BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – Trailing 1-0 in the ninth inning Sacramento State rallied to plate a run and force extra innings, but Bakersfield junior catcher Russ Hough singled home the winning run in the 11th inning to give the Roadrunners a 2-1 victory.
The Hornets were limited to two hits through the first eight innings of the game by Bakersfield right hander James Barragan before tying the score in the ninth. Sacramento State (26-17, 13-4 WAC) played its sixth extra-inning game of the year, dropping to 3-3, as Bakersfield (17-24, 9-8 WAC) evened the weekend series.
After a leadoff single from sophomore Nathan Lukes in the first inning, the Hornets had just one other hit over the first eight innings of the contest, a Dane Fujinaka single leading off the sixth. Bakersfield quickly loaded the bases with nobody out in the bottom of the first but was limited to just one run on an RBI groundout.
Hornet freshman Sam Long matched Barragan pitch-for-pitch, allowing just the one run on five hits over seven innings, and in the ninth the visitors rallied. Lukes led off with a single and stole second base before junior Kyle Moses was hit by a pitch. Junior Rhys Hoskins then lined a single to left center to score Lukes and tie the game. The Roadrunners got two on with one out in the bottom of the ninth but sophomore Sutter McLoughlin worked out of the jam to send the game to extra innings.
Sacramento State freshman Brandon Hunley led off the top of the 11th inning with a double but was stranded at third base. In the bottom of the inning, Bakersfield got a leadoff single and on the ensuing sacrifice attempt junior Alex Palsha made a fielding error to put runners on first and second. A Roadrunner sacrifice moved the runners to second and third before Hough singled up the middle to bring in the winning run.
Long had four strikeouts in a no-decision while Barrgan threw 115 pitches allowing just five hits over 10 innings pitched. The 11th-inning double by Hunley was the only extra-base hit of the game as the Roadrunners totaled 10 singles. Lukes had the only multi-hit game for the Hornets, going 2-for-4, while Hough was one of three Roadrunners to record a pair of hits.
The loss was the first of the year for Palsha after he allowed a run for the first time since March 30 at New Mexico State. He had not allowed a run or even a hit in his last 10 outings, throwing 14.1 scoreless innings. Reliever Stephen Gee picked up the win for Bakersfield, allowing a hit and a walk in his only inning of work.
The rubber game of the weekend series will be played at 1 p.m. Sunday at Hardt Field.