Sports

BASEBALL CLOSES CONFERENCE PLAY AT HOME WITH THREE AGAINST UTAH VALLEY



SACRAMENTO — The Hornets’ Western Athletic Conference season comes to a close this weekend at home as Sacramento State welcomes Utah Valley to Northern California for a three-game series beginning Friday (May 13) and running through Sunday (May 15) at John Smith Field. First pitch for Friday’s opener is scheduled for 6 p.m., with Saturday’s game two scheduled for a 1 p.m. start. Sunday’s finale begins at Noon, with the Hornets’ senior class honored following the final out.

PLAY BALL…
WHAT: Utah Valley (16-32, 9-15 WAC) at Sacramento State (25-23, 14-13 WAC)
WHEN: Friday-Sunday, May 13-15, 2022
TIMES: 6 p.m. PT  / 1 p.m. PT / Noon PT
WHERE: Sacramento, Calif.
STADIUM: John Smith Field (1,200)
WATCH: ESPN+ (Subscription Required) – Game 1 | Game 2 | Game 3
LIVE STATS: HornetStats.com – Game 1 | Game 2 | Game 3
GAME NOTES: Sacramento State | Utah Valley Baseball

ON THE MOUND…
FRIDAY: RHP
Eli Saul (6-0, 3.45 ERA) vs. RHP Devin Smith (1-4, 6.48 ERA)
SATURDAY: RHP Colin Hunter (2-4, 5.31) vs. RHP Coop Rust (2-6, 5.62 ERA)
SUNDAY: RHP Noah Takacs (1-3, 8.38 ERA) vs. RHP Mason Gray (2-4, 6.28 ERA)

SCHEDULE UPDATES…
Sacramento State’s season-ending four-game series against San Jose State has been shortened to three games. The Hornets will host the Spartans on Thursday (May 19) at 6 p.m. at John Smith Field as scheduled, but game two scheduled for Friday (May 20) will now be played in San Jose at 6 p.m., as will the finale on Saturday (May 21), now at 4 p.m. The game scheduled for Sunday (May 22) has been canceled.

IN THE RANKINGS…
Neither Sacramento State, nor Utah Valley, are ranked this week… The Hornets were ranked as high as No. 20 in the nation by Baseball America on Feb. 28 following a 7-0 start, while also ranking No. 23 in the D1Baseball.com poll, No. 24 by the NCBWA, and No. 25 in the USA Today coaches poll. It marked the first time in the program’s Division I history that Sacramento State has appeared in those respective rankings after the Hornets debuted in the national polls for the first time as a Division I program in 2021, coming in at No. 24 in back-to-back weeks in the Collegiate Baseball poll on April 5 and 12.

SCOUTING UTAH VALLEY…
The Wolverines enter the weekend with a 16-32 overall record and a 9-15 mark in Western Athletic Conference play, having lost four of their last five following a sweep at the hands of Washington State over the weekend and a 6-4 loss at Portland to wrap-up a trip to the Pacific Northwest… Of the team’s 48 games, 34 have been played on the road where Utah Valley has lost eight of its last nine… Junior Mitch Moralez leads the offense, batting .365 on the year with 12 doubles, five home runs, and 22 RBI, while sophomore Trey Cutchen is batting .305 with six home runs and 22 RBI… Freshman Spencer Olsen leads the team in home runs (7) and RBI (24) while hitting .345 on the year… As a staff, the Wolverine pitchers sport a 7.05 ERA and a .302 average against, striking out 277 against 211 walks in just over 398 innings.

