MESA, Ariz. – For the second straight season, Sacramento State (37-23) and New Mexico State (38-16) needed extra innings and for the second straight time, it was the Hornets coming out on top, this time 6-4, to advance to the WAC Tournament championship game.
With the win, Sacramento State eliminates yet another team from the 2019 WAC Tournament. The Hornets have ended the season for CSU Bakersfield, UT Rio Grande Valley, Utah Valley, and now New Mexico State. It is the second straight season in which the Hornets have eliminated the tournament's number one seed.
Ryan Walstad delivered the game-winner for the Hornets. With the score tied, 4-4, in the 10th, Walstad smashed a 2-2 pitch off the wall in right, scoring Steven Moretto from second to put the Hornets ahead.
HORNETS SCORE! Ryan Walstad with a double off the wall puts Sacramento State ahead, 5-4, in the 10th! Hornets still with two on and none out in the inning. #StingersUp #WACbsb #FindAWay— Sac State Baseball (@SacStBaseball) May 26, 2019
T10 | SAC 5, NMSU 4 pic.twitter.com/VUTwotb4bJ
With the win, Sacramento State advances to Saturday night's WAC Championship game against the No. 4 Grand Canyon Antelopes. The Hornets will have to beat Grand Canyon twice in order to claim the 2019 WAC Tournament Championship and secure the league's automatic berth in the NCAA tournament.
The Hornets and Aggies went back and forth in Saturday's elimination game. New Mexico State scored first, but Sacramento State answered with a towering go-ahead home run in the fifth inning by Matt Smith.
The blast was Smith's first of the tournament and was measured at an estimated 462 feet. It crashed off the scoreboard in straight away left field.
New Mexico State retook the lead but the Hornets tied things up when Bronson Grubbs was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, scoring Torres.
Things remained tied from there until the 10th when Walstad put the Hornets ahead for good.
Travis Martizia got the win and it was more than deserved. The sophomore righthander threw four hitless innings in relief for Sacramento State. He walked two and hit a batter, but pitched around the danger and kept the powerful Aggies offense off the board.
Martizia does it! Hornets get out of a scary situation and this game remains tied! Sacramento State and New Mexico State heading to the ninth, even at four. #StingersUp #WACbsb #FindAWay— Sac State Baseball (@SacStBaseball) May 25, 2019
T9 | SAC 4, NMSU 4 pic.twitter.com/OgT7BdYSHN
The bullpen has been incredible all tournament long and will need to continue to be in top shape as Sacramento State heads straight into Saturday night's championship game against Grand Canyon.
The Hornets turned three double plays in the game, including one to end the game. They have nine double plays in five tournament games this week.
If the Hornets win, they will force a winner-take-all title game on Sunday, May 26, at noon.
First pitch for tonight's game is set for 6:20 p.m. PT. The game will stream live online on ESPN+ and at HornetSports.com/Radio.
For details on how to follow tonight's action, be sure to visit HornetSports.com, @SacStBaseball on Twitter, or the all-new Hornet Sports Experience mobile app. All these details and links can also be found online by visiting the 2019 Sacramento State baseball schedule online at HornetSports.com.