SACRAMENTO -- A scoreless game until the seventh, Sacramento State rallied to take the lead with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the inning only to have visiting San Francisco answer with a late three-run blast that lifted the Dons to a 4-2 victory over the Hornets in non-conference play on Tuesday night at John Smith Field.
The loss was only the third for Sacramento State in its last 10 games as the Hornets fell to 23-21 overall. San Francisco, which swept the two-game home-and-home series from the Hornets with Tuesday night's victory, evened its record at 24-24 overall.
The two pitching staffs matched one another zero for zero through six innings on Tuesday night with Sacramento State working to strand seven Dons on base — including four in scoring position and the bases loaded in the top of the first.
San Francisco broke the seal with a big blast in the seventh, however, as catcher Michael Campagna launched his second of the year — a solo shot — to left field for the 1-0 lead. The Hornets worked away from any further damage later in the inning as three walks loaded the bases, but a fortuitous bounce off the net on a ball to the backstop caromed right to catcher Dawsen Bacho, who flipped to Myles Meyer for the out at the plate.
After another walk reloaded the bases, Jorge Bojorquez fired to the plate on a ground ball to the left side in time for the force at the plate for the second out. Reliever Wesley Harper then retired the side on a fly ball to center, keeping it a one-run game.
Finding themselves down, the Hornets rallied in the home half of the seventh without the benefit of a hit. Josh Rolling was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, moved to second on a walk to Martin Vincelli-Simard, and both advanced 90 feet on Gunner Gouldsmith's sacrifice to put a pair in scoring position.
With Keith Torres at the plate, a Kaleb Woltz pitch found its way to the backstop, far enough to score Rolling from third to tie the game and move the go-ahead run to third. That's when Torres came through, executing a perfect squeeze with Vincelli-Simard breaking for the plate, putting Sacramento State on top, 2-1.
That advantage was short-lived, however, as the Dons answered in the eighth to put them ahead for good. A single and a walk put two on for Campagna who left the yard for a second time on the night, depositing a three-run shot over the wall in left for the final 4-2 score.
The Hornets managed a two-out double by Vincelli-Simard in the ninth, but Sam Beck induced a game-ending fly ball to center to end the rally.
Beck (4-2) — the fifth Dons pitcher of the evening — earned the win, allowing just one hit and striking out a pair over the final three innings. Ryan Fleming (2-2) was charged with the loss in relief for Sacramento State.
Two of the three Hornet hits on the night went for extra bases as Bacho added a double to join Vincelli-Simard, while Bojorquez added a single in the fifth.
Sacramento State returns to Western Athletic Conference play this weekend in Phoenix, Ariz., taking on West Division-leading Grand Canyon in a three-game series on May 6-8. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday, with a Noon start scheduled for Sunday's finale. The 'Lopes enter the weekend with a five-game lead over California Baptist in the division and a five-and-a-half game lead over the Hornets.