SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Cal State Northridge scored four runs in a big eighth inning and handed the Sacramento State baseball team just its second loss in the last eight games, 5-3, on Saturday afternoon at John Smith Field.
The Hornets (8-6) scored three runs on eight hits with a season-high three errors. Sacramento State had committed just six errors in its first 13 games entering Saturday's contest. The Matadors (6-9) scored five runs on 10 hits with no errors.
Sacramento State reliever RHP Sutter McLoughlin (1-1) suffered his first loss of the season after allowing four runs (two earned) on five hits in the eighth. Despite issuing two walks and hitting a batter before being pulled with no outs in the eighth, Cal State Northridge reliever Harley Holt (2-2) earned the win after tossing a scoreless seventh inning.
Both teams scored a single run in the third inning and was knotted up, 1-1, until the Hornets broke through with runs in the sixth and seventh.
Shortstop Scotty Burcham scored on a wild pitch in the third while designated hitter Chris Lewis doubled in second baseman Andrew Ayers in the sixth. Lewis drove in another run on a ground ball out in the seventh inning.
Up 3-1 entering the eighth, the Matadors posted four straight singles to drive in one run before an error allowed two more score. A sacrifice fly by designated hitter Josh Goossen-Brown plated the fourth run of the inning.
Goossen-Brown moved from designated hitter to reliever to record his second save of the season. He tossed a one-hit ninth inning to put the game away.
Sacramento State starting pitcher Brennan Leitao allowed just one run on five hits in six solid innings but took a no-decision. He posted four strikeouts and one walk. Hornet pitchers issued two walks in the game, doubling their total over the last four games. Sacramento State entered Saturday's game with one walk allowed over the previous 37.2 innings. The Hornets have now walked only three batters in the last 46.2 innings.
First baseman Rhys Hoskins went 1-for-2 with a career-high three walks. Ayers and Burcham each had two hits to lead the Hornets.
Cal State Northridge was paced by first baseman Tommy Simis, who went 3-for-4 with a run scored while four Matadors had one RBI each.
The Hornets and Matadors will meet at noon on Sunday for the rubber match of the three-game series.