May 14, 2018
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Less than 12 hours after being named the WAC Hitter of the Week, Ian Dawkins continued his hot hitting, going 3-for-4 for the Hornets Monday night as they hosted the Arizona Wildcats. Despite the strong effort from their leadoff man, Sacramento State fell to Arizona by a final score of 5-2.
Monday night’s game was a quick turnaround for the Hornets (28-23, 14-7 WAC), who got home from Arizona late Sunday night after a three game series at Grand Canyon. They flew home from Arizona just in time to host the Wildcats (29-20, 10-14 Pac-12).
The quick turnaround didn’t seem to phase Dawkins, who after going 10-for-13 with five extra base hits in three games at Grand Canyon, went 3-for-4 Monday night.
“It’s no surprise, really,” started head coach Reggie Christiansen in reference to Dawkins’ recent success. “Ian is one of the better players not just in our conference, but on the west coast.”
Dawkins got off to a slow start this season as he battled a wrist injury, but now leads the team in batting average (.351), slugging (.532), and on base percentage (.410). He has also scored a team-high 37 runs and leads the team with 15 doubles. Over his last 10 games, Dawkins is hitting .476 with three home runs, four doubles, and nine runs scored.
“He had a tough start to the year,” continued Christiansen. “But you’ve got to give him credit, the way he battled back to get where he is now.”
Behind Dawkins, the rest of the team found ways to put the ball into play, racking up a total of nine hits – two more than their Pac-12 opponent. They also struck out just seven times, their fewest in their last five games.
“I feel much better after tonight than I did after Sunday night,” said Christiansen of the team’s performance. “The offense was significantly better tonight than what we saw in Grand Canyon.”
Steven Moretto added the second run of the night for the Hornets, leading off the seventh inning with a big home run out to left-center.
Unfortunately for the Hornets, Moretto’s home run was two too few when compared to Arizona, who scored all five of their runs Monday night on three home runs.
The first came in the second inning, a solo home run off the bat of the Wildcats’ Nick Quintana that landed on top of the six story parking garage adjacent to the left field wall. Cameron Cannon added a two-run shot in the third before Matt Frazier added another two-run home run in the fourth.
“The ball was flying out of here early night,” noted Christiansen, “But I thought (Ty) Fox was good. We asked a lot of him to start today after pitching this weekend.”
Reliever Ty Fox made the start for the Hornets, his sixth of the year, and allowed three runs on four hits and two walks over three innings. He struck out four.
After that, Travis Martizia allowed two more runs before the rest of the bullpen shut the door on the Wildcats.
For the Hornets, Monday night’s game against Arizona was their ninth against a Pac-12 opponent this season. They finish the season 4-5 against the conference, including 2-3 at home.
The loss brings Sacramento State’s record to 28-23 on the season while their WAC record remains 14-7.
The Hornets now enter their final series of the regular season as they host Utah Valley starting on Thursday. The three-game set has major postseason implications as Sacramento State comes into the final weekend in third place in the conference, just one game ahead of fourth place Seattle U and just one game back of New Mexico State.
First pitch on both Thursday and Friday is set for 6:00 pm while Saturday’s regular season finale and Senior Day at The John will begin at 12:00 pm. Senior ceremonies will take place after the game.