SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sacramento State (15-8, 2-1 WAC) had opportunities to come from behind Sunday afternoon in its series finale against the UTRGV Vaqueros (15-9, 1-2 WAC), but were unable to do so in a 5-3 loss. With the loss, the Hornets' 11-game win streak comes to an end.
Sunday's 5-3 loss to UTRGV was the Hornets' first since falling on the road at Saint Mary's all the way back on Tuesday, March 5. The 11 game win streak is the second longest under head coach Reggie Christiansen and the longest since the 2014 Hornets won 12 consecutive games.
"This was a really great run and I told the guys the same thing just now," said Christiansen after the game. "We won 11 out of 12, 12 out of 14 going back to our win at (No. 3) UCLA. There were a lot of really good things that we can take forward."
During the 11-game win streak, Sacramento State beat five different opponents, including Causeway rivals UC Davis. The offense hit .280 and averaged nearly seven runs per game on better than eight hits and six walks per game.
Dawsen Bacho paced the offense during the streak, hitting a team-best .395 with six doubles, a triple, seven RBIs, and 13 runs scored. He also drew 10 walks.
On the mound, Hornets pitchers were phenomenal during the streak, holding opponents to just a .167 batting average against and posting a 1.62 ERA. They never allowed more than four runs in a game during the streak and held opponents to two or fewer runs seven times.
On Sunday, however, it was Rodriguez who was stuck with the loss, his second of the season. After getting the Hornets out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the fifth, Rodriguez was tagged for two runs in the sixth, giving UTRGV a 5-3 lead.
The offense had chances late to reverse the decision, but were unable to capitalize on multiple base runners in the game's late innings.
After putting two on in each the sixth and seventh innings to no avail, Sacramento State had its best shot at a comeback in the eighth when UTRGV's Chase Adams walked three straight Hornet batters to open the inning.
Despite the bases-loaded, no-out opportunity, the Hornets were unable to get the ball out of the infield and left all three runners stranded.
In total, Sacramento State left 15 men on base and went just 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position.
"You have to give it to UTRGV, they're a good club," said Christiansen. "We got the first two, but they way they compete, they're going to win a lot of conference games this year."
Sacramento State scored first on Sunday for the third time in the series, scoring in the third on a sacrifice fly by Matt Smith. They added two more in the fourth on a sacrifice fly by Evan Gibbons and an RBI-single by Bacho.
UTRGV did all of its damage in the fifth and sixth innings, scoring three runs against starter Scott Randall and two more against Rodriguez.
Although the win streak may be over, the homestand is not, as Sacramento State closes out its 13-game homestand with a midweek meeting with the California Golden Bears on Tuesday at 7 pm PT at John Smith Field. The game is the first of a two-game, home-and-home series between the two clubs.
Last season, Sacramento State defeated the Bears, 4-1, in a midweek game at Cal.
More details on Tuesday's game and all upcoming Hornets baseball games can be found online at HornetSports.com by visiting the 2019 Sacramento State baseball homepage.