Texan Baseball dominates Sacramento State in single-elimination round to advance to double-elimination round in WAC Tournament


MESA, Arizona – Tarleton State put up double digits in their first post season appearance at the Division I level to secure a minimum of two more games in Mesa, Arizona. 

Tarleton State (28-28, 17-13 WAC) defeated Sacramento State (26-31, 14-16 WAC) with a 12-6 final on Tuesday evening in the opening round of the 2024 WAC Tournament. 

A huge six-run fifth inning and four runs coming across in the sixth sent the Texans into double digits to ultimately put down the Hornets permanently.

Piercen McElyea got the start for the Purple and White with 2.2 innings pitched, giving up two runs on two hits, three walks and one strikeout. Grant Garza (W, 9-1) got the win to secure his place in a tie for sixth in the nation amongst Division I pitchers for most wins with one or fewer losses. Garza went 3.1 innings on the bump, giving up one run on four hits, one walk and one strikeout. 

Tarleton State finished the evening with 12 runs on 19 hits with a home run from Mason Hammonds for his fifth of the season. Jordan Andrade and Hammonds each tallied doubles to contribute to the offensive efforts. 

Evan Gibbons (L, 6-5) went 4.1 innings on the mound giving up five runs on 10 hits, no walks and three strikeouts. 

The Hornets compiled six runs on nine hits with a pair of home runs to carry the offense, along with a triple. 

Sacramento State got to the board quick with a single run tallied in the first inning on a solo shot to left center.

In the bottom of the opening inning, Hammonds doubled as the leadoff. With one out recorded, an RBI single from Cole Miears brought Hammonds home to even the score.

The top of the third opened with a leadoff flyout for Sacramento State. The two-hole walked and the second out followed. A pair of walks followed to load the bases. An RBI single through the right side added another run for the Hornets to bring the total to 2-1.

In the top of the fifth with one out recorded, a hit by pitch placed the first Hornet on base. As the second out followed, a triple down the left field line scored the third run.

The bottom of the fifth opened the door for the Texans with a momentum changing six-run inning. Ike Shirey singled up the middle to lead off the inning. Mason Crews singled to contribute to the action and an RBI single scored Shirey to cut the lead to one. With two outs recorded, Miears singled to load the bases. Cris Enriquez singled to left field to bring Crews across for the third run. A sacrifice fly from Hunter Smith made room for Hammonds to tally the fourth run for the Texans. Andrade doubled to send Miears home. Kooper Shook reached on an error, scoring Enriquez and Andrade to bring the lead to 7-3 for the Purple and White. 

Crews and Hammonds singled to start off the sixth inning, and a groundout followed to advance the pair of runners. With two outs recorded, Enriquez intentionally walked. A two RBI single from Smith brought across Hammonds and Crews. Andrade singled to send Enriquez home and Shook singled to score Smith to bring the total to 11-3. 

In the bottom of the seventh another lone run came across as Hammonds left the yard for the fifth time this season.

The top of the ninth welcomed three runs for the Hornets in the form of a three-run homer to close out the season for Sacramento State and see the Texans continue their time in post season play after securing the first win in post season action in the Division I era.

The Texans will take on the Lancers of California Baptist at 6 p.m. CT on Wednesday. 

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