SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Freshman Sam Long threw his second 7-inning shutout of the season and the Hornets struck for eight runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to earn a 10-0 win over Utah Valley in seven innings, with the game called after the top of the 7th inning due to the WAC mercy rule.
The victory was the fourth time this season that Sacramento State (24-14, 12-2 WAC) won a conference game via the mercy rule. It was the second straight shutout for the Hornets against Utah Valley (14-22, 7-7 WAC), which is the first time in the 12-year NCAA Div. I history of the program that it was shut out in consecutive games.
Long also threw a seven-inning shutout in an 11-0 Hornet mercy rule win at New Mexico State on March 29. On Friday he allowed just four hits, all singles, with five strikeouts and no walks, facing just three batters over the minimum. Long improved to 5-0 while the team is now 9-0 in games he has started this season.
Sacramento State scored a pair of early runs, with sophomore Dane Fujinaka bringing in junior Scotty Burcham on a sacrifice bunt in the second inning and junior Rhys Hoskins driving in sophomore Nathan Lukes with a sacrifice fly in the third inning.
Senior Clay Cederquist then brought home Burcham with a sacrifice fly in the sixth to make the score 3-0 with two outs in the inning. The next seven Hornet hitters would reach base with four straight singles before a walk, a 2-run double from senior David Del Grande, and a two-run home run off the bat of senior Will Soto to bring the advantage to 10-0. Long allowed a leadoff single but nothing more in the top of the seventh to end the contest.
The Hornet pitchers have allowed just nine singles (no extra-base hits) with 15 strikeouts and four walks in 16 scoreless innings over the first two games of the weekend series. Sacramento State had a season-high six stolen bases in the game, including five steals in the 8-run sixth inning.
Eight of the nine Hornet starters had a hit, eight scored runs, and seven had RBIs. Del Grande and Burcham each had two hits while junior Kyle Moses had three hits with a run and an RBI. Lukes had a single in the sixth inning to extend his WAC-best hitting streak to 18 straight games while Soto has now hit in 15 straight.
Designated hitter Mark Krueger was the only Wolverine to have multiple hits in the game. Utah Valley starter Ryan Evans was strong through his first five innings of work but ended up being tagged with six earned runs over 5.2 innings while two UVU relievers combined to allow four runs while getting just one out.
Sacramento State goes for its fourth WAC series sweep of the season on Saturday with first pitch at 2 p.m. at John Smith Field.