March 21, 2007
On the eve of their home opener Thursday at Benedetti Diamond, the USF baseball team rallied for four runs in the top of ninth inning for a 6-4 win over host Sacramento State Wednesday afternoon. The Dons host Southern Utah in their first home game on campus this season at 2:00 p.m. Thursday.
The win improved the Dons to 10-12 overall this season and kept the team undefeated against the Hornets in three games this year. Sacramento State dropped to 8-15 overall and lost its second straight game in the ninth.
Trailing 4-2, USF's Luke Sommer opened the ninth with a single up the middle off closer Mitch Lively. After a fly out, Mitchell Bialosky singled to right and moved Sommer to second. A single up the middle by Brian Chavez scored one run to make the score 4-3. Pinch hitter Matt Lieb then flied out to center for the second out. Jonnie Knoble followed with a fading double down the right field line to tie the score and Joey Railey singled down the left field line to plate two more runs.
Sacramento State was not able to answer back in the ninth as Chase Tigert allowed a leadoff single to Tim Wheeler but proceeded to retire the next three batters for his first save of the season.
The Hornets jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Patrick Cummins singled and moved to third on a double from Gary Johnson. A single to center by Ryan Blair scored Cummins and Gabe Jacobo hit a sacrifice fly to right to score Johnson.
The lead held until the fifth inning when USF tied the contest. Hornet starter Cyrus Sarraf, who faced the minimum through the first four innings, allowed a leadoff single to Sommer. An error by Johnson put two men on and both later scored on a single by Chavez.
Sacramento State retook the lead in the eighth inning with the help of three wild pitches. Johnson singled up the middle and then stole second. He moved to third on a wild pitch from John Quine and then scored on another wild pitch. Jeff Giacomini was credited for driving in the second run of the inning when his high infield popup was blown out of the reach of the Dons' shortstop allowing Jacobo to score.
Johnson and Blair were the only two Hornets to record multiple hits in the game. Johnson was 2-for-5 with a double and two runs scored. Blair was 2-for-4 with an RBI. Jacobo also extended his hitting streak to six games -- matching the highest streak on the team this season.
Railey, Summer, Chavez and Knoble each had two hits to lead USF.