of runs with a double, his fourth run batted in for the series.
Freshman Devin Lehman
(Granite Bay High) then homered over the right field fence—the first round-tripper of his
collegiate career—pushing the Hornets lead to 5-1
The game stayed that way as
sophomore right-hander Justin Dillon (El Dorado)—back in the starter’s role with the return of
closer Sutter McLoughlin (Rio Americano)—limited the Broncos to two runs (one earned) through
four innings. He was replaced by Ty Nichols, the previous Sunday starter, who tossed three
shutout innings for his first win of the season. Sophomore Austin Ragsdale (Bradshaw
Christian) and junior Tyler Beardsley closed out the contest for Sac State.
The Hornets plated another
run in the sixth inning when Lehman scored on a failed pickoff attempt by the UTPA pitcher to
make it 6-2.
Sac State scored two more
times in the seventh when sophomore Brandon Hunley, walked (Christian Brothers), advanced to
second when Floyd was hit by a pitch. Hunley stole third and then scored on a throwing error by
the catcher, Huckabay. Two batters later Lehman drove home Floyd with an RBI single, making it
8-2 for the Green and Gold.
In the eighth
inning, Vinnie Esposito gained first on an error, the third of the day by UTPA. Then
senior Kyle Moses homered (2) for the second straight game to knock in two more runs, pushing
the lead to 10-2.
Despite the scoring
advantage, the Broncos outhit the Hornets 12-9, but all were singles.
Hornets’ freshman Lehman
went 3-for-3 with three RBI while Floyd and Fujinaka collected three hits and three RBI between
Hunley failed to get a hit
today, ending his 10-game hitting streak. Lukes, the team’s leading hitter at .412, also went
hitless, but walked twice and scored one run, extending his streak of reaching base to 22
Corrie Davis went 3-for-4
for the visitors while Landon added pair of hits. He came into the series batting .476 and
finished with a .453 batting average.
With the series sweep over
UTEP, Sacramento State remains in a first place tie in the Western Athletic Conference with
Grand Canyon (14-10) and Northern Colorado (6-11).
Sacramento State plays at
Nevada on Tuesday then continues WAC competition by hosting a three-game series against New
Mexico State beginning on Friday.
STATE TAKES GAME 2
Vs. UTPA WITH 3-RUN EIGHTH INNING HR
Kyle Moses’ three-run homer
in the bottom of the eighth inning broke a 4-4 tie and led Sacramento State (12-9) to a 7-4
victory over Texas-Pan American today.
The win was the Hornets’
second consecutive in Western Athletic Conference play and ensures a series win against the
Trailing 3-1 in the seventh
inning, leadoff hitter freshman Vinnie Esposito (Granite Bay) dropped a bleeder near the right
field foul line that allowed him to race to second for a double. Moses singled him to third base
with one out. Senior Scotty Burcham, who’s been hot lately, hit his second triple of the series,
scoring both runners and giving the Hornets a 4-3 lead.
Scotty Burcham tripled home two runs today
to help power the Hornets to a 7-4 win over UTPA.
But in the top of the
eighth, the Bronco’s Logan Landon--a Top 20 batting leader in all Division
1--smacked a home run off reliever Chad Perry (Marysville High) to tie the game at 4-4. After
UTPA got two runners on via an infield error and single, Coach Reggie Christiansen brought in
reliever Grant Kekuk. Scott Mercer smoked a liner off Kekuk’s leg, but the pitcher fielded the
ball and threw out Mercer in time to end the inning, preventing further damage.
The Hornets led 1-0 through
four innings as southpaw Sam Long (Del Campo) continued to work his magic on the hill. In the
fifth inning when UTPA’s Jesus Garcia led off with a single, Long sent the next two hitters back
to the dugout. But Isaac Gonzalez drove home Garcia with a single, and the Broncos’ Cole Loncar
followed with a two-run homer to give the visitor’s a 3-1 lead.
The Broncos defense kept
them in this game with some sterling plays. With Sac State batting in the second inning and
runners at third and second, Chris Lewis hit a fly in shallow right field. The second baseman
Garcia laid out and made a diving catch with his back to the infield, popped right up and
relayed the ball to the catcher, preventing the Hornets from scoring.
In the sixth inning,
designated hitter Dane Fujinaka lined a ball safely into the outfield. But Broncos right fielder
Correy Davis was playing shallow, allowing him to field the ball on one hop and nail Fujunaka
before reaching first base.
Long allowed three earned
runs through seven innings, pushing his earned run average to 2.43 in the no decision. For his
one-third inning of work in the eighth, Kekuk (2-2) was rewarded with the win and 6’5” righty
Ryan Smith from Rocklin High shut out the Broncos in the ninth inning to earn his third save of
Sacramento State's offense
was led by Moses, who went 3-for-5 with the three RBI, and Burcham who collected the triple
and a double and two RBI.
The two teams meet for the
finale tomorrow at noon.
HORNETS WIN WAC OPENER 4-2 OVER UTPA
McLoughlin Sets School Saves Record
by editor Rick Cabral
(Sacramento State Media Relations contributed to
Sacramento State (11-9) scored three runs in
the first while ace Brennan Leitao limited Texas-Pan American to two runs for a 4-2 win
this afternoon in the opening game of Western Athletic Conference play at John Smith
Perhaps most memorable, the game
marked closer Sutter McLoughlin's return to the save column, earning his first of the
season and the 27th of his career, setting the Hornets career mark.
the first inning, the Hornets came out roaring, as senior Scotty Burcham tripled with one out
and was brought home on Nathan Lukes (Center High) soft single to center for a quick 1-0 lead.
