DAVIS, Calif. – The Sacramento State baseball team had their biggest inning of the year Tuesday afternoon, scoring seven runs in the sixth en route to a 8-2 win over the rival UC Davis Aggies.
The Hornets (19-16, 7-2 WAC) came into the decisive sixth inning trailing the Aggies (10-21, 3-6 BWC). That changed with the first batter of the inning as Vinny Esposito blasted one off the wall in left-center field.
Attempting to make a lunging play on the ball, UC Davis centerfielder Alex Aguiar collided headfirst with the wall and the ball skipped back toward the infield as Esposito rounded the bases for an inside-the-park home run.
Aguiar remained on the ground for several minutes as the team trainer and coach attended to him. He was eventually able to walk off the field under his own power but was removed from the game.
Although a hush fell over the ballpark after the collision, Matt Smith broke the silence on the very next pitch, smashing stand up double into the gap. Steven Moretto, swinging at the first pitch of his at bat, also doubled, this time down the line in left to score Smith and put the Hornets on top, 3-2.
The inning continued with a sacrifice bunt by Andrew McWilliam. The throw brought Aggies first baseman Cameron Briggs into the base path and, as the two collided, the ball skipped away from Briggs. McWilliam was safe and Moretto, who was running on the play, was able to score from second. From there, the rout was on.
A walk, a wild pitch, and an RBI groundout from Keith Torres scored McWilliam before the Hornets loaded the bases. Esposito, who started the inning, drove a bases-clearing double into the left-center gap for his second hit and fourth RBI of the inning.
The seven runs turned a 2-1 Hornets deficit into an 8-2 lead and proved to be the last scoring of the game. It is also the biggest inning for Sacramento State this season and their most since scoring six in an inning against Chicago State in game two of their April 7 doubleheader.
In total, Sacramento State scored their eight runs on nine hits. They drew five walks and took advantage of three UC Davis errors.
Sacramento State's three through six hitters – Esposito, Smith, Moretto, and McWilliam – combined for all nine of the Hornets' hits, going 9-for-18 with four doubles, a home run, and five RBIs. Seven different Hornets scored a run.
The Hornets scored their first run in the second inning as Moretto scored on an RBI groundout off the bat of Raul Ortiz. It was the 23rd time this season that Sacramento State scored first in a game. They are 16-7 in those games.
On the mound, Sacramento State used four different pitchers, including freshman Travis Martizia for his first career start. Alex Dentoni picked up the win, throwing 4.1 scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and striking out three. He improves to 4-3 on the season.
With the win, the Hornets climb to 19-16 overall this season. They are three games over .500 for the first time this year and maintain their 7-2 WAC record.
Sacramento State has now also won 10 of their last 12 games.
The Hornets will travel next to southern California as they head to take on CSU Bakersfield in a three-game weekend conference series. The first of those three games is set for a 6:00 pm PDT first pitch on Friday, April 20 at Bakersfield's Hardt Field.