AGAINST THE WOLVERINES…
Sacramento State holds a 33-20 all-time advantage in the series with Utah Valley, having won seven of the last eight after taking 2-of-3 from the Wolverines in Utah earlier this year… This weekend marks the first meeting between the two programs in Sacramento since 2018, with the last 12 meetings plated in either Orem, Utah, or on a neutral field in the 2019 WAC Tournament… The Hornets are 15-10 against the Wolverines at John Smith Field, sweeping a three-game series from UVU back in 2018 by a combined 22-9 score…

LAST TIME OUT…
A trio of Hornets finished with three RBI apiece and Sacramento State reached double figures for the second straight game — and the 10th time overall this year — outlasting host Fresno State for an 11-9 victory in the Central Valley on Tuesday night. Martin Vincelli-Simard finished with three hits for the second straight game, while Gunner Gouldsmith and Trevor Doyle added two hits apiece, as Max Pettey (3-1) claimed the win on the mound with Jack Zalasky nailing down his eighth save of the year.

HE’S NUMBER TWO! HE’S NUMBER TWO!…
And we mean that in a good way. With his team’s win at Saint Mary’s on April 26, Head Coach Reggie Christiansen picked up win No. 359 at the helm of the Hornets, moving him past Cal Boyes (358 in 17 seasons in 1957 and 1960-75) for the second-most wins in school history behind John Smith and his 882 career victories in 32 seasons (1979-2010) as head coach. Earlier this season, Christiansen won the 450th game of his coaching career in the opener at Long Beach State on Feb. 25, when you include his totals for one season at his alma mater, Menlo College, and four years at South Dakota State.

WELCOME HOME, GRANT…
Turns out you can go home again, even if you’re wearing the opponent’s colors. Former Hornet pitcher Grant Kukuk brings his Utah Valley pitching staff into his old stomping grounds where he made 33 appearances as a starter and a reliever for Sacramento State in 2015-16, winning seven games and throwing 108 innings. A 2016 graduate, he was honored with the Scholar Student-Athlete Award after posting the highest GPA of any student-athlete in any sport.

BACHO JOINS THE CLUB…
With a career-high tying four hits in the opener and three more in the finale, senior Dawsen Bacho became the 15th player in the history of the program — and the second this season along with teammate Steven Moretto, who accomplished the feat with a single in game two against California Baptist — to reach 200 career hits. Moretto ranks No. 12 on the school’s all-time hit list with 203, closely followed by Bacho and his 202 career hits. Both are chasing Will Soto (2011-14) in 11th with 206, while David Del Grande (2010-14) holds down the No. 10 spot with 208.

FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS…
Sacramento State’s 8-5 win to start the series at Grand Canyon last week kept the Hornets undefeated in series openers this year at 12-0 (including 9-0 in WAC play), outscoring opponents by a 96-42 count in those contests. That streak grows to 15 straight wins in series openers dating back to a four-game series against conference rival California Baptist on May 7 of last year, and last lost a series opener on April 30 against Grand Canyon. 

OPENING A CAN…
The Hornet offense has been humming to start a weekend series, batting a robust .314 as a team while the pitching staff boasts a 3.43 ERA in those 12 series openers, holding opposing hitters to a .236 combined average and striking out 86 in 105 innings, while burning opposing arms to the tune of a 7.92 ERA. The bullpen has also been stellar, as nine pitchers have combined to allow just 13 runs in 42.1 innings of work in those games for a 2.76 ERA and a better than 3-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio (38 strikeouts, 10 walks).

YOU COMPLETE ME…
Sophomore right-hander Eli Saul posted his first career complete game in the Hornets’ series opening win at Grand Canyon — the second by a Hornet pitcher this year, joining teammate Colin Hunter and his seven-inning no-hitter against Northern Illinois on Feb. 19. Saul’s complete game was the first of the nine-inning variety since Travis Adams went the distance at California Baptist on May 9, 2021.

MAKING HIS PITCH…
Saul finished with a career-high 121 pitches in his complete-game effort, marking the fourth time he has topped the 100-pitch mark this year and the most by a Hornet hurler since Austin Roberts finished with 124 against Grand Canyon on May 16, 2019.

SIX AND OH!…
With his complete game, Saul improved to 6-0 on the year — the first Hornet pitcher to open a season with a 6-0 record since ty Nichols finished with the same record in 2015. With a win in his next start, Saul would become the first Sacramento State hurler to start 7-0 since 1993 when Roland DeLaMaza won seven-in-a-row en route to an 11-2 mark that year.