Freshman P.J. Floyd (Whitney High) was hit by a pitch, and both runners advanced on Brandon
Hunley’s fielder’s choice. Designated hitter Dane Fujinaka—in a rare start—drove home both
runners to extend Sac State’s lead 3-0.
the Broncos chipped away and scored solo runs in the third and fifth innings off Leitao (2-1),
who allowed just four hits in seven innings of work.
Meantime Bronco’s starter Blake English (2-2)
entered with a 1.59 earned run average and played like Harry Houdini, escaping danger and
holding the Hornets to those three runs in the first.
one out in the Hornets half of the second, sophomore Gunner Pollman smoked a double. Senior Kyle
Moses shot a single to left field that was hit so hard Pollman didn’t dream of taking home. Next
batter Burcham hit into a double play, stranding the strapping sophomore at third
the bottom of the seventh, Lukes launched the ball over the wall near the flagpoles for his
second home run of the season to pad Sac State’s lead to 4-2.
Pitcher Grant Kekuk relieved Leitao in the
eighth and right-hander Sutter McLoughlin closed out the ninth inning on nine pitches for the
record save. Dating back to last season, McLoughlin had been tied with Mike Frame with 26
saves. With three more like it, McLoughlin will break the current WAC record of 29 career
Reggie Christiansen rejiggered his lineup to start conference play with an upper-division
laden group. In addition to Moses in right and junior Chris Lewis in left
field, Lukes took center, as freshman Bronson Grubbs—who started nearly every game in
center to this point—was relegated to the bench.
allowed the junior Fujinaka—a two-year starter at catcher until Pollman unseated him this
season—to fill the designated hitter position, and he filled it nicely, going two-for-four
with the two RBI.
addition, Burcham, Lukes and Pollman collected two hits, as the Hornets had 10 safeties
weekend series against Texas-Pan American matches two of the best hitters in the nation: Lukes
(who is now hitting .444, putting him in the Top 20 NCAA D-1) and the Broncos senior Logan
Landon, who came in on a 15-game hitting streak and a .476 average—good for fourth in the NCAA
Division I until today’s game. Leitao and company held Landon hitless, dropping his average to
Sophomore Brandon Hunley (Christian Brothers)
had a double to extend his hitting streak to nine games and Lukes has now reached base in all 20
games this season.
two teams battle again tomorrow as sophomore southpaw Sam Long (Del Campo High) takes the hill
for the Hornets. Game time is 1 p.m.
USC's Mitch Hart Tabbed PAC-12 Pitcher of the Week
Mitch Hart, USC
Hart earned Pac-12
Pitcher of the Week honors for tossing a two-hit shutout Sunday against Washington State in the third game of the
Hart (Granite Bay
High) threw a gem in just his fourth collegiate
start in USC's 11-0 victory over Washington
State. He had a no-hitter going through the first 5.1 innings, and did not allow a
second hit until there were two down in the top of the ninth inning. The
right-hander also struck out five in the win, and walked
just one as the Trojans claimed the rubber match against Washington State.
Hart is now 4-0 with a 2.35 earned run
average. The last time a Trojan threw a two-hitter was in
Hornets Drop Night Game to
Fresno State 6-2
shutout through eight innings, Sacramento State scored two runs in the ninth, but the rally fell
short as host Fresno State won 6-2 in a non-conference matchup between former Western Athletic
(7-5) scored four runs in the second off Hornets (6-4) starter senior Jake Stassi. They managed
another run off Stassi in the fourth and scored again in the fifth inning to take a commanding
6-0 lead, and held on the for win.
six straight, the Hornets have now dropped three in a row.
managed just six hits in the game, three of which came in the ninth inning off Bulldogs closer
Rickey Ramirez. Junior Nathan Lukes (Center High)--who went 2-for-3--singled to open the final
frame. Freshman Devin Lehman (Granite Bay High) followed with a safety. After a fielder's
choice, pinch hitter P.J. Floyd (Whitney High) tripled in both runners to make it 6-2, but the
Hornets failed to score again. It was Floyd's first hit and RBIs as a Hornet.
made two errors in the game.
The Hornets open
a three-game series at home on Friday against #18 ranked U.C. Santa Barbara, which is 9-3
overall after defeating the University of Southern California today at home 3-2. The Gauchos
feature power-armed junior pitcher Dillon Tate, who has touched 100 mph on the radar gun. He
comes to Sacramento with a 2-1 record, 1.29 earned run average while fanning 25 batters in 21
Panthers Maul Vikings 14-4
in Diablo Valley
Visiting Sacramento City
(8-5) won its sixth straight game this afternoon and first in Big-8 Conference play by scoring
five runs in the seventh inning and five more in the eighth to defeat Diablo Valley
Freshman Boston Romero
blasted a triple and double and drove in four runs while clean-up hitter Kyle Blakeman went
3-for-4 with three RBI to lead the Panthers hitting attack.
Panthers starting pitcher
Ben Ritchey (Capital Christian), who allowed 10 hits and all four Valley runs, improved to 4-0.
When the sophomore right-hander departed after completing the sixth inning, the score was tied
4-4. Sac City blasted the game open with the five spot in the top of the seventh, thanks to
RBI-doubles by freshman Brandon Langan (Sheldon High), sophomore Austin Spainhour (Rocklin High)
and Romero. The Panthers pounded out 20 hits against Vikings pitchers.
They play Thursday at
Union Stadium in an evening game (5 p.m.) against league rival Sierra College, which lost 16-5
to undefeated and number-one ranked Delta College (12-0).
