SAN JOSE, Calif. -- No other Division I program in the state of California has been a model of consistency quite like Sacramento State has since 2012 as the Hornets extended their run of 30-win seasons to 10 straight years thanks to a 14-4 series-clinching, regular season-ending, victory over San Jose State in eight innings on Saturday evening at Excite Ballpark.
In ending the year with a series victory over its Bay Area rival, Sacramento State improved to 30-24 overall on the season, winning for the sixth time in its last seven contests and playing some of its best baseball to finish the year, winning for the 15th time in its last 22 outings.
With regular season games and conference tournaments still to play, the 30 wins for the Hornets give them 350 total victories during their 10-year run, ending the day ranked fourth among California schools in wins behind only UCLA (397), Stanford (377), and UC Santa Barbara (368).
The streak marches on! The Hornets reach 30 wins for the 10th consecutive season with a 14-4 eight-inning win on Saturday at San Jose State... Since 2012, no other Division I school in California has accomplished that feat. #StingersUp @WACsports @NCAABaseball pic.twitter.com/gMr1b980To— Sac State Baseball (@SacStBaseball) May 22, 2022
The Spartans finished the regular season with a 28-27 overall record heading into the Mountain West Tournament.
Sacramento State's 14 runs marked the 11th time it has scored 10-or-more runs this year and the third run-rule win for the Hornets in 2022.
Josh Walker tied his career high at the plate, finishing 3-for-4 with a home run, three runs scored, and a pair of RBI, while finishing a triple short of the cycle, to help lead an offense that rebounded from an "off" Friday night. Seven players finished with multiple hits on the day, including Dawsen Bacho, who added two hits, a home run, and was responsible for bringing home six runs on the day, while Gunner Gouldsmith added two hits and drove in a pair.
Every Hornet starter collected at least one hit as they finished the day with 17 total — six of those going for extra bases. Meanwhile, the 17 hits gave Sacramento State double digits in that category for the sixth time in the last 10 outings and the most since the Hornets banged out 18 hits at Grand Canyon on May 8.
Sacramento State managed four hits through the first three innings, but were denied a run in both the second and third thanks to timely double plays by the San Jose State defense. The Hornets, however, would break the seal on the run column with a huge fourth inning, sending 12 batters to the plate and scoring seven times with two outs to take the lead for good.
Nick Iwasa's RBI double got things going and, after Walker was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Gouldsmith followed with an RBI single that hit off the umpire at second base for a 2-0 lead. Jorge Bojorquez added another on an infield single and Jeffery Heard made it a 4-0 lead with a bases-loaded walk.
The big blow in the inning was dealt by Bacho, whose fly ball to left was misplayed by the outfielder, clearing the bases for a 7-0 lead.
San Jose State answered with three runs in the bottom of the fourth and added a run in the fifth to bring Sacramento State back down to Earth, but the Hornets took flight once again over the next three innings, scoring twice in the sixth, three times in the seventh, and plated two more in the eighth for the final 10-run advantage.
A single by Heard — which extended his career-best hitting streak to eight games — set the table for Bacho in the sixth, who drilled his seventh home run of the year over the wall in straightaway center field for a 9-4 lead. Walker followed with his fourth long ball of the season — also to center — to start the scoring in the seventh as the Hornets added a run on a wild pitch and a double by Bacho for an 11-4 advantage.
Walker then tacked on another run on a double to left in the eighth to score Iwasa and Gouldsmith plated the final run of the day with a single to left to cap the scoring.
Freshman right-hander Colin Hunter (4-4) went the first three innings and earned the win on the designated staff day, allowing three hits and striking out a pair without giving up a run. Noah Takacs struck out two over the next three innings before Kevin Haynes closed out the game, striking out three and walking just one over the final two hitless shutout innings.
Sacramento State continues its season next week in Mesa, Ariz., competing in the 2022 Western Athletic Conference Tournament at Hohokam Park. The Hornets are the No. 2 seed out of the league's West Division and will open tournament play against the No. 3 seed out of the Southwest Division in UT Rio Grande Valley on Wednesday (May 25) at 9 a.m.
More information is available on the WAC website at https://wacsports.com/tournaments/bsb/2021-22/index.