BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – The Sacramento State baseball team gave away a three-run lead in the seventh inning, but rallied to retake the lead in the eighth en route to an 8-6 come-from-behind win Sunday at CSU Bakersfield.
Leading 5-2 in the bottom of the seventh, the Hornets (21-17, 9-3 WAC) watched as the Roadrunners (15-23, 5-7) ripped off four runs on four hits, two walks, and a hit by pitch. The four-run inning made it a 6-5 game as Sacramento State found themselves trailing for the first time in the afternoon.
They immediately climbed back, answering Bakersfield's four-spot with a three-run inning of their own, reclaiming the lead, 8-6. Ian Dawkins had the big hit in the inning, a two-run double down the left field line to score two runs. Bronson Grubbs came around to score on a wild pitch in the inning, as well.
After the two teams combined for seven runs in the span of six outs, neither team scored again in the game's final inning and a half.
Dawkins finished the game 3-for-5 with two doubles, two runs scored and three RBIs. It is his third multi-hit game in a row and his team-leading 16th this season. His average is now up to .311, second best on the team. He also has a team-leading 151 at bats through 38 games.
Josh Urps, making his first start since March 24, also had two hits, including a big two-out, two-run double in the second inning to give Sacramento State an early 2-0 lead. He also scored two runs.
With Urps's two-run double in the second, Sacramento State scored first for the 25th time in 38 games. They are now 18-7 in those 25 games.
On the mound, Scott Randall got the start for the Hornets. The freshman right-hander went four innings for Sacramento State, giving up two runs on six hits. He did not walk a batter and struck out three.
As he has done often this season, head coach Reggie Christiansen piggybacked Randall and reliever Alex Dentoni. Dentoni struggled Sunday, however, giving up four runs on five hits and a walk in 2.2 innings of work. He gave way to Austin Ragsdale with two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh.
Ragsdale, who has been lights out for the Hornets out of the bullpen this season, allowed all three runners to score before getting out of the inning. Sunday was the first time this season that Ragsdale had allowed three inherited runners to score.
Tanner Dalton took over in the eighth and threw two scoreless innings, walking one, to close out the game. He picked up his second save in as many games, bringing him to six total on the season.
Despite the rough outing, Ragsdale picked up the win, his second of the season, as the Hornets rallied to retake the lead in the top of the eighth.
In total, Sacramento State allowed six runs to score Sunday, but still won the game. It is the first time this season that the Hornets have won a game when allowing their opponent to score six times. They are 1-12 in those games (20-5 when their opponent scored five or fewer).
With the win, the Hornets clinched the series victory, taking two of three from Bakersfield. Sacramento State has won or swept each of their four WAC series so far this season.
The team improves to 21-17 overall and 9-3 against WAC competition. They will take that record into a Tuesday non-conference matchup against Cal in Berkeley. First pitch for Tuesday night's road game is scheduled for 7:30 pm PDT.