In other Big-8 action
visiting American River (7-6) defeated host Modesto 2-1, while Cosumnes River (9-4) topped Santa
Rosa 5-4 in 10 .
SNOWED OUT--HORNETS RETURN HOME AFTER
1 GAME VS. TEXAS TECH
Due to sub-freezing temperatures, and snow on
the ground all around Lubbock, Texas, the series with Texas Tech was cancelled today. The Hornets
will return home after playing just one game versus the Red Raiders on Wednesday. In that contest,
Sacramento State led 3-1 going into the bottom of the ninth, but Texas Tech managed four hits to
win the game in a 4-3 walk0ff.
To compensate for the lost three games, Sac
State has added one more to the schedule when it plays Cal Poly SLO beginning on Thursday, March 12
in San Luis Obispo.
SCC Defeats Santa
Rosa 1-0 in Non-Conference Pitcher's
Freshman Boston Romero’s
RBI-double was the difference in Sacramento City College’s 1-0 win over Santa Rosa in a
non-conference game today at Union Stadium.
In the bottom of the
fourth, Romero turned on an inside fastball, lacing a double down the right field line and
scoring freshman Kyle Blakeman, who had singled earlier.
Zach Smart pitched nearly five innings of
as the Panthers won 1-0 over Santa Rosa today.
That was the difference
in today's pitcher’s duel that saw Panthers starter Zach Smart (Laguna Creek High) pitch 4-
and-2/3 innings of shutout ball, allowing three hits, four walks, while fanning four
Santa Rosa hitters. He was followed by freshman left-hander Travis Magness (Granite Bay
High), who allowed the Bear Cubs two hits and no runs in four innings and earned the
Closer Gabe Meza (Granite
Bay High), came in with two out in the eighth, and shut down a Santa Rosa rally. Then in the
ninth inning, with two outs and a Bear Cub dancing on third base, Meza got Santa Rosa’s Ryan
Haug to fly out to center field to preserve the victory.
Sacramento City notched
just four hits in the contest, including Romero’s double and two singles by Blakeman. Santa
Rosa's three infield errors didn't contribute directly to the loss, although it put
more stress and added pitches to starter Garrett Hill's seven-inning outing, who allowed
the one earned run.
With the victory—the
Panthers’ fourth straight—coach Derek Sullivan’s club improves to 7-4, while Santa Rosa (8-3)
dropped its third game of the year.
“Santa Rosa’s good. We’ll
take this one,” he said with a smile after the game. Sullivan offered that he removed Smart, who
had only given up the three hits by the fifth inning, because of his high pitch count. “He’s
tough to hit, and they were probably glad to see him taken out.”
Although he had trouble
locating his fastball this afternoon, Smart snookered Santa Rosa with more curves than the
Olema-Bolinas Road on Highway 1.
Meza, a redshirt
freshman, noted he got a bit of a late start on his bullpen, and didn’t feel quite right as he
came on in the eighth.“But I wanted to go in and do my part for the team. I’m happy my defense
backed me up. Glad things worked out and we got the win,” along with Meza’s third
Asked if having the tying
run on third base in the last inning caused concern, the hard-throwing right-hander laughed.
“That’s exactly the position I want to be in. And (winning) is what I want to do.”
In other Big-8 action,
Cosumnes River defeated Canyons 5-3 in 10 innings. American River dropped a home game to Diablo
Takes Game Four From Sacramento State
by editor Rick
In the final game of the
series, Sacramento State and Portland battled through eight scoreless innings like it was a
Division I Regional Playoff game.
Typically, the last
game in a four-game series ends in a football score. But in this match that Portland
(1-7) desperately needed, and State didn’t (6-1) the teams competed on a blustery day in
which North winds negated any chance of the home runs that were launched yesterday over the
left and center field walls.
The Hornets had won three
straight from the Pilots including yesterday’s doubleheader that saw junior Chris Lewis clout
two home runs and freshman Vinny Esposito one two-run blast.
Nathan Lukes laced this pitch in the
outfield for one of his two hits today against Portland pitcher Davis Tominaga, who
hurled a complete game for the Pilots win.
Starting for Sacramento State was left-handed
pitcher Jake Stassi (Yuba City High), making his return to the mound
after Tommy John last year while at Long Beach
State. He was limited to two shutout innings in which he allowed no hits and walked the
first batter of the game.
followed by a committee of relievers which didn’t allow the Pilots their first hit until
the seventh inning, and shut them out for eight frames.
With the game still
scoreless in the ninth, and Justin Dillon pitching his second inning of relief, the Pilots
scored two unearned runs on a Kevin Farley single to take a 2-0 lead.
Portland starter Davis
Tominaga (1-1) scattered seven Hornets hits in an impressive complete game shutout victory to
give the Pilots (2-7) just their second win of the season.
Dillon (2-1), who has
filled in as State’s closer while Sutter McLoughlin continues to recover from arm discomfort,
took the loss. The Pilots, who were limited to three hits, made the last one count, as it was
Farley’s game winner.
Nathan Lukes, who continues
to swing a hot stick, went 2-for-3, but was thrown out in the fourth inning trying to stretch a
single into a double. The Hornets had two other runners thrown out today, including freshmen
Devin Lehman who was thrown out at the plate in the fifth inning, and Bronson Grubbs, who was
picked off first base by Tominaga in the third inning, right after barely getting back to the
bag on the previous pickoff attempt.
Sacramento State (6-2)
dropped just its second game of the season, ending a six-game winning streak.
Left handed starter Jake Stassi pitched two
innings of hitless ball
in his first outing for the Hornets.
