Sacramento State played another close game Sunday afternoon but came out on the wrong end of this weekend’s series finale, falling 3-1 at #15 Arizona State.
With the loss, Sacramento State is now 1-2 to start the 2021 campaign. The 15th-ranked Sun Devils are 2-1.
After piling up nine hits in last night’s contest, the Sacramento State bats went quiet on Sunday, coming through with just one hit against four Arizona State pitchers.
That lone hit was a big one for the Hornets, a two-out RBI-double off the bat of sophomore outfielder Hunter Dorraugh. With Logan Denholm on first after an eight-pitch walk, Dorraugh doubled to the left-center gap. Running on contact, Denholm came all the way around to score, giving Sacramento State its one and only run of the afternoon.
For Dorraugh, the hit and RBI were both his first of the season. Dorraugh got the start in left field, also his first start of the year. The Vacaville, Calif. native also reached on an error on Sunday, making him the only Hornet to reach base more than once in the loss.
Outside of Sacramento State’s fifth-inning score, the Hornets had limited chances. Two other Hornets – Martin Vincelli-Simard and Chris Gonzalez – each drew a walk, and Sacramento State had help from two Arizona State errors, but were unable to turn any of those base runners in scoring chances.
Despite the quiet offensive showing on Sunday, Sacramento State’s pitching continued to look excellent in the series. Sophomore right-hander Eli Saul made his 2021 debut on Sunday. Although he threw just four innings and danced around base runners in a couple of innings, Saul limited the Sun Devils to just three runs. He scattered seven hits, struck out four, and walked none.
Two new Hornets made their Sacramento State debut in relief of Saul. First was Noah Takacs, a right-hander from Victoria, British Columbia. Takacs allowed one hit in a scoreless fifth inning.
Up next was freshman Kevin Haynes, another right-hander from nearby Rocklin. Haynes struck out two in a perfect sixth inning.
The pair of newcomers was followed by a pair of veterans as Brady Rodriguez and Stone Churby pitched the seventh and eighth innings, respectively. The duo combined to allow two hits in two innings while Churby struck out two in the eighth.
In total this series, Sacramento State pitchers allowed just seven earned runs in 25 innings of work, good for a 2.52 ERA. They struck out 25 and walked five.
Sunday’s loss capped an exciting opening weekend for Sacramento State against a talented Arizona State squad that entered the season ranked #15 by both Collegiate Baseball and Perfect Game. All time, the Hornets are now 2-2 against the Sun Devils in just four matchups.
Up next for the Hornets is a four-game set against the Pacific Tigers. Sacramento State makes its 2021 home debut at John Smith Field on Thursday, Feb. 25 at 3 p.m. before heading to Stockton to play the Tigers on their home field on Friday. Saturday and Sunday’s games will both be played back at the John.