Sac State Coach Reggie Christiansen Joins The Baseball America College Podcast
This week on the Baseball America College Podcast, Sacramento State coach Reggie Christiansen joins Teddy Cahill and Joe Healy to talk about the Hornets’ impressive consistency as they have a streak of eight straight 30-win seasons, the longest streak in California, and are coming off an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2019.
Sac State won the Western Athletic Conference Tournament last spring despite losing its opening game in the event. It won six straight elimination games to win the tournament and advance to regionals for the third time in six years. The Hornets went 1-2 in the Stanford Regional, eliminating UC Santa Barbara and losing twice to host Stanford.
Christiansen said even after losing the opener in the WAC Tournament, the Hornets never lost belief in each other. In part, that was due to their experience in 2018, when they reached the tournament final out of the losers’ bracket. But part was also due to a t-shirt the team had found just before leaving for Mesa, Ariz., where the WAC Tournament was held.
“There was a t-shirt company here in Sacramento that was selling this t-shirt that said ‘Sacramento vs. Everybody,’” Christiansen said. “When our guys got on the plane to go down to Mesa, they had that shirt on. It kind of came prophetic. We eliminated every team in that tournament.
“It certainly was an emotional and very fun week of baseball for our guys.”
Sac State has made impressive strides in Christiansen’s nine seasons at the program’s helm to become one of the most consistent teams on the West Coast. But the Hornets are looking for ways to continue to improve and do things the program hasn’t done before.
After being placed in the Stanford Regional in two of the last three years, Christiansen said he realized they had to get stronger and more physical as a team.
“We’ve been to two (regionals) at Stanford the last couple years and felt like we walked away from that thing not as physical (as the Cardinal),” he said. “That’s really one of the reasons we started our fall so early this year. Last year I was taking a look at some teams across the country and how they conduct their falls and I just randomly sent an email to Dan McDonnell at Louisville because I was curious as to why they started their fall so early. He gave me the answer I was hoping to hear, they want to get in the weight room and get more physical. So that’s really one of the reasons we started our fall so early this year.”
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Sac State will hit the road this weekend to play Oregon and Oregon State in their two fall scrimmages, but the Hornets have already been practicing for several weeks. They got a head start thanks to an opportunity in August to play in a tournament in Canada against the University of British Columbia and two Japanese teams – the University of Tokyo and Keio University.
The NCAA allows teams to take a foreign tour once every four years, which also provides teams an extra 10 practices. Sac State played five games while in Canada, going 2-2-1.
Christiansen said it was a great experience for the Hornets.
“It was a great opportunity both educationally and on the baseball side,” he said. “Our team built a stronger bond because of that time spent before school even started. Certainly gave us a leg up thanks to the 10 practices prior to the five games. We kind of rolled right back into team practice when we started school.”