Pilots 7-2 In Game One of Saturday Doubleheader
Senior catcher Dane
Fujinaka made his first appearance of the season count at the plate with a double and 2-RBI
single as Sacramento State took Game One of today’s doubleheader against Portland
State’s senior pitcher Ty
Nichols and Pilots starter Kurt Yinger put up zeros through three innings. In the Hornets
fourth, junior Nathan Lukes reached on an error, followed by sophomore Brandon Hunley’s
Up stepped Fujunaka, who
had doubled against the left field wall earlier in his first at-bat of the season (replacing
Gunner Pollman behind the dish). He stroked a single up the middle that easily scored Lukes, but
Portland center fielder Geoffrey Lee slipped and the ball skipped past him, allowing Hunley also
to score and Fujinaka reached third to give Sacramento State a 2-0 lead.
The Pilots answered when
Davis Tominaga drove in two runs with a double off Nichols in the fifth to tie the game, 2-2.
Nathan Lukes answered in the sixth inning with a solo shot to give the Hornets’ a 3-2
After Junior Chris Lewis
singled in a run in the seventh inning to give Sacramento State a 4-2 lead, in the eighth the
Hornets scored on back-to-back bases loaded walks freshman to make it 7-2 for the green and
Junior transfer Grant Kukuk
pitched two innings of shutout ball, followed by Ryan Smith (Rocklin High), who also whitewashed
the Pilots in the eighth and ninth innings.
(Christian Brothers), who now anchors third base for Coach Christiansen’s team, led all
hitters, going 3-for-4 with a double and two scored runs.
~ ~ ~
Hornets Take NightCap
Against Portland 12-2
In the second game of a
rare double-header at John Smith Field, Hornets hitters played the “hit parade” against Portland
pitchers, winning 12-2.
Junior Chris Lewis quickly
got into slugging mode with a pair of two-run homers, and freshman Vinny Esposito hit a
two-run blast, and knocked in two more with a Texas Leaguer to lead the offensive charge for
With the victory, the
Hornets (6-1) have now won all three games against the Pilots, and six games in a
Lewis started things off in
the bottom of the first with a no-doubter over the left field wall for his first two-run shot.
The Pilots answered in the third with a two-run homer by Michael Lucarelli, the first runs
charged to Slingin’ Sammy Long this season.
In the Hornets third,
Esposito (Granite Bay High) drove the ball over the wall near the scoreboard with senior Kyle
Moses on base to break the tie and give Sac State a 4-2 lead. Junior Nathan Lukes (Center High)
dropped down a beauty of a bunt along the third base line, and Lewis followed with a deep blast
over the left field fence to extend the lead to 6-2.
Sac State then piled it on
in the fourth inning, with five runs on six hits to push the lead to 11-2. With two runners on,
Esposito’s bleeder in centerfield was mishandled, allowing both runs to score. Lukes doubled
home Esposito, making it 9-2 and knocking out Pilots starter Alex Fisher from the
Lewis doubled to right
field, brining home Lukes, for his fifth RBI. Sophomore Brandon Hunley (Christian Brothers)
singled home Lewis to make it 11-2. The Hornets added another run in sixth inning.
Long (2-0), in his second
start of the year, threw 5 2/3 innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits. He whiffed five
and walked one. Hornets relievers didn't allow another run, beginning with
Austin Ragsdale (Bradshaw Christian) who came in the sixth inning and pitched 1 1/3
innings. Freshman right-hander
Jeremiah Moore closed out the game.
Senior Turner Gill was the
sole Portland hitter with multiple hits (2), as Sac State pitching held the Pilots to seven hits
in the second game, which was also a nine-inning affair.
While Esposito and Lewis
each had three hits, and five and four ribbies respectively, Lukes went 4-for-5. Hunley
chipped in with two more safeties to go with his three hits in the first game.
Christiansen's got to be
thrilled to see Lewis' bat heat up. A Louisville Freshman All-American in 2013, Lewis last
year raised his average to .221 after heating up in the postseason where he was selected
WAC Tournament Most Valuable Player.
The Hornets offensive
leader, however, clearly is Lukes, who today showed he can do it all with the stick, bunting for
a single, and blasting the ball over the fence in the first game.
In addition to the double
win for the home team, there was a Dusty Baker sighting at the ballpark
Moses Leads Sac State to 3-2 Walk-Off Win in
Senior Kyle Moses singled in freshman Bronson Grubbs with one
out in the bottom of the ninth to give Sacramento State (4-1) a 3-2 walkoff win over
Portland this afternoon.
Grubbs (Pleasant Grove) started the ninth-inning rally with a
one-out single, went to second base on a balk, and advanced to third on freshman Dan Deely's
single, paving the way for Moses game-winning hit. The Hornets compiled nine hits in the game,
one by each position player.
Sacramento State's starting pitcher Brennan Leitao had
another solid outing, giving up one run and seven hits in seven innings, lowering his
earned run average to 2.25. When he left the team led 2-1, thanks to freshman Vinny Esposito's
(Granite Bay High) RBI double in the sixth inning.
Reliever Justin Dillon (2-0), who gave up the tying run in
the eighth, earned the victory for the Hornets.
catcher Gunner Pollman continued his hot hand behind the dish, throwing out two Portland base
runners for a total of eight in the first five games. He also had a double.
their first game of the season, the Hornets have now won four straight.
The two teams
meet tomorrow in a double header, with the first game starting at 11 a.m.
