BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – Sacramento State redshirt freshman Justin Dillon carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning and allowed no runs on just one hit over eight innings pitched to lead Sacramento State to a 7-3 win in the rubber game of a three-game series at Bakersfield.
The only hit allowed by Dillon was an infield single to shortstop leading off the bottom of the eighth inning by Bakersfield second baseman David Metzgar. In his longest outing as a Hornet, Dillon had three strikeouts and three walks while throwing a career-high 93 pitches to earn his second collegiate win.
The Sacramento State (27-17, 14-4 WAC) offense gave Dillon an early lead, scoring three runs on three hits and one error against Bakersfield (17-25, 9-9 WAC) starter Austin Davis in the first