Karnos faces No. 5 LSU, picks up first win vs. South Dakota State

March 11, 2016

Max Karnos baseball

Max Karnos

Sacramento State threw transfer Max Karnos of Anchorage to the wolves right off the bat, starting him on the road against Auburn and No. 5 LSU in his first two appearances.

He wouldn’t want it any other way.

Karnos came to Sac State for the chance to face NCAA D1 talent and he got his wish.

“LSU was an unbelievable atmosphere,” he told me. “The fans there were awesome and it is as if you are a big leaguer for the weekend.”

The 6-foot-4 right-handed pitcher got hit around a little bit by those two SEC teams before he bounced back in his first home start to beat South Dakota State 4-0.

Karnos, of South High fame, tossed five clean innings of 2-hit ball.

“It was nice getting the first win out of the way,” he said. “It’s almost as if a little weight is off my shoulders.”

He got sharper as the game went.

“During the first couple of innings all of my pitches were moving like were supposed to but I was just locating them badly,” Karnos said. “I settled in for the last two innings got back to the way I usually pitch.”

It was a different story against Auburn and LSU, which combined to score nine earned runs on 15 hits over seven innings.

It wasn’t his best effort, but he didn’t feel overmatched.

“The hitters there are not much different from guys I face on the West Coast. If anything, they hunt for off-speed more and are more patient at the plate,” Karnos said. “I learned that getting ahead in counts is make-or-break for a pitcher like me.”