Junior Marshall Plouffe recorded his first career shutout to lead the Sacramento State baseball team to a 4-0 win over Minnesota Tuesday afternoon at Hornet Field. The contest marked the first shutout for both teams in the 2003 campaign. The Hornets raised their record to 12-11 on the year while the Golden Gophers fell to 9-7.
Plouffe (4-1) won his third-consecutive start after scattering seven hits while striking out six and walking only two in the second complete game of his career. The Castaic, Calif., native recorded the Hornets first shutout since Chris Kinsey accomplished the feat last season against UC Davis on April 9 at Raley Field. Plouffe, who is holding opponents to a .221 batting average, also lowered his ERA from 2.36 to 1.87.
Sacramento State got on the board first in the second inning when sophomore Bret LeVier drove in a run with an RBI grounder to second base. The Hornets would go up 2-0 in the third when junior Chris Kinsey drove in sophomore Everet Rincon from second with a double down the left-field line.
Minnesota threatened in the third after a walk to Andy Hunter, a single by Sam Steidl and an infield single to third by Ben Pattee loaded the bases with no one out. Plouffe would then get Luke Appert to foul out to third, Scott Welch to pop out to short and Jake Elder to strike out swinging to end the inning.
The Hornets made it 4-0 in the eighth after an RBI single by junior Jesse Schmidt and a balk by Nate Broehm which allowed junior Mikela Olsen to score from third base.
Craig Molldren (0-2) was charged with the loss despite allowing only two runs (one earned) on three hits while walking four and striking out five in six innings of work.
Kinsey (2-for-4) and Hinkle (2-for-2) led the Hornet offense with multiple hits on the afternoon. Kinsey is now 6-for-8 with seven RBI in his last two games. Olsen ended his team-high 11-game hitting streak after finishing 0-for-3.
The Hornets and Golden Gophers will play the series finale on Wednesday, March 19, at 2 p.m. The Hornets will then travel to UC Riverside to face the Highlanders for a two-game set beginning on Saturday, March 22, at 6 p.m. in the Riverside Sports Complex.