SAN FRANCISCO – Trevor Doyle's eighth-inning RBI proved to be the difference on Friday afternoon as Sacramento State defeated the San Francisco Dons, 2-1, at Benedetti Diamond.
With the win in the non-conference matchup, Sacramento State improved to 29-18 overall. For San Francisco, the loss was the team's third straight as the Dons fell to 20-23.
Sacramento State had a little help to start the eighth inning of a 1-1 game as Keith Torres reached on a throwing error by San Francisco's shortstop. He advanced to second on a wild pitch before a Chris Gonzalez sacrifice moved him over to third.
With one away in the inning, Doyle took advantage of the Dons error, grounding a ball through the middle and into centerfield for a base hit, easily scoring Torres and putting the Hornets ahead, 2-1. The run-scoring base hit proved to be the game-winner for Sacramento State.
Dylan McPhillips was responsible for Sacramento State's first run of the afternoon, driving in Dawsen Bacho from second with a two-out double in the second. Like Torres's run in the eighth, Bacho's was also an unearned run, as the Hornets' catcher reached on a fielding error, again by the San Francisco shortstop.
Sacramento State had just six hits in the game, but came through when it mattered, taking advantage of both of San Francisco's mistakes. The Hornets offense did just enough to support an excellent combined pitching performance Friday by Scott Randall, Brady Rodriguez, and Jack Zalasky.
Coming off a rocky outing on the road at California Baptist last weekend, Randall was back to form on Friday afternoon, firing off five scoreless innings against San Francisco. The junior right-hander scattered just three hits and a walk while striking out nine.
Randall threw just 73 pitches in the outing (52 strikes), one of his shortest outings this season, but didn't allow a runner to reach second base in five innings of work.
With nine more strikeouts and just one walk, Randall improved his season totals to 93 strikeouts against just seven walks. He entered Friday's action with an NCAA-best 14.0 K/BB ratio.
Rodriguez took over for Randall in the sixth and made the lone mistake for the Hornets on the mound, giving up a solo home run in the sixth to Jack Winkler, the Don's home-run leader.
Outside of that one hit, however, Rodriguez was nearly perfect, giving up a harmless base hit in the seventh while otherwise retiring each of the other nine batters he faced in three innings of relief. He struck out two, did not walk any, and was rewarded with his team-leading and career-high eighth win of the year. The left-handed reliever is 8-2 in 18 games (four starts).
Jack Zalasky picked up the save for Sacramento State, firing a 1-2-3 ninth inning with two strikeouts. Zalasky lowered his ERA to a team-leading 2.14 with the scoreless frame.
Friday's win snapped a five-game skid against the Dons for Sacramento State. The two teams last faced off on March 10, 2021, in the final game of that season, a Dons' victory.
Sacramento State will look to make it two and then three in a row against San Francisco tomorrow as the teams face off in a doubleheader back at John Smith Field in Sacramento. Game one is a scheduled seven-inning affair while game two will go a full nine.
First pitch for Saturday's doubleheader is set for 1 p.m. PT. Both games will stream live on the WAC Digital Network. For direct links and first pitch times, be sure to check the Hornet baseball schedule online at HornetSports.com.
And as always, 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.