Patriots Can’t Finish Sweep of Sacramento State

Filed under: Sports |

Looking for a sweep of the Sacramento State Hornets (14-13, 2-4) in Western Athletic play, the Dallas Baptist Patriots (16-12, 4-2) attempted several comebacks on offense but were never able to get over the hump at Horner Ballpark, falling by a final of 11-7. Brandon Koch (0-1) was handed the loss in relief while KJ Alexander and Austin Listi each recorded homeruns that, at the time, tied the score for the Patriots but, in the end, DBU hurlers were not able to stop the Hornet offense to end a four game winning streak.

dbu_sacrementoCody Beam was handed the ball to start the game and immediately found trouble. Two singles and a walk led to a run in the first inning and, in the second, the Hornets scored another run thanks to a double and two Patriot fielding errors in the frame. DBU would quickly erase that two-run deficit in the bottom of the second as Ronnie Mitchell walked to lead off the inning and Alexander belted his second homerun of the season to deep left.

That would be all the scoring until the sixth  when back-to-back singles were plated by a Dane Fujinaka double down the left field line . Fujinaka moved to third on the throw to the plate from Nash Knight and, two pitches later,  scored the fifth run of the game for Sac State with a steal of home and a controversial call at home plate. That play would give the Hornets a three run lead and DBU would work to get two of those runs back to make it a one run game again. Mitchell scored after a walk on an RBI single from RJ Talamantes and Talamantes touched the pay station on a single from Knight. Those tallies made the score 5-4 and set up a wild final three innings in Dallas.

In the seventh, Jay Calhoun came into the game for Beam and immediately found trouble. A two-strike hit batsman was followed by a steal of second and homerun to give back to the Hornets their three-run cushion. Sacramento State was able to load the bases off Calhoun and his reliever, Blake Webster, with one out before Aaron Gilbreath and Brandon Koch combined to wiggle out of the situation with an infield popup and a strikeout.

The work by Gilbreath and Koch would loom large in the bottom of the inning as the Patriots scored three runs with two outs to tie the game. Justin Wall singled sharply to right to start the rally and Ronnie Mitchell followed with a hit of his own to the same spot. Then, with a 2-1 count, Austin Listi lifted a no-doubt homerun on top of Victory Hill in leftfield to knot the game at seven and make the game a race for the final six outs.

Sac State would break through first in those final six outs but outstanding relief work again would help DBU out of a jam. A leadoff walk from Koch would move to third as Patrick Hicks allowed a double to the only batter he faced before giving way to Paul Voelker with men on second and third. Voelker allowed a sacrifice fly for the first out and then, after an intentional walk, struck out the final two batters of the inning to strand a runner at third and first to limit the Sacramento State damage to a single run and an 8-7 lead to the bottom of the eighth.

In their final two at bats, the Patriots were not able to get anything going against Tyler Hoelzen or Sutter McLoughlin and Voelker allowed a three-run homerun with two outs in the ninth to push the run totals to their final numbers. Dallas Baptist will return to action on Tuesday night as they travel to Waco, Texas, for a rematch of the 2012 Regional Championship game against Baylor University. The Pregame Show will begin at 6:05 pm and first pitch is set for 6:30 pm.

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