SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Junior Ethan Katz hurled his second-consecutive complete game victory of the season after striking out eight batters as the Sacramento State baseball team defeated 42nd-ranked Cal Poly, 3-1, Saturday afternoon at Hornet Field. It marked the first time a Hornet pitcher tallied two complete games in one season since Steve Correa accomplished the feat in 2003.
Sacramento State improved to 15-12 on the year while Cal Poly fell to 19-9-1.
The Hornets jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the second inning when junior Buddy Morales drove in a run with an RBI single. Junior Andy Hnilo was hit by a Jonathan Fleming pitch to lead off the inning. Hnilo advanced to second when a failed pick-off attempt by Fleming got past Bret Berglund at first base. After Hnilo advanced to third on a wild pitch by Fleming, Morales drove a single up the middle with two outs.
Cal Poly evened the score (1-1) in the fourth inning after an RBI single by Cory Traillon. With two out, Kyle Blumenthal singled down the right-field line. After Josh Mayo was hit by a pitch, Traillon placed a single into right to score Blumenthal from second base.
Sacramento State took a 2-1 lead in the seventh when junior Pedro Santiago hit an RBI single. Senior John Acha led off the inning with a double down the left-field line and then advanced to third on a groundout by junior Bret LeVier to short. With two outs, Santiago hit a ball into left field to score Acha.
The Hornets added another run in the eighth inning after an RBI single by junior Brett Flowers. With two out, junior Craig Johnson was hit by a Jimmy Shull pitch and then stole second base. In the next at-bat, Flowers dropped a single into short center to add an insurance run.
Cal Poly threatened in the ninth with runners on second and third and only one out but Katz forced consecutive groundouts to third to preserve the win.
Katz (5-1) allowed only one run on seven hits while walking two and striking out eight. In his last start, Katz threw his first shutout of the season with a season-high 10 batters to defeat San Francisco State (4-0). The Los Angeles, Calif., native has now struck out 18 batters in his last two starts for an average of 1.0 per inning.
Shull (6-2) was tagged with the loss after allowing two runs on four hits while striking out three in 4.0 innings of relief.
Flowers (2-for-4) and Acha (2-for-4) led the Hornet offense with two hits apiece. Acha, a native of Turlock, Calif., extended his current hitting streak to 11 games.
Sacramento State and Cal Poly will play in the series finale on Sunday, Mar. 21, at 10 a.m. In the second game of the afternoon, the Hornets will begin a two-game set with UC Riverside at 2 p.m. for a unique two-opponent doubleheader. The two schools will complete their short series on Monday, Mar. 22, at 1 p.m. All games will be played at Hornet Field.