LAWRENCE, Kan. – Sacramento State jumped out to an early 2-0 lead on Wednesday against the Kansas Jayhawks, but was unable to make the lead stick in an eventual 6-4 loss.
With the loss, the Hornets and Jayhawks split their two-game midweek series in Lawrence. After nearly a week on the road, Sacramento State will now return home for a four-game weekend series against Grand Canyon starting Friday.
As it did in Tuesday's game, the scoring started early for the Hornets, who jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the second inning thanks to back-to-back sacrifice flies from Keith Torres and Dylan McPhillips.
Kansas answered with a run of its own in the home half of the frame, taking advantage of a Sacramento State error to plate a run and make the score 2-1.
Sacramento State stretched that lead back to two in the third when Martin Vincelli-Simard hit his fifth home run of the season, a solo shot to left field.
The back-and-forth scoring continued, however, as the Jayhawks responded with two more of their own in the fourth on a two-run home run.
Undeterred, the Hornets reclaimed the lead in the top of the sixth, 4-3, thanks to a two-out Nick Iwasa RBI-single. The hit was one of two on the afternoon for Iwasa, who had a great two-day stretch in Kansas. Making his first back-to-back starts of the year, Iwasa was 5-for-8 with a double, four RBIs, and three runs scored in the two games.
Unfortunately, Kansas battled back yet again, hitting its second two-run home run of the afternoon and taking a 5-4 lead in the seventh. This time, there was no answer from the Hornets. Kansas added another run in the eighth and secured the win with a scoreless top of the ninth.
On the mound, Sacramento State used five different pitchers on Wednesday, including starter Kevin Haynes, who threw a game-high three innings. He allowed just one unearned run on one hit and a walk, facing just two over the minimum through three innings.
For the year, Haynes has now appeared in 12 games, most among the team's new arms, and thrown 15.1 innings. He lowered his ERA to 4.11 on Wednesday.
Travis Martizia (2-2) was tagged with the loss, his second of the year, after allowing two runs on two hits and a walk in 2.2 innings of work.
In addition to two hits for Iwasa, Steven Moretto had another strong game in Lawrence, going 2-for-4 with two doubles and two runs scored. In the series, Moretto was also 5-for-8 with three doubles, two RBIs, and three runs scored.
Matt Smith also had his second multi-hit game against Kansas, finishing 2-for-4 with a double, improving his team-leading average to .365.
As mentioned, Sacramento State will finally return home after nearly a week on the road, first at Northern Colorado then straight to Kansas. There won't be much time to rest, though, as the Hornets open a big four-game WAS series against the visiting Grand Canyon Lopes Friday at John Smith Field.
Grand Canyon enters the weekend series with a 23-15-1 overall record and a 16-4 showing in the WAC, good for second and one spot ahead of the Hornets.
This weekend's series starts Friday night with a 5 p.m. first pitch. The two teams will play a doubleheader starting at 2 p.m. on Saturday with a noon finale on Sunday. All four games will stream live online on the WAC Digital Network with Hornets broadcaster Jeff Dominick on the call. Live stats will also be available at HornetStats.com.
For the latest news, notes, schedule updates, and more, including direct links to streaming and live stats, be sure to visit the Sacramento State baseball schedule online at HornetSports.com.