THEY COME IN BUNCHES…
Sacramento State had six players finish with multiple hits — and three of those with three hits on the night — in the finale against Grand Canyon, marking the second time this season that at least three Hornets have finished with at least three hits (at Seattle U on March 19) and the first time that six batters have recorded two-or-more hits since they hosted the Redhawks on April 18, 2021.

HIT ME…
The 18 hits in the series finale against Grand Canyon tied the team’s season high set against Houston Baptist on March 4 and were the most for the Hornets since they had 19 at California Baptist on March 29, 2019. Coupled with its 11 hits at Fresno State on Tuesday, the Sacramento State offense has collected double-digit its 20 times this season, including three of its last four games.

SEEING DOUBLE(S)…
Of those 18 hits against the ‘Lopes, eight of those went for doubles (Jeffery Heard [2], Dawsen Bacho, Martin Vincelli-Simard [2], Josh Rolling, and Keith Torres [2]) — the most by the Hornets since Sacramento State slugged nine doubles in a 21-7 win over Wyoming on Feb. 16, 1994 (Armondo Balderramos [2], Robert Perry, Kui Souza, Dan Vetter, Leigh Carruth, Mike White, Derek Brown, and Jason Kirtlan).

HE’S A GAMER…
Moretto appeared in his 232nd career game — and made his 228th career start — on Tuesday night at Fresno State, ranking him second on both all-time lists in school history. Scotty Burcham (2012-15) holds both marks, appearing in 233 games during his Hornet career, making 231 starts.

KEEP ROLLING, ROLLING, ROLLING…
Sophomore Josh Rolling has reached base safely in each of his last nine games, hitting safely in six of those contests with eight runs scored and four RBI, while also drawing six walks and plunked by a pitch twice.

NO WORK AND NO PLAY…
Make Jack a dull boy. Junior right-hander Jack Zalasky has been anything but dormant as of late, posting five saves in his last seven appearances, striking out 14 against only three walks over his last 11.1 innings of work.

SAVE TONIGHT…
Zalasky’s save on Tuesday night at Fresno State pushed his season total to eight, ranking him in a tie for third in the Western Athletic Conference and No. 31 in the NCAA as of May 11. The eight saves are the most in a single season since Tanner Dalton, who ranks tied for third on the school’s career list with 16 saves, finished with 10 in 2018, while Zalasky’s 12 career saves are now tied alongside Tyler Beardsley (2015-16) and Trevor Rodgers (1990-91) for fifth all-time behind Dalton and Michael Penbera (1999-01).

ALLEZ LES QUEBECOIS!…
Junior Martin Vincelli-Simard has been swinging a hot bat as of late, collecting back-to-back three-hit games to tie his career high and batting .333 (11-for-33) over his last 11 games with five runs, six extra-base hits, and six RBI. After hitting safely in each of his last three games, Vincelli-Simard has raised his average 50 points in the process.

WE DEMAND… A SACRIFICE!…
When all you need is a fly ball to score a run, Sacramento State is your team. The Hornets enter this weekend’s games leading the nation in sacrifice flies with 36, out-pacing Nevada and UTSA by two for the top spot in the NCAA. Thanks to one in each of his last two games, Steven Moretto has taken over the NCAA lead with his 10 sacrifice flies, edging out New Orleans’ Anthony Herron, Jr., and believed to be the most in the program’s Division I history.

50 IS NIFTY…
Vincelli-Simard’s moonshot that cleared the scoreboard in left field at Fresno State on Tuesday night was the 50th home run of the year for the Hornets — just two shy of last year’s total and the third time in the last four full seasons that Sacramento State has reached the 50 homer plateau. Three more home runs this season and the Hornets will post their highest total since they slugged 63 in 2009 — which stands as the fourth-highest total since 1979.

FREE BASES…
Sacramento State’s 206 walks this season are good for second in the league despite not having one player among the top 10 individually in that category. Sophomore Jorge Bojorquez leads the team and is tied for 12th in the conference with 27 walks on the year, while Josh Rolling is tied for 27th with 21 apiece.

