The SF State Gators baseball team began a six-game home stand with a 8-4 loss to the visiting Academy of Art Urban Knights in a non-conference game on Tuesday afternoon.
The Urban Knights struck first with four runs in the second inning off of starting pitcher Ryan Romero.
In the bottom of the second, the Gators answered right back after outfielder Danny Souza singled up the right side of the field scoring Dalton Pizzuti from third. Joseph Chedid kept the rally alive with a single to left field scoring Connor Fraser and cutting the Gators’ deficit to two runs. With the bases loaded, outfielder Nick Jackson grounded into a double-play ending the Gators’ rally.
The Urban Knights were able to load the bases in the fourth inning off a base hit and two bunts. Romero was able to limit the damage by getting two straight ground balls only allowing one run in the process. The Gators went into the bottom of the fourth trailing 5-2.
SF State threatened to put more runs on the board in the bottom of the fifth inning when the team loaded the bases. However, designated hitter Mark Lindsay grounded into an inning ending double-play stranding the runners.
Romero finished his outing with five innings pitched, allowing nine hits and five earned runs.
“I thought my performance could have been better,” Romero said. “My off speed was alright but I needed to work on locating my fastball more.”
For the second inning in a row, the Gators loaded the bases. Senior outfielder Will Hein came up with a single down the left field line scoring two runs and cutting the deficit to one.
“My mindset was just relaxing and getting the pitch I liked,” Hein said. “I knew the pitcher was struggling and I knew he wasn’t trying to challenge me too much so I had the upper hand in that at bat.”
Gators’ relief pitcher Grant Vogenthaler gave up loaded bases and a walk, allowing the Urban Knights to increase their lead. SF State trailed 6-4 headed into the bottom of the seventh.
The Urban Knights added some insurance in the eighth inning with two runs to give them a 8-4 lead, which would end up being the final score of the game.
“I didn’t think we pitched very well,” head coach Mike Cummins said. “We had some opportunities to do some things and score some runs, but we hit into two or three double plays early that stifled us.”
The Gators will return to action this weekend when the team hosts California Collegiate Athletic Association opponent the Chico State Wildcats at Maloney Field for a four-game series.