Sac City Beats Butte
10-2 in Oroville
Visiting Sacramento City College yesterday
downed Butte College 10-2 with a five-run fifth inning and eight strong innings by Panthers
starting pitcher Ben Ritchey (Capital Christian). With the win, Sac City evens its record at
Ritchey (3-0) allowed two earned runs on seven
hits and zero walks, while fanning five. The sophomore threw 64 strikes among his 88
Leading hitters for the Panthers included
catcher Matt Poulin (Ponderosa), who went 2-for-4 with a home run and three runs batted in;
shortstop Anthony Fellman, 3-for-4 with two RBI; and leadoff hitter Alex Muzzi (Vista del Lago)
went 2-for-4 with a triple and one RBI.
Cosumnes Nips Sequoias
Cosumnes Rivers defated Sequoias yesterday 4-3
at home. The Hawks posted four runs in the third inning and held on for the win.
Sophomore right-hander David Smith (Elk Grove
High) went six innings to post his second win of the season. His earned run average is 1.93 in
Sophomore Logan Marston (Oak Ridge High) went
2-for-4 with one RBI, while Andre Gregory (Jesuit) had a double and an RBI for Cosumnes River,
which is now 5-3 on the year.
Hornets Win 8-7 On Deely's
Walk-Off RBI Single
Freshman Dan Deely knocked a bases-loaded single in the bottom
of the ninth inning to give Sacramento State an 8-7 walk-off win over
With the victory over the Utes (1-3), Sacramento State (3-1)
takes the four-game series three game to one.
Utah jumped out to a 2-0 lead with single runs in the first and
second innings, both off freshman starter Anthony Castaneda (Woodland Christian), making his
collegiate debut. Castaneda, who consistently left his fastball up out of the
zone, walked three and gave up two hits, leading to the two earned
The Hornets answered with two runs in the third inning to tie
on Junior Nathan Lukes (Center High) 2-RBI double up the middle.
Utah retook the lead 3-2 in the 4th inning, then Sac State
scored twice in the sixth inning for a 4-3 advantage. Both teams scored three times in the
seventh inning, and Sac State went into the ninth inning with a 7-6
Hornets right-hander Jared Paderez (1-0), who started the
eighth inning, allowed a double and a single. A sacrifice bunt brought home the tying
run, but the sophomore right-hander got out of the inning with a double
In the Hornets half of the ninth, sophomore Brandon Hunley
(Christian Brothers) started the rally with a double and advanced to third base on an error. A
pair of intentional walks loaded the bases, and Deely, the freshman second baseman from Sonoma,
delivered the game-winning hit.
Deely's RBI single was his
second of the game. Lukes had another big day, going 3-for-5 with two RBI, while
senior shortstop Scotty Burcham was 2-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored. Freshman Devin
Lehman (Granite Bay) also went 3-for-5. The Hornets outhit Utah 14-9 (they're now hitting
.286 for the season), while the Salt Lake City boys also made five
With three more hits today, Lukes
maintains his team-leading batting average of .389. Burcham is close behind with .385. Both
veterans now have five runs batted in. Deely is third on the team hitting .308 over the four
Gunner Pollman threw out a baserunner
in each game. Utah, an aggressive running team which made five outs on the basepaths
yesterday, tested and lost to Pollman's arm six times in the series, including three
times by Cody Scaggari, the fleet-footed
Sacramento State will host Portland
University for a four-game series beginning Friday at 2
Sacramento State Jumps Out
to 10-Lead –
Holds On for First Victory of 2015
by editor Rick
Sac State took the second
game of the Utah series with a 10-3 victory today at John Smith Field behind pitcher Sam Long’s
five shutout innings and the big bat of freshman Vinny Esposito.
Throughout his five innings
of work Long consistently induced fly balls from Utes batters (10 of 15 outs were on flies or
lineouts), while limiting them to two hits and one walk for his first win of the
The southpaw was in trouble
from the start when he walked the game’s first batter, who was sacrificed to second base and
stole third. With the infield in, senior shortstop Scotty Burcham fielded a chopper and threw to
sophomore catcher Gunner Pollman who tagged the runner at the plate. Long then struck out the
Utes cleanup hitter to end Utah’s once-promising rally.
Hornets catcher Gunner Pollman makes the tag at home on Kody
Davis, who tested the drawn-in infield and was thrown out at the plate by shortstop
In their half of the first,
the Hornets jumped on the scoreboard when junior Nathan Lukes (Center High) doubled in two runs.
Two innings later Esposito hit a solo shot over the left-centerfield wall to give State a 3-0
lead. He went 3-for-5 with a home run and three runs batted in.
The Hornets pushed the lead
to 5-0 in the fourth inning on freshman Dan Deely’s bases-loaded single and Burcham’s sacrifice
Sacramento State blew open
the game with five runs in the fifth inning, featuring Esposito’s 2-run single and sophomore
Brandon Hunley’s RBI single.
For the second straight
game, Pollman gunned down a base runner with a laser to second base.
In the sixth inning,
freshman right-hander Austin Root (Oak Ridge High) got his first taste of collegiate ball with
one inning of relief in which the Utes scored two runs. Ty Beardsley pitched a perfect seventh
inning, while Jared Paderez allowed one more Utah run in two innings of work.
The Hornets managed 10 hits
and played error-free defense. Lukes continued his torrid early-season streak, going 2-for-5
with two RBI and a double. He and Esposito are hitting
.400 through the first two games.
Sam Long tossed five shutout innings against Utah for the Hornets first win of the
Hornets Game One to
by editor Rick
Sacramento State, last year's Western Athletic Conference champion, dropped
its home opener this afternoon 6-4 to Utah at John Smith Field.
