BASEBALL TOPPED BY CSU BAKERSFIELD IN SERIES FINALE

BASEBALL TOPPED BY CSU BAKERSFIELD IN SERIES FINALE

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - In a game in which both teams threatened to score in nearly every inning and both squads left 10 runners on base, CSU Bakersfield was able to push across eight runs and delivered timely defense to defeat Sacramento State, 8-3, to conclude the WAC series on Sunday.

CSU Bakersfield (22-17, 8-7 WAC) won the series after an 11-1 mercy rule loss to the Hornets on Saturday night. Sacramento State (22-22, 7-11 WAC) has two conference series remaining, playing at Chicago State next weekend and hosting UT Rio Grande Valley to end the regular season May 18-20.

On Sunday the Roadrunners pulled away with three runs in the top of the ninth but had to fight hard to keep their lead throughout the game. The visitors got off to a strong start with two runs in each of the first two innings, scoring a pair on two hits and a walk in the first inning and replicating that effort with two runs on two hits and a walk in the second.

The Hornets loaded the bases with three singles in the bottom of the second and scored a run when Ricky Martinez drew a seven-pitch bases loaded walk. The next batter, Ian Dawkins, hit a bloop on the infield and the umpires ruled that CSUB second baseman David Metzgar caught the ball without it touching the ground as he dove, popped it into the air with his glove, and caught it with his bare hand to end the inning.

Sacramento State opened the fourth inning with a pair of singles but could not score. In the top of the fifth, CSUB had two straight singles, had the runners move up on a balk, and scored a run as Metzgar came in on an RBI groundout from Ryan Grotjohn.

The Hornets got that run back in the sixth as Kody Reynolds led off with a double, Andrew McWilliam moved him to third with an infield single, and Reynolds scored on a wild pitch. In the bottom of the seventh, Dawkins singled with one away and eventually scored on a Vinny Esposito sacrifice fly.

Trailing just 5-3, Sacramento State had a golden opportunity to tie or take the lead in the bottom of the eighth as CSUB reliever Naithen Dewsnap hit three Hornet batters to load the bases with two out. Dawkins laced a groundball back through the box that looked like it would get through to center field but Metzgar made a sensational diving stop and flipped the ball to Grotjohn to get a force out at second base and end the inning.

CSU Bakersfield would then extended its lead to 8-3 scoring three runs on two hits, two walks, and a hit batter in the top of the ninth. Dewsnap retired the Hornets in order in the bottom of the ninth for his 10th save.

Metzgar saved at least two runs with his two big defensive plays and was also 3-for-4 with two runs scored offensively. Four other CSUB players had two-hit games while McWilliam was 3-for-3 and reached base four times for the Hornets and Reynolds was 2-for-5 with two runs scored with his fourth double in the last two games.

Aaron Charles earned the win for the Roadrunners, allowing two runs on seven hits and two walks with six strikeouts over six innings. Dewsnap had a three-inning save on Friday and got the last eight outs on Sunday, combining to allow just one hit and no runs or walks over 5.2 innings in the series though he hit three batters in the finale.

For the Hornets Tanner Olson pitched two innings of relief without being charged with a run and Austin Root authored a scoreless inning with two strikeouts.

Sacramento State plays its final midweek home game of the season hosting Nevada on Tuesday at 6 p.m. The Hornets beat the Wolf Pack, 7-5, in Reno back on March 14.