SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Sacramento State baseball team (6-6) looks to improve to 2-0 this season at Raley Field and earn a second victory of the year over No. 24 Fresno State (9-2) at 6:35 p.m. Wednesday in West Sacramento. Freshman Sam Long defeated Fresno State in his collegiate debut on Feb. 19 (one of just two pitchers to beat the Bulldogs this season) and will look for another quality start on Wednesday.
All seven Hornet games this season at Raley Field have $10 general admission adult tickets, $5 tickets for students and children, and $5 parking. Those unable to make the game can listen live on HornetSports.com/Radio and follow live stats via the links above.
SAC - Sam Long (Fr./LHP 1-0, 3.27 ERA)
FS - William Munro (Jr./RHP, 1-0, 3.68 ERA)
Sacramento State is 2-0 in midweek games so far this season, hitting .324 and averaging 6.5 runs with a 3.00 earned run average in victories over Fresno State and Nevada...The Hornets played their first of seven games this season at Raley Field last week, defeating Nevada for their first win at Raley since 2001 and evening the all-time Raley record at 3-3...After not hitting a home run through the first eight games of the season Sacramento State got three homers last week from Brandon Hunley, Ryan Locke, and Rhys Hoskins...Closer Sutter McLoughlin has been part of the decision in five of the six Hornet win this season, recording a WAC-best four saves and earning a win against Utah...The Hornets handed Fresno State one of just two losses this season in a 6-4 win in Fresno Feb. 19. The Bulldogs have gone 6-0 since, including a 3-game sweep of No. 18 Texas A&M.
Scouting No. 24 Fresno State (9-2)
Sacramento State beat Fresno State 6-4 in Fresno on Feb. 19 with five different Hornets driving in runs and four pitchers combining to allow just three earned runs. The Bulldogs had also lost to UC Irvine the week before, but since its loss to the Hornets Fresno State swept both Nevada and No. 18 Texas A&M at home to win six straight. Bulldog pitching shut down the potent Texas A&M attack, recording two shutouts to improve to 9-2 and jump into the national rankings. Junior RHP William Munro is scheduled to make his first start of the year on Wednesday having allowed three earned runs over 7.1 innings of relief this season. Sophomore Taylor Ward is hitting .386 with 12 RBIs on the year while junior Trent Woodward is hitting .351 with 11 runs scored. The Hornets improved to 18-54 all-time against Fresno State with their win in Fresno earlier this season.
In For The Long Haul
LHP Sam Long, projected to face Fresno State for the second time this season on Wednesday, made his second career start last week against Nevada and threw six quality innings, allowing three runs on seven hits and one walk in a no-decision. Long has allowed just 13 hits and five earned runs over 11 innings pitched this year and is one of just two pitchers to defeated Fresno State this season. In his collegiate debut at Fresno State the Rancho Cordova native allowed just one earned run on six hits and no walks with three strikeouts over five innings pitched to earn the win.
Starting at the Top
Sophomore Nathan Lukes has started in right field and hit leadoff in every game this season and is hitting .378 with a .473 on-base percentage, leading the team in both categories as well as hits (17), runs (9), and walks (8). He also has three RBIs, two doubles, one stolen base, and a 1.000 fielding percentage with two outfield assists. Among his four multi-hit games this season are a three-hit game against Nevada and a four-hit game against Utah and he brings a six-game hitting streak into Wednesday's contest.
Rally to Raley
Last Tuesday's 7-4 win against Nevada was the first of an unprecedented seven scheduled games this season for the Hornets at Raley Field, the home of the Sacramento Rivercats. Since the field was constructed in 2000 Sacramento State had played there just five times with a 2-3 record: two games each in 2001 and 2002 and a single game last year, a 3-2 loss vs. Fresno State. The Bulldogs return to Raley Field on Wednesday while the Hornets will also host, Pacific, Air Force, San Francisco, Oregon State and, for the third time, Causeway rival UC Davis under the Raley lights.
Sacramento State is 2-0 in midweek games so far this season, due in large part to the pitching of Sam Long, who started both games, but also an uptick in hitting. Though it is a small sample size, the squad is hitting .324 in midweek games but just .249 in series games, and the team's era is 3.00 in the two midweek games and 3.93 in series. The Hornets also have sizeable gaps in slugging percentage (.465-.316) and on-base percentage (.388-.300) in going 2-0 in midweek games and 4-6 otherwise.
Double Your Pleasure, Double Your Fun
Sacramento State pitchers have benefited from nine double plays turned by the Hornets so far this season. The squad had two doubles plays at Fresno State and had five over two games at Texas A&M. The team has totaled just two double plays, however, in its nine other games.
Uncharacteristically Error Prone
Over the last two years Sacramento State recorded its two lowest error totals in program history and had its best fielding percentage, finishing at .979 in each season. The team has thus been uncharacteristically sloppy this season with 18 errors through 12 games, including a six-error game on Sunday. The team does have five error-free games, but with a .962 overall fielding percentage the squad ranks sixth in the WAC. The six errors on Sunday was the first time since May 14, 2009 that the team committed more than five errors in a game.
No Sophomore Slump
2013 Freshman All-American Sutter McLoughlin has picked up right where he left off last season when broke the program record with 17 saves. He leads the WAC this season with five saves already recorded, including a six-out save to preserve a shutout against No. 21 Texas A&M. McLoughlin also has a win this season as he has factored in five of the six Hornet victories. Over 6.0 innings he has not given up a run and has allowed just two hits and one walk with seven strikeouts.