Leading 2-0 going into the
sixth inning, with the team’s ace Brennan Leitao on the mound, the Hornet’s looked in good shape
to take the first of a four-game series. But the Utes scored twice that frame, knocking Leitao
from the game.
Bronson Grubbs (above) knocks in his second run
on this single in his first game as a Hornet.
In the bottom of the sixth, Sacramento State retook the lead on the second RBI single from freshman
Bronson Grubbs (Pleasant Grove). He knocked in senior Scotty Burcham, who had tripled. But in their
half of the seventh inning, Utah scored four runs to take a 6-3 lead, benefiting from three hit
batsmen in the inning.
Junior right fielder Nathan
Lukes (Center High), the team’s leading hitter in 2014, went 2-for-5 in the game and knocked in
the Hornets first run with a single in the third inning. He also laid down a picture-perfect
bunt down the third base line in the fifth.
Hornets defenders made a
number of dazzling plays, including Grubbs’ sliding catch of a sinking liner in center field
that saved a run in the second inning. Sophomore catcher Gunner Pollman lived up to his name,
throwing out a runner second base.
A key defensive play
occurred in the pivotal sixth inning.
Pitcher Grant Kekuk had
relieved Leitao after Utah scored its first run, leaving Utah runners at the corners with no
outs. Hornets’ sophomore third baseman Brandon Hunley (who played all last year at second base)
fielded a hot smash, looked the runner Cody Scaggari back to third, then began a 5-4-3 double
play. The runner broke for home and scored ahead of first baseman Vinny Esposito’s (Granite Bay
High) throw to tie the game 2-2.
Utah’s leadoff hitter Kody
Davis had a couple hits and two RBI, while Dallas Carroll went 3-for-5 with three RBI. Ute’s
start Bret Helton was the winner, while Kekuk took the first loss for the Hornets this
The teams resume play
tomorrow at 1 p.m.
Costner's Memories of Steinbrenner from Film For Love of The
Kevin Costner was on ESPN's
Mike & Mike this morning promoting an upcoming movie (McFarland USA). He told an interesting story about the late George Steinbrenner. In preproduction for
his movie For Love of The Game Costner was brought in to personally ask
Steinbrenner for permission to film in Yankee Stadium as the fictional Detroit Tigers pitcher,
Billy Chapel. Steinbrenner objected because in the movie script, the Yanks lose the
“That (competitiveness) is
something about him that I love,” Costner told hosts Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic. Steinbrenner
told Costner ‘Look Kevin, I like you, but I’m not going let my guys lose, (especially) if this
is a good movie.’” Thinking quickly, the film star explained that in the film the Yankees have
already clinched their division with two games remaining and the Tigers are playing a
meaningless game in which their pitcher (Chapel) gets in the zone and throws a perfect game.
“You guys are going on to the playoffs,” Costner told the
“We’ve clinched,” Steinbrenner said, reiterating this fictional movie
plotline. Assured he understood correctly, the Yankees owner consented for Costner to make
the movie in Yankee Stadium (And in this author’s opinion, it includes some the finest
baseball action sequences on film).
In reality, the Yankees went on to win the World Series that 1999 season just
after the movie debuted. Afterward, Steinbrenner presented Costner with a world series
championship ring. Although he accepted the gift, Costner certainly felt he had no right to
the hardware. “To this day I will never wear that world series ring they won that year,”
Steinbrenner, he felt, “shouldn’t have done that, but he’s a big gesture guy.”
Costner has hit the Trifecta in
baseball movies, starring in Bull Durham, Field of Dreams and For Love of The
Hornets Open 2015 Season
This Weekend Versus Utah
The Hornets open the 2015 season with a four-game homestand
this weekend against Utah.
Sacramento State last
year won both the Western Athletic Conference regular season and tournament championships, and
earned their first-ever Division 1 NCAA tournament victory in the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
Regional. The team posted a 40-win season in 2014, its first in Division 1 play, and its third
consecutive 30-win season.
Christiansen’s 2015 Hornets are loaded with six returning position players, five starters, and
several relievers. Best, Sacramento State’s roster is comprised of almost entirely of players
from California, and one half of the 35-member squad are from area schools: from Yuba
City to Elk Grove.
The Hornets’ big loss
is slugger Rhys Hoskins (Jesuit), who led the team
in home runs and runs batted in. He was drafted by the Phillies in the 5th Round of
the 2014 MLB Amateur Draft.
Leading the way are
All-WAC players junior outfielder Nathan Lukes
(Center High), who led the conference last season with a .371 average, 54-runs scored and posted
a 20-game hitting streak; southpaw sophomore Sam
Long (Del Campo), who went 8-1 (5-0 in conference with a 2.51 earned run average).
Sophomore infielder Brandon Hunley hit .269 last
season and was tied for second on the team with six home runs. He moves from second base to
third base this season. Both Long and Hunley graduated one year early to get an early start on
their collegiate careers last season.
The team is led by
ace right-hander Brennan Leitao, the Hornets
all-time wins leader with 24 victories, who was a preseason Louisville All-American pick in
2015. Junior right-handed closer Sutter McLoughlin (Rio Americano)
enters the season tied for the school's career saves record with 26.
In the preseason 2015
WAC Coaches Poll, the Hornets are tabbed to finish first in the conference.
The Hornets first game
against the Utes is 2 p.m. Friday at John Smith Field. Start time for both weekend games is 1
p.m., and they finish up on Monday with an 11 a.m. start.
Community College Updates
Kirby Broadbent (Oakmont High), pitcher and first-baseman for American River is
hitting .615 over the first four games, second best in the state. The 6’5” slugger has three
doubles, two triples and four runs batted in for the Beavers.
