EDINBURG, Texas – After UT Rio Grande Valley was able to tie the game with a run in the bottom of the 13th the Hornets scored twice in the top of the 15th and were able to complete a 5-3 win in the resumption of Saturday's suspended game on Sunday afternoon.
On Saturday night Sacramento State (24-15, 12-3 WAC) held a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the 13th but the Vaqueros loaded the bases with none out when the rain started to fall and the game was suspended. The first UT Rio Grande Valley (18-18, 7-5 WAC) batter upon resumption, junior Austin Oakes, singled up the middle to bring in the tying run.
With the potential winning run on third and nobody out, Hornet junior Tanner Olson got a fielder's choice groundball to third, an infield popup, and a fly out to right field to send the game to the 14th inning.
Both teams went down in order in the 14th, but in the 15th inning pitcher Sam Long, who had entered the game as the right fielder in the 13th inning and made three catches, led off with a single to left field for his first career hit. Senior Trent Goodrich followed with a sacrifice bunt but the UTRGV third baseman's throw to first sailed down the right field line and Long scored with Goodrich getting all the way to third base.
Junior Gunner Pollman followed with a sharp single to left to bring in Goodrich. In the bottom of the 15th UTRGV got a two-out double but Olson got the final out to give the Hornets the win as Sacramento State improved to 4-0 this season in extra-inning games and won its second suspended game of the year.
The game was tied for the longest conference game in WAC history, matching a 15-inning win the Hornets had over Seattle U in 2014. It was tied for the second longest game in Hornet program history falling shy of the team's 18-inning marathon at Iowa last year.
When the game started on Saturday the Hornets took an early lead with two runs in the second inning. Goodrich led off the inning with a bunt single, senior Jose Egan drew a walk, and junior Brandon Hunley reached on an infield single to load the bases. Sophomore Dan Deely followed with a 2-run single to put the Hornets ahead.
The Vaqueros got one run back in the bottom of the second on an RBI single from Oakes. The home team tied the game with a run in the sixth inning when Oakes drove in another run plating Cole Loncar with a single to left field.
Both teams created plenty of scoring chances in the ensuing innings but no more runs were scored until the 13th. Both teams had a runner thrown out at the plate in extra innings and the Hornets loaded the bases in both the 11th and 12th innings.
The Hornets were able to take the lead in the top of the 13th when Goodrich drew a leadoff walk, advanced to second on a passed ball, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt, and scored on an RBI single up the middle by sophomore Vinny Esposito.
UTRGV opened the bottom of the 13th with a walk and Loncar followed with a single to right that moved the potential tying run to third. Correy Davis drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch to load the bases, at which point the umpires called for the field to be covered.
Senior Grant Kukuk had another strong start for the Hornets, allowing just two runs on seven hits with two strikeouts in six innings. After a scoreless inning from junior Chad Perry senior closer Tyler Beardsley came on and ended up pitching five innings, allowing four hits and no runs while throwing 72 pitches. Olson earned the win allowing just two hits in three innings of work
UT Rio Grande Valley sophomore starter Robert Quinonez went 10 innings, allowing just two runs on five hits with 10 strikeouts throwing an astounding 136 pitches. Reliever George Lamb took the loss for the Vaqueros as he allowed the run in the 13th as well as the winning run in the 15th.
Grubbs had his first career three-hit game, going 3-for-6, while Deely was 3-for-7 with 2 RBIs and Goodrich scored three of the five Hornet runs. UTRGV had a 14-13 edge in hits and stranded 15 base runners while the Hornets left 13. The total game time was four hours and 26 minutes.
Sacramento State hosts Fresno State at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Raley Field.