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BASEBALL OUTLASTS FRESNO STATE FOR WILD 11-9 MIDWEEK VICTORY

BASEBALL OUTLASTS FRESNO STATE FOR WILD 11-9 MIDWEEK VICTORY

FRESNO, Calif. -- Junior Martin Vincelli-Simard tied his career high with three hits for the second straight game and joined teammates Jeffery Heard and Gunner Gouldsmith with three RBI each, helping lift Sacramento State to a wild 11-9 midweek victory over Fresno State on Tuesday at Pete Beiden Field at Bob Bennett Stadium.

The Hornets reached double figures for the second straight game and the 10th time this year, improving to 25-23 overall on the season and avenging an earlier loss to the Bulldogs in Sacramento back on April 12. The victory also ended a three-game skid against their former conference rivals, gave Sacramento State its first win over the Bulldogs since 2016, and their first win in Fresno since 2014.

With the loss, Fresno State fell to 24-25 overall on the year.

After closing out last week's series against Grand Canyon with a trio of hits, Vincelli-Simard duplicated that effort on Tuesday night, collecting singles in the third and fifth innings before leaving the yard with an insurance run with one out in the ninth. The home run was his third of the season, and his first since April 10 at New Mexico State, while the three RBI tied his season high set last weekend against the 'Lopes.

Gouldsmith and Trevor Doyle added a pair of hits, with the former tying his career high in RBI set earlier this year against Saint Mary's on April 26. Heard's three RBI also tied his career high set in Sunday's finale against Grand Canyon.

Max Pettey (3-1) was credited with the win in relief of starter Noah Takacs, allowing two runs on three hits with a pair of strikeouts over 2.2 innings of work. Junior Jack Zalasky nailed down his eighth save of the year, getting the final two outs with a pair of strikeouts. 

Zalasky's eight saves are the most by a Hornet pitcher since Tanner Dalton finished with 10 in 2018, while his 12 career saves are now tied with Tyler Beardsley (2015-16) and Trevor Rodgers (1990-91) for fifth on the all-time list.

After settling in over the first two innings, the Sacramento State offense took an early lead in a big way in the third, scoring seven times on five hits, sending 11 batters to the plate in the process. Gouldsmith got the scoring started with an RBI single after Keith Torres was hit by a pitch, and Vincelli-Simard followed with a two-run single five batters later for a 3-0 lead. 

Steven Moretto was then hit by a pitch to re-load the bases for Heard, who dealt the big blow with a double down the left field line to clear the bases and make it 6-0. Josh Walker then kept the train rolling as a pinch-hitter, coming in for Torres and coming through with a single up the middle, easily scoring Heard for a 7-0 advantage.

Fresno State answered with a big inning of its own in the home half, plating four thanks to a pair of home runs, but the Hornets clawed two of those runs back in the fifth, again off the bat of Gouldsmith, who cashed in a pair with a single to left centerfield, bringing Sacramento State's lead back up to five at 9-4.

Single runs in the fifth and sixth by the Bulldogs cut back into the Hornets' lead before a Moretto sacrifice fly — his 10th of the season — put his team in double digits, but Fresno State would not shrink away, scoring twice more in the seventh and closing the home side to within a pair.

Vincelli-Simard then came through in the ninth, giving Sacramento State a little breathing room with his blast over the scoreboard in left for an 11-8 lead and the Hornets closed it out from there, allowing a harmless run in the ninth and stranding the tying runs on base.

Sacramento State stranded a total of 12 Fresno State baserunners on the night, including the bases loaded in the sixth after the Bulldogs had cut the deficit to three runs.

The Hornets close out Western Athletic Conference play at home this weekend, hosting Utah Valley for a three-game series at John Smith Field beginning Friday (May 13) and running through Sunday (May 15). First pitch for Friday night's opener is scheduled for 6 p.m., with a 1 p.m. start start slated for Saturday's game two. Sunday's finale is scheduled for Noon with the Hornets' senior class to be honored at the end of the game.