EUGENE, Ore. - Blake Crosby hit the first grand slam out of PK Park on Tuesday afternoon, but unfortunately for the Ducks, Crosby was sporting a Sacramento State uniform, and the senior first baseman helped lead the Hornets to a 10-5 victory.
Crosby’s grand slam and poor Oregon defense proved to be the difference in Sacramento State’s victory over Oregon, as six of the Hornets’ 10 runs on the day were unearned.
It was a five-run eighth inning for the Hornets that proved too much of a hole for the Ducks to climb out of.
After moving from left field to the mound for Sacramento State, Jeff Roth started the eighth at the plate with a double to left field. Back-to-back errors on Oregon right-hander Geoff Nichols - dropping a pop up bunt and an errant throw to first - allowed Roth to score the go-ahead run and put runners on the corners with no outs.
One out later, Sacramento State’s leadoff hitter, Hunter Martinez, singled to load the bases, setting up Derrick Chung’s two-run double off the wall in center field. Later in the inning, Josh Powers hit a two-run single to right, scoring Chung and Martinez to put the final runs on the board for the Hornets.
At the start of the game things looked good for Oregon right away after senior Caleb Tommasini led off the game with a solo shot over the left field wall. It was his second home run this season, both coming during leadoff at-bats.
But the Hornets tied things in the top of the third after Dan McCarthy was issued a one-out walk by Oregon starter Chris Garrison - later scoring on an Oregon defensive error.
The Ducks got back on top in the bottom of the third thanks to freshman KC Serna’s first collegiate home run. After missing three games last week at the Rose City Invitational, in just his second at-bat of the game, Serna hammered a two-run shot over the wall in left, giving the Ducks a 3-1 advantage in the bottom of the third.
But Sacramento State did damage in the top of the fifth to retake its lead, 5-3, when Crosby hit the first grand slam out of PK Park. After retiring the first two batters of the inning, Garrison issued back-to-back walks to Martinez and Chung. Garrison was then lifted in favor of junior lefty Ryan Fleckenstein, who walked Tim Wheeler to load the bases before Crosby’s four-run knock.
The Ducks tied the game in the bottom of the seventh when Serna picked up another 2 RBI with a two-run single through the left side. The Ventura, Calif., native had the bases loaded with two outs against him, and sliced a two-run drive to left that brought home Tommasini and Andrew Schmidt after each singled to reach base.
Sacramento State had a slight 11-10 edge in the hits department, but Oregon’s four errors were costly.
Tommasini reached base in four of his five trips to the plate, with a home run, single and two walks. Curtis Raulinaitis, Schmidt and Serna also had multiple hits for Oregon.
Martinez reached base in all five of his plate appearances for Sacramento State, hitting three singles and getting walked twice. Crosby, Roth and Powers also had multiple hits for the Hornets.
On top of scoring the go-ahead run, Roth (2-0) took the win on the mound for the Hornets, pitching the final three innings of the game and holding Oregon to two runs on five hits.
Jesse Darrah started the game for Sacramento State, while Nick Buchta pitched three innings of one-hit baseball for the Hornets.
In his first start of the season, Garrison went 4 and 2/3 innings allowing three runs (two earned) on two hits. Ryan Fleckenstein, Nichols, McGough and Blake Williams all appeared in relief. Nichols (1-2) took the loss allowing five runs (all unearned) on four hits.
Oregon and Sacramento State will play at 1 p.m. tomorrow at PK Park.
Notes: Sacramento State head coach John Smith is in his 31st season with the Hornets...he coached against the Ducks in 1979, 1980 and 1981 before Oregon discontinued the baseball program...KC Serna hit his first career home run in the third...for the second time this season Caleb Tommasini led off a game with a home run...it is his second HR of the season...Sacramento State’s Blake Crosby hit the first grand slam out of PK Park at 4:39 p.m...Oregon has now dropped its last three...Sacramento State has won seven in a row.
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