SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The Sacramento State baseball team overcame a seven-run deficit early Thursday night, but the Santa Clara Broncos offense proved to be just a little too much as they walked off on the Hornets, 11-10 in the bottom of the 10th inning.
The scoring happened early and often Thursday night, starting with a two-run first inning for Sacramento State (5-8). For the Hornets, the two first-inning runs were just the team's second and third of the season.
Santa Clara (9-3) countered in the second inning, sending 14 men to the plate while scoring nine runs what seemed to be a game-defining inning.
Sacramento State didn't let the Broncos outburst slow them down, however, as James Outman responded with a solo home run in the third, his second of the season, to make it a 9-3 game.
Four batter later, Steven Moretto just missed a grand slam, smashing a bases-clearing double off the wall in left-center, bringing the score to 9-6. Moretto would score on a Broncos throwing error two batters later as the Hornets pulled within two.
Sacramento State added two more in the fourth inning to tie the game and took back the lead in the fifth on a Josh Urps RBI single. Leading 10-9, the Hornets gave up their lead almost immediately as the Broncos scored their 10th run of the night in the home half of the fifth.
In total, the Hornets and Broncos combined for 20 runs on 19 hits through the game's first five innings. That was it for either team, however, until the game-winner scored for Santa Clara in the 10th.
With two on and none out in the home half of the 10th, Santa Clara's Jake Brodt smashed a hard hit grounder to third. The ball skipped up and off of Moretto and into left field, allowing Grant Meylan to score from second.
Steven Moretto went 2-for-4 with a run scored, a double, and four RBIs, a new career high for the freshman. James Outman went 2-for-4 with a home run and three runs scored while PJ Floyd added two more RBIs.
The extra-inning affair was the fourth for the Hornets this season, the most for a team in the WAC Conference. They are one of three teams – Oklahoma and Northwestern – in all of NCAA Div. I baseball to have played four extra inning games this season. They are just 1-3 in those four games.
The team will get right back at it tomorrow as they go up against Santa Clara in game two of this four-game, home-and-home weekend series. Sacramento State is expected to start Scott Randall (2-1, 4.50) while the Broncos have Steven Wilson (2-0, 0.00) lined up to start. First pitch for tomorrow's game is set for 6:00 pm.