Sacramento State wrapped up a series win in its first conference matchup with Sunday’s 20-5 win on the road against the Tarleton Texans.
Sacramento State (10-5, 3-1 WAC) scored in every inning on its way to Sunday’s victory over Tarleton (7-11, 1-3 WAC). The Hornets’ 20 runs are their most since scoring 21 during the 2019 season in a 21-10 win at Cal Baptist and tied for their second most ever in a Western Athletic Conference game.
As it has all weekend, the scoring started early as Sacramento State jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first inning, highlighted by a Matt Smith three-run home run.
The blast was the first of two for the Hornets’ outfielder, who added a solo shot in the seventh inning to give Sacramento State its 20th and final run of the afternoon.
The Hornets then added four more in the second, thanks in part to RBI-doubles from both Ryan Walstad and Steven Moretto.
Tarleton responded with a pair of runs in both the second and third innings, but Sacramento State kept adding on, scoring a run in each of the third, fourth, and fifth innings to take a 12-4 lead.
The Hornets blew the game wide open in the sixth, scoring seven times on just two hits. Three Tarleton pitchers combined to allow one hit, walk three Hornets, and hit two others before Jorge Bojorquez delivered the dagger, a bases-clearing triple.
Up 19-4 in the seventh, Smith’s second home run of the game made it a 20-4 game. Tarleton added their final run of the day in the bottom of the seventh, scratching across a run on the Hornets’ first error of the afternoon.
Two other Hornets – Trevor Doyle and Steven Moretto – each had two hits, while Aaron Zeidman rounded out the team’s 17 hits with one of his own. All nine Sacramento State starters scored at least one run while eight of nine drove in at least one.
On the mound on Sunday, Sacramento State turned to freshman Noah Takacs for the getaway day start. Takacs allowed four runs over 2.2 innings on just three hits and a walk. He struck out three.
The Hornets turned to three of their veteran relievers to prevent any further damage and avoid a potential Texans comeback similar to Saturday’s game.
Brady Rodriguez tossed 2.1 scoreless innings, allowing just one hit while striking out three. The appearance was the seventh of the year for Rodriguez, who leads the club in that category. He picked up the win in Sunday’s game and is now 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA in 10.0 innings.
Rodriguez was followed by Jack Zalasky, who threw a perfect sixth while striking out two. Zalasky has done nothing but strike out opponents this season, climbing to 14 in 9.1 innings after Sunday’s outing. He lowered his ERA to 0.96 while opponents are hitting .176 against him.
Hornets’ closer Stone Churby, who had not pitched all weekend, got a chance at the seventh. The Texans managed to scratch across one unearned run against the righthander before Churby closed out the game, allowing one unearned run on one hit and a strikeout. It was the first run to score this season against Churby, though he maintained his 0.00 ERA across 6.0 innings this year.
With this weekend’s series win, Sacramento State is 3-1 to start the Western Athletic Conference portion of the 2021 schedule while improving to 10-5 overall.
The Hornets will return home to Sacramento before heading back out on the road for their next series, a four-game set at Utah Valley. That series is set to begin Friday, March 20 with a single game at 5 p.m. PT.