Sports

Sacramento State baseball makes history at WAC Tournament, and Hornets aren’t done

Coach Reggie Christiansen and Sacramento State played in the Stanford regional in the 2017 NCAA Tournament. The Hornets will find out May 27 where they’re headed for the 2019 NCAA Tournament.
Coach Reggie Christiansen and Sacramento State played in the Stanford regional in the 2017 NCAA Tournament. The Hornets will find out May 27 where they’re headed for the 2019 NCAA Tournament. jvillegas@sacbee.com

Sacramento State’s baseball team is returning to the NCAA Tournament. The Hornets just don’t know their opponent and where they’ll travel.

They’ll learn that information today after defeating Grand Canyon 5-4 on Sunday in Mesa, Ariz., to win the Western Athletic Conference Tournament championship for the third time in six seasons.

It was the sixth consecutive win for the Hornets, the first team to win the WAC Tournament following a loss in the first round.

“I can’t describe how much fun it was to be in the dugout with these guys this week and to see them do what they just did,” coach Reggie Christiansen said in a story posted on www.hornetsports.com. “It’s honestly kind of a blur. It feels like we’ve been here for two weeks, but it just went so fast and it was so much fun.”

The Hornets (39-23) lost to Utah Valley on Wednesday and rebounded to beat Cal State Bakersfield, UT Rio Grande Valley, Utah Valley, New Mexico State and Grand Canyon. Sac State won twice Saturday in extra innings – 6-4 over New Mexico State in 10 innings and 4-3 over Grand Canyon (36-24) in 11.

Sac State, which was seeded third, became the first team to eliminate the other five teams in the tournament.

Solo home runs by Steven Moretto in the top of the first inning and Matt Smith and Dawsen Bacho in the third gave the Hornets a 3-0 lead. Smith had four of Sac State’s 12 hits.

Trevor Doyle’s sacrifice fly drove in Aaron Zeidman in the eighth with what proved to be the deciding run.

Grand Canyon scored three runs in the eighth to make it 5-4 before Austin Roberts earned a two-inning save for the Hornets, his sixth save this season.

The NCAA Tournament field will be announced today, beginning at 9 a.m. on ESPNU and ESPN+. The Hornets are inviting one and all to a watch party, according to the website. Doors are scheduled to open at 8:30 a.m. at Clubhouse 56, located at 723 56th Street near the campus.

Sac State played in the San Luis Obispo regional in 2014 and the Stanford regional in 2017.

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