NACOGDOCHES, Texas – Stephen F. Austin splits the Saturday double-header with Sacramento State after Friday night’s game was postponed due to impending weather. Sacramento State took the first game 17-3, while SFA took game two 15-13. The Lumberjacks move to 13-13 (WAC 7-5) and the Hornets move to 13-14 (WAC 3-6).
The first game of the day was a game to forget for the Lumberjacks, as they gave up five home runs and 21 hits. They were able to hold the Hornets to just one home run in the first four innings, as the score was only 3-0 after four. During that span, the Lumberjack offense was only able to come up with three total hits.
Sacramento State started to pour the runs on the Lumberjacks in the top of fifth as they scored eight runs in the inning, hitting three two-run home runs. The Hornets didn’t stop there, as they tagged on another three-run homer in the sixth, and three more runs in the seventh, giving Sacramento State a 17-0 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh.
Cole Hill finally put the Lumberjacks on the board in the bottom half of the inning with a solo shot to right field. Later in the inning, Alex Rodgers knocked in an RBI single and Clayton Loranger followed with a sacrifice fly to give the ‘Jacks three runs in the seventh. Due to the 10-run rule after seven innings, Sacramento State secured the win on game two of the weekend, tying the series at 1-1.
The Lumberjack bats kept their momentum from the end of last game and quickly responded to Sacramento State, who scored one in the top of the first, by loading up the bases in the bottom of the first. Back-to-back RBI singles from Tom Biggs and Cole Hill gave SFA the 3-1 lead after one full inning.
The Hornets didn’t seem to lose their groove from game one as they tagged on a solo and a two-run homer in the top of the second to retake the lead at 4-3. The lead-swapping continued into the bottom half of the inning when a triple from Alex Rodgers started a rally for the ‘Jacks. Clayton Loranger tied the game at 4 apiece with a single through the right side to bring in Rodgers. Following a walked batter, Cal Martin drove in another run with another RBI single, and Tom Biggs capped off the inning with a monster three-run homer down the right field line to give SFA an 8-4 lead heading into the third.
Unfortunately for the Lumberjacks, Sacramento State had the SFA pitching staff locked up today as another two-run home and a three-run home in the top of third gave the Hornets the lead back once again at 9-8.
The scoring resumed in the bottom of the fourth when Tom Biggs laid down the perfect sacrifice bunt single to score Peyton Parker from third and tie the game up at 9 each. A sacrifice fly from Barrett Rose gave SFA the lead back for the third time of the game already at 10-9.
The back-and-forth match went into the top of the sixth when a walk, double, and two singles allowed the Hornets to put two runs on the board in the inning. Another two-run single in the top of the seventh let Sacramento State expand their lead to 13-10 heading into the bottom half of the inning.
The Lumberjacks took charge in their at-bats and loaded up the bases with two singles and a hit-by-pitch. Rodgers brought in the first run of the inning with single through the right side, keeping the bases loaded. With two outs and the bases full, the highlight of the game came when Parker stepped up to the plate. With the game on the line, Parker drives the game-winning grand slam over the left field wall to come in clutch for SFA. Parker’s fifth long ball of the season put SFA in front 15-13.
Garrett Gearner came into relief in the eighth inning and did his job by going three-up, three-down in back-to-back innings to close out the game and give the Lumberjacks their third straight series win against a WAC opponent. Gearner’s relief appearance was his first save of the season.
Rodgers, Biggs, and Hill each recorded three hits apiece in game two, as Biggs and Parker made up 10 of the 15 RBIs. Parker led the team with four runs scored in the game.
The Lumberjacks now move forward to Tuesday, April 4th where they’ll travel to Waco to take on the Baylor Bears for a one-game matchup.