Austin Wailes, a freshman infielder at Folsom Lake College,
is tied for the state lead in home runs with three. Folsom Lake, sporting its first-ever
baseball team, has come out swinging with a 4-2 record. They are part of the Bay Valley
Conference. Leading this new squad is freshman shortstop Grant Heisinger (Bradshaw Christian), a three-time
All-Capitol Team member. Wailes, one of the few players outside of California, hails from
Crosby, Texas. But he’s not the farthest from home: Vincent Debove, a right-handed pitcher, is from Lille,
And at Delta College
in Stockton freshman Cameron Leeper (Grant High) is
tearin’ it up on the hill for the Mustangs. In two starts and 14 innings, the southpaw has
allowed six hits, one earned run (0.64 ERA) and fanned 19 to earn two quick victories on the
young 2015 season, placing him among the top three pitchers in the state in the latter two
categories. Leeper was drafted last year in the 29th Round by Minnesota.
A number of
Sacramento-area athletes have migrated down to Stockton to play community college ball,
including: Leeper’s teammate at Grant, Jelanie Davie;
Lance Berringer (Oakridge), and Eddie Sievers
and Raul Ortiz from McClatchy High. Delta, the preseason number one team in Northern California,
has stormed out to a 5-0 record.
Cosumnes River is 1-3,
while Sierra and Sacramento City both have 2-3 records in the first two weeks.
Get out and watch the
five area community college teams in action.
HORNETS BASEBALL PICKED TO REPEAT AS WAC CHAMPION IN 2015
Courtesy of Sacramento State Media Relations
DENVER - The Sacramento State baseball team was a near unanimous pick to win the 2015 WAC
Championship in a vote of the league's 10 head coaches, who could not vote for their own team.
Additionally, senior Brennan Leitao was named the Preseason WAC Pitcher of the
Year and four other Hornets were selected to the preseason all-WAC team.
The defending WAC Champion Hornets received eight first place votes and 80 total points in the
poll. Grand Canyon, which finished second in the final WAC regular season standings last year,
picked up the two other first place votes and totaled 71 points to be picked second. Bakersfield,
Seattle U, and Utah Valley rounded out the top five with Texas Pan-American and New Mexico State
close behind in the preseason prognostication.
A two-time all-WAC first team selection and a 2015 Louisville Slugger Preseason All-American,
Leitao was picked as the top returning pitcher in the league. He already is Sacramento State's
all-time leader in wins and last year went 9-5 with a 2.15 ERA while ranking third in the NCAA with
18 starts. He was especially dominant in WAC play last year, going 7-0 with a 1.43 ERA and a 52-9
strikeout to walk ratio in 10 WAC games.
Sophomore pitcher Sam Long (Del Campo) joined Leitao on the Preseason all-WAC team
as the Hornets had two of the three starting pitchers selected in the poll. Long was a Louisville
Slugger Freshman All-American last year as well as WAC Freshman of the Year and an all-WAC Second
Team selection. He went 8-2 with a 3.03 ERA overall in 2014 and was 5-0 with a 2.24 ERA in nine WAC
games, including two complete game shutouts.
The Hornets also have the lone reliever selected to the all-conference preseason team in junior
closer Sutter McLoughlin (Rio Americano). Tied for the all-time program record
with 26 career saves, McLoughin is a two-time all-WAC selection, a former WAC Freshman of the Year,
and led the WAC with nine saves last season while going 4-2 with a 1.81 ERA.
Additionally, two Hornet position players also received preseason accolades from the league. Junior
outfielder Nathan Lukes (Center High) was selected after a brilliant 2014 season
in which he hit .347 with 26 RBIs and 54 runs scored and led the WAC with 90 hits in earning
all-conference first team honors.
Senior shortstop Scotty Burcham was an at-large selection to the team after
hitting .300 last season and leading the team with 154 assists as arguably the top defensive
infielder in the league. He was also named to the all-San Luis Obispo NCAA Regional team in
Sacramento State's first Div. I NCAA appearance.
In all the Hornets return six starting position players and all five starting pitchers from their
2014 WAC Championship team, including five All-WAC selections.
The 2014 team won 40 games for the first time since 1991 and had the fifth most wins in a season in
program history. It was the program's third-straight season with 30 or more wins, the longest such
streak since a string of nine straight 30-win seasons from 1985-1993.
The Hornets will challenge themselves in the non-conference season with series against three
preseason ranked teams including 2014 College World Series qualifier Texas Tech, which was picked
fifth in the country in the Baseball America preseason
poll. A road series at Cal Poly and a home series against UC Santa Barbara also highlight the early
Sacramento State opens the season with eight home games starting next Friday, Feb. 13, in the first
of a four-game series with Utah. WAC play for the Hornets begins March 20 with a home series
against Texas-Pan American.
Delta #1 Pick in NorCal Community
College Pre-Season Poll
San Joaquin Delta was selected as the number-one team in the California
Community College Baseball Coaches pre-season poll by a wide margin over Chabot. Delta
(35-11) last year won the Big-8 Conference.
Cosumnes River (24-14) and Sierra (24-17)--which tied for third in the Big-8
last year--tied for the 8th spot in NorCal pre-season poll. Sacramento City (25-13), which
finished fifth in the Big-8 in 2014, was selected 9th.
Garvey Headlines Hornets 5th Annual Diamond Dinner
by Editor Rick Cabral
head coach Reggie Christiansen welcomed a crowd of more than 500 parents, alumni, friends and
student athletes to the team’s 5th Annual
Hornets Diamond Dinner. Ten-time All-Star and 1974 National League Most Valuable Player Steve
Garvey (Dodgers/Padres) served as the evening’s featured speaker.