BIG INNINGS…
Tuesday’s seven-run third inning at Fresno State was Sacramento State’s second-biggest inning of the year, trailing only the 10-run fourth against Houston Baptist on March 4. It marked the 18th time this season that the Hornets have scored at least four runs in an inning in 2022.

SHOW ME SOME GLOVE…
It’s by the slimmest of margins, but Sacramento State enters the week a close second in the WAC in the field — and ranking No. 27 in the nation — in fielding percentage at .977 on the year (just .0007 of a percentage point behind Abilene Christian) while committing the second-fewest errors in the league with 40. The Hornets also rank No. 46 in the nation with 37 double plays turned while standing No. 66 in the NCAA with 0.77 per game.

TRIPLES THREAT…
After combing through the archives, Sacramento State’s three-triple game at Saint Mary’s marked the first time that has happened in a single game in the program’s Division I history dating back to the 1991 season. The Hornets have had two in a game on numerous occasions, the last coming in a 21-4 win over Houston Baptist on March 4.

QUALITY YOU CAN COUNT ON…
Sophomore right-hander Eli Saul leads the Hornets with seven “quality starts” (six innings, three earned runs or fewer) in 12 starts this season, posting a 5-0 record with a 2.17 ERA in those outings, allowing 11 earned on 33 hits over 45.2 innings, with 38 strikeouts and a .205 (33-for-161) average against. 

OH, HOW THE TURN TABLES…
Senior Dylan McPhillips is used to seeing a lot of pitches in 2022 thanks to his 21 starts behind the plate, but the shoe was on the other foot in the finale at Dixie State as the Gilroy, Calif., native made his collegiate pitching debut. McPhillips pitched one-third of an inning, walking one and striking out a batter, making him the first full-time position player to pitch for the Hornets since Griffin McCormick allowed a hit and notched a strikeout in one inning of work at California on April 23, 2019.

DON’T RUN ON DYLAN…
Would-be base stealers may want to think twice with McPhillips behind the dish as the senior has thrown out 10 runners trying to steal against him this year — a total that ranks tied for second in the WAC behind only Dixie State’s Kaden Hollow (15). The 10 runners extinguished by McPhillips have tied his career high set as a freshman in 2018 and are just one back of Dawsen Bacho‘s 11 last season — which were the most by a Sacramento State catcher since Gunner Pollman erased 30 would-be base stealers in 2016.

SIX WAYS TO VICTORY…
Must be their magic number. The Hornets are 17-4 this season when they score six runs or more, but just 8-19 when they fall under that number.

STRIKE FIRST, STRIKE HARD, NO MERCY SIR!…
Sacramento State is 17-6 when scoring first this season, outscoring opponents by a 142-113 count through the first four innings, compared to a 183-142 deficit through the final five frames. The third inning has been the Hornets’ best this season, scoring 50 runs in that frame while holding the opposition to just 24.

DOYLE DIALED IN…
Junior Trevor Doyle has logged hits in eight of his last 14 contests and collecting better than half of his 23 hits on the season during that stretch. The Las Vegas, Nev., native is batting .333 (16-for-48) over that stretch — including six multi-hit games — with 10 runs scored and 11 RBI.

WINNER, WINNER, CHICKEN DINNER…
In all, 10 different Hornets have accounted for game-winning RBI this season, after Dylan McPhillips‘ game-winner in the series opener at Dixie State, while Cesar Valero leads all Hornets with five on the year. Meanwhile, Josh Rolling, Trevor Doyle, and Jeffery Heard, have all come around to score the game-winning run a team-high three times, with Colby Lunsford becoming the 11th different player to score a game-winning run as a pinch-runner against California Baptist in the opener.



Source link

news7h

News7h: Update the world's latest breaking news online of the day, breaking news, politics, society today, international mainstream news .Updated news 24/7: Entertainment, Sports...at the World everyday world. Hot news, images, video clips that are updated quickly and reliably

Related Articles

Back to top button