SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sacramento State walked off on the visiting UT Rio Grande Valley Vaqueros, 5-4, in 11 innings Thursday night. Keith Torres drove in the game-winner with a base hit in the bottom of the 11th.
With the win, Sacramento State improved to 32-19 overall and 20-13 in the WAC. UTRGV is now 28-22 overall and 19-13 in league.
Sacramento State and UTRGV are battling it out this weekend for the number two seed in the Western Athletic Conference baseball tournament. A series win for either club guarantees the number two spot and a first round bye.
The Hornets are one game closer to making that a reality after Thursday night's thrilling 5-4 walk-off win in the 11th inning. Keith Torres, who finished a team-best 3-for-5 with two doubles and two RBIs, drove in the game winner with a one out single in the 11th. His third hit of the night scored Steven Moretto from third and sent the Hornets home happy.
Torres drove in his first run of the night in the fourth inning with a two-out double. The junior shortstop's RBI-knock made it a 3-0 Hornets lead at the time.
Sacramento State scored its first run on a Moretto sacrifice fly in the second inning. One batter later, Jack Bollengier singled off the bag at second base to drive in another run and put his team ahead, 2-0.
Staked to a 3-0 lead, Hornets starter Scott Randall turned in yet another quality start, allowing just three runs over 6.1 innings of work. He struck out six and did not walk a batter, increasing his NCAA-leading K:BB ratio to 14.14 (99 strikeouts, seven walks).
All three runs against Randall came in the seventh inning when the Vaqueros finally managed to get to the Sacramento State ace. UTRGV scored three times on three hits and a Hornets error all with just one out in the inning.
Brady Rodriguez took over for Randall and got the team out of the jam before throwing two more scoreless innings to get the team through the ninth.
Jack Zalasky took it the rest of the way, giving up a run (automatic runner at second base) in the top of the 10th before throwing a perfect 11th to earn his sixth win of the year.
The three Sacramento State pitchers combined to strike out nine batters without issuing a walk in 11 innings. Zalasky and Rodriguez allowed just two hits and one unearned run over 4.2 innings of work.
This crucial Western Athletic Conference series continues tomorrow as the Hornets and Vaqueros continue to clash over the number two seed. The two clubs will play a doubleheader tomorrow, Friday, May 21 start at 1 p.m. PT at John Smith Field.
Both of Friday's games will stream live online on the WAC Digital Network with live stats via HornetStats.com. Direct links for both games can be found on the Sacramento State baseball schedule.
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.