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February 17, 2013

BASEBALL BLASTS TWO HOME RUNS BUT DROPS RUBBER MATCH AT TEXAS

AUSTIN, Texas – Redshirt freshman Chris Lewis and junior David Del Grande each blasted solo home runs but the Sacramento State baseball team lost, 6-3, at Texas on Sunday afternoon in the rubber match of a three-game series at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.

The Hornets (1-2) tallied three runs on seven hits with no errors while the Longhorns (2-1) posted six runs on 11 hits with no errors. Sacramento State scored the game's first run in the top of the first but Texas responded with runs in the first, second, third and fourth innings to take an early lead and held on for the series-clinching win. Texas took the first game, 6-5, on Friday night while the Hornets won on Saturday afternoon, 5-3.

"Our guys played hard today," said head coach Reggie Christiansen. "We had chances early but we weren't able to get to their starter, he was very good. I was pleased with how we battled and stayed in the game for nine innings."

Texas starter Dillon Peters (1-0) earned the win after allowing two runs on five hits in seven innings with one walk and one strikeout. Sacramento State starter Zach Morgan (0-1) drew the loss after giving up four runs on six hits in three innings with one walk and no strikeouts. The Hornets used six pitchers in the game. Junior Mason Magleby, a transfer from Nevada who played football for the Wolf Pack and Hornets this fall but hasn't played baseball since his standout career at Del Oro HS, made his collegiate debut in the sixth inning.

The Hornets jumped out to an early 1-0 lead when sophomore Rhys Hoskins' RBI ground out drove in freshman Nathan Lukes from third. The Hornets didn't get a hit in the inning but Lukes got on when he was hit by the first pitch of the game and Will Soto drew a full-count walk in the next at-bat.

The lead was short-lived, however, as the Longhorns scored one run on two hits in the bottom of the first. Right fielder Mark Payton, who went 7-for-12 in the series, singled to right to bring in the run.

The Longhorns led off the second and third innings with extra-base hits and scored three runs combined in the two frames. Texas tacked on another run in the fourth on a sacrifice fly after a single, a stolen base and a ground out. The Longhorns stole seven bases on nine attempts in the series.

The Hornets made it a 5-2 game in the fifth inning when Lewis led off with a solo homer to left, Sacramento State's first long ball of the season. It was the redshirt freshman's first career collegiate home run.

Texas tacked on an insurance run in the seventh inning before Del Grande blasted his first home run since the 2011 season on the first pitch of the ninth inning. Texas' All-American closer Corey Knebel regrouped and retired the next three Hornets to end the ballgame.

Del Grande and Lukes each had two hits to pace the Hornets while Hoskins, Del Grande and Lewis all had one RBI. Lukes and Hoskins each hit .385 in the series and combined for five doubles. Hoskins had a team-high four RBIs while Lukes had a team-best four runs scored.

Texas had five players each tally two hits while left fielder Taylor Stell had a game-high two RBIs.

The Hornets will be back in action quickly, as they face former Western Athletic Conference foe Fresno State on Tuesday night at the Bulldogs' Pete Beiden Field. Fresno State dropped 2-of-3 games to UC Santa Barbara at home in its season-opening series.

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