MESA, Ariz. – Despite an excellent outing by sophomore starter Parker Brahms, the Sacramento State baseball team dropped their WAC Tournament opener, 2-0, Thursday afternoon to New Mexico State.
Brahms took the tough-luck loss Thursday afternoon after allowing just two runs over eight innings. He scattered two hits and did not walk a batter while striking out seven. He threw 110 pitches, including an incredible 80 of them for strikes (73%).
Of the seven hits Brahms allowed, only one of them was hit with any real authority, a double off the wall in left-center. The two runs came in the fourth inning after the Aggies strung together three two-out hits. A base hit to left was followed by a lazy pop-up double that fell between three Hornets defenders. The dagger came on a softly hit, seeing-eye ground ball that skipped between a diving Vinny Esposito and diving PJ Floyd on the right side. Two scored on the play.
Brahms' effort was better than his final line indicated, as he induced weak contact and kept the Aggies offense off balance all afternoon. He retired the side in order in four of his eight innings. After allowing the two-run base hit in the fourth, Brahms allowed just one more hit. He retired 12 of his final 13, including 11 straight to end his outing.
Austin Roberts took over in the ninth, throwing a scoreless ninth inning in relief of Brahms.
Unfortunately for Brahms and the Hornets, the offense was unable to pick him up, despite outhitting New Mexico State, 10-8. Eight of Sacramento State's nine starters had a hit, including two for each Ian Dawkins (2-for-5) and Andrew McWilliam (2-for-4, 2B). However, despite going 10-for-31 (.323) in the game, the Hornets were just 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position, with their one hit not scoring a runner.
Twice the Hornets had the bases loaded with one out – including in the bottom of the ninth inning – and twice they were unable to bring anyone home. In total, Sacramento State left 13 men on base.
The 2-0 loss is just the second shutout loss for the Hornets this season, who were last blanked at home on Feb. 23 against San Francisco, also 2-0.
Sacramento State will now play next tomorrow, Friday, May 25 at 11:00 am against CSU Bakersfield, who is 1-1 so far in the tournament. That game can be seen live online at WACSports.com/watch while an audio-only broadcast will be available online at HornetSports.com/radio.