SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sacramento State scored a run in the third inning without a hit and starter Brennan Leitao provided the rest of the work in a 1-0 win over Louisiana Tech on Saturday at John Smith Field.
The shutout was the eighth of the season for Sacramento State and the third in which Leitao has pitched. The sophomore improved to 6-2 on the season and the Hornets moved to 25-18 overall and 9-8 in Western Athletic Conference play. Leitao danced around trouble early in the game but settled down as the game developed. He allowed five hits with two walks and five strikeouts.
"(Brennan) was outstanding and he gave us an opportunity," Sacramento State head coach Reggie Christiansen said. "He was just really good like he's been all year."
Freshman Sutter McLoughlin recorded the final six outs, with three strikeouts, to record his 11th save. That save set the Sacramento State Div. I era record and tied the Sacramento native with Mike Frame for the overall school mark.
"We talked about (having McLoughlin throw two innings) before the game," Christiansen said. "Our goal was to get seven innings out of Brennan and then give Sutter the ball. He's as good as there is out there."
The Hornet victory spoiled a solid outing from La Tech starter Phil Maton (5-5). Maton allowed only two hits and struck out six while walking one.
The only run of the game came in the third where Dane Fujinaka reached when his one-out popup was dropped by the shortstop Taylor Love. After David Del Grande was hit by a pitch, Nathan Lukes chopped a ball to short where Love touched the second base bag for the second out but his throw got past the first baseman allowing Fujinaka to score.
The Bulldogs had their chances early on, leaving a runner on in the first, second and third. In the fourth, La Tech loaded the bases before Leitao struck out Taylor Burch. They finished the game with eight runners left on base, including five in scoring position.
The rubber game of the series will come on Sunday at noon. Tanner Mendonca will get the ball for the Hornets and face Trevor Peterson.