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March 29, 2014

LONG, HOSKINS LEAD BASEBALL TO 11-0 MERCY RULE WIN AT NEW MEXICO STATE

LAS CRUCES, N.M. – Sacramento State junior first baseman Rhys Hoskins homered twice and drove in a career-high six runs while freshman starter Sam Long allowed just four hits while throwing a seven-inning shutout as the Hornets scored an 11-0 Mercy Rule win over New Mexico State on Saturday night.

Sacramento State (15-11, 5-0 WAC) won its seventh straight game to equal the 2009 team for the longest winning streak the program has had since a 16-game winning streak in 1992. The Hornets won via the Mercy Rule for the second consecutive Saturday after a 16-1 rout of Northern Colorado last Saturday at John Smith Field.

Hoskins belted a two-run homer in the third inning and a three-run shot in the fourth. He added an RBI double in the seventh inning and through two games at New Mexico State he is 6-for-8 with 9 RBIs off two home runs and three doubles with a 1.875 slugging percentage. Senior David Del Grande, hitting third in the lineup just ahead of Hoskins, also had three hits on Saturday, including a pair of doubles, and drove home four runs.

Six Hornets had multi-hit games on Saturday while Long dominated the Aggie lineup. He allowed just four singles in the contest without issuing a walk and striking out four. The freshman lowered his season ERA to 1.75 and improved to 4-0 on the season. He has not allowed a run in 12.0 innings pitched in WAC play and Sacramento State is 6-0 in his six starts this year.

Del Grande started the offensive onslaught with an RBI double in the first before Hoskins launched his first homer of the game and junior Scotty Burcham added an RBI single following a Will Soto triple in the third to put the Hornets up 4-0.

Sacramento State sent nine men to the plate in the fourth inning with a Del Grande RBI single and Hoskins' 3-run shot putting the visitors up 8-0. The duo drove in three more runs in the seventh, with each tallying RBI doubles, and Long finished off the shutout with a scoreless home half of the seventh to invoke the mercy rule.

New Mexico State (10-16, 2-3 WAC) starter Billy Conrad lasted just three innings, giving up five runs on eight hits, and the Hornets added six runs against the Aggie bullpen. Sacramento State equaled its season high with 16 hits while also drawing five walks. During its seven game winning streak Sacramento State is hitting .345 and averaging 8.3 runs per game while its pitchers have a 1.22 ERA allowing just 1.3 runs per game.

The Hornets go for the sweep at 10:05 a.m. Pacific time Sunday at Presley Askew Field. The game was moved up an hour from its original noon Mountain time start.

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