The winning streak came to an emphatic halt on The Farm on Friday afternoon, but the season still has legs, even if they’re a bit wobbly after taking a haymaker to the chops.
Sacramento State lost its NCAA Regional baseball opener at storied Stanford, 11-0, at Sunken Diamond, placing the Hornets in the loser’s bracket of this four-team event. That means it gets tough from here, but not impossible.
The Cardinal overwhelmed Sac State with the same ingredients they have overpowered a lot of teams this season, which included being ranked in the top five nationally the bulk of the season. Stanford clubbed four home runs, giving it 79 on the season, and Brendan Beck pitched seven strong innings of three-hit ball, striking out five.
Experience and program momentum also boosted Stanford, which is 2-0 against the Hornets in Regional play since 2017 and 31-14 all time.
The Cardinal (42-11) are in their 35th postseason and are hosting their 18th regional, including the last three in succession. Sac State (39-24) is in just its third NCAA Division I Regional, all since 2014 under coach Reggie Christiansen, whose program has won 30 or more games eight consecutive seasons, the longest active streak among Division I programs in the state.
Stanford beat Sac State 10-0 in a 2017 regional opener at home.
Sac State got here after a spirited six-game winning streak through the Western Athletic Conference Tournament, a WAC record. The Hornets start just one senior position player in center fielder Bronson Grubbs.
“This is testament to Reggie’s coaching, to have a team this young get here,” Sac State president Robert S. Nelsen said. “We did not expect this. Reggie expected to bring us here and he brought us here.”