Hornets, off last year’s 40-win season, a Western Athletic Conference championship and
first-ever Division-1 tournament victory, are stocked again this year, the head coach said. The
team returns six position players, and a strong pitching staff led by two-time All-WAC senior
Brennan Leitao, a preseason Louisville Slugger All-American selection. Leitao
went 9-4 2.15 ERA last year and is the school’s all-time wins leader with 24 victories. Also
returning is sophomore left-hander Sam Long (8-2/3.03--Del Campo High), a
Louisville Freshman All-American pick, plus they’ve also got junior Sutter
McLoughlin (Rio Americano), a fireballin’ closer.
Christiansen (124-116 all time with Sac State) explained that the Hornets Diamond Dinner is
the club’s chief fundraising event to help offset such items as travel expenses, as the club
continues to take on (and has beaten) some of the nation’s Top 25 teams, such as Texas and Texas
A&M over the past three years. He also thanked the school administration for committing to
providing a major field renovation and stadium lights, slated for later this
attendance last night were dozens of proud parents, plus a number of alums including
Rhys Hoskins, a three-time starter at first base who last summer signed a pro
contract with the Phillies, Jim Graf and Roger Zanze,
plus a large contingent from the 1961 team.
notables in the crowd included former pro Nick Johnson (McClatchy High)
and rising Astros star Max Stassi (Yuba City High), who was there along
with his family to support youngest brother Jake, a graduate student who transferred from Long
Beach State after arm surgery sidelined his senior season last year. Also seen were the Hornets
former head coaches, John Smith and Cal
calling up the featured speaker, Christiansen admitted he’s a long-time Dodgers fan, which
naturally drew a lot of boos from the Giants’ fans. Garvey, however, has another direct
connection to the Hornets in senior shortstop Scotty Burcham. Garvey
coached Burcham on a youth travel team in southern California. Burcham is a close friend of
Garvey's daughter, Olivia, also in attendance.
many who may not know Garvey’s background, he was raised in Tampa, Florida by New York exiles
who rooted for the Dodgers (dad) and Yankees (mom). On March 23rd, 1956 Garvey’s father, a bus driver, brought him along to
pick up the 1955 World Series champions Dodgers team at the airport. A string of notable names
from Brooklyn fame debarked, patting seven-year-old Stevie’s crew cut on their way to his dad’s
bus. He fondly recalls the last two off the chartered plane—Jackie Robinson and Ray
Campanella—who took time to talk to the youth, each inspiring him with a special
they arrived in St. Petersburg, the Yankees were taking batting practice. While playing catch
with Dodgers first baseman Gil Hodges, Stevie turned at the crack of the bat to watch a towering
shot by Mickey Mantle, inadvertently missing Hodges’ throw which hit him in the chest. Gentle
Gil asked if young Garvey was alright, then quietly chided him for focusing on the Yankee great:
“Son, (the Dodgers) are the world champs now.”
was asked to serve as bat boy that day, and continued the tradition all through high school,
where he was prep star quarterback and infielder. On a recruitment visit to Michigan State
(which offered him a baseball scholarship), he bumped into head football coach Duffy Daugherty,
who encouraged him to play both sports.
Steve Garvey, Michigan State
He accepted and enrolled in fall 1966, a notable time, as the Spartans were ranked number two in
the nation, just behind Notre Dame. In preparation for that titanic tussle between the nation's top
two collegiate teams, the Spartans used freshman QB Garvey to simulate Irish quarterback Terry
Hanratty, and he still remembers the bruises inflicted by the Michigan State defense, led by Bubba
Smith. Garvey played his part well, as the Spartans tied Notre Dame 10-10.
That spring, in his first ever collegiate at-bat, Garvey clubbed a
grand slam, and later led the Big 10 in home runs. On the gridiron, he started at defensive
back, making 30 tackles.
1968, Garvey’s dream came true when the Dodgers called notifying they had drafted him in the
first round of the 1968 (secondary phase) amateur draft. “What are the chances of that
happening?” he marveled about his favorite team.
scout Gus Wellman came down to Florida to pen the deal. After Millie Garvey prepared a wonderful
meal, the scout invited the Garvey men into the living room to pen the deal. Garvey’s father,
unskilled as a negotiator, balked at the original bonus offeringb, managing to raise the bid to
$18,000. But when he asked for more Wellman called Dodgers GM Al Campanis, who agreed to
they shook on the deal, however, Mrs. Garvey (obviously eavesdropping from the kitchen as she
washed the dishes) interceded and told the Dodgers scout she would pay her son the same amount
to return to Michigan State. Steve and his father thought she had blown the deal. Wellman then
went into the kitchen to talk with the mom. When they returned to the living room, Mrs. Garvey
announced she had secured for her son a $40,000 bonus, plus a new car.
year later in 1969, the Dodgers promoted Garvey in a September call-up. But it wasn’t until
1973—June 23rd to be exact—when manager
Walt Alston told him he would start the second game of a double header. Garvey remembers the
day, because it represented the transformation from a “wild-armed third baseman” who could
always hit into the team’s first baseman for a decade.
10-time National League All-Star, 4-time Gold Glover, Garvey played in 1207 consecutive games,
still the National League record and fourth all time. He won a World Series ring in 1981, and
later played in the 1984 with the San Diego Padres.
counseled Hornets players they should celebrate the “wonderful journey you’re on,” and focus on
the next step to becoming a Division 1 power: “Learn to close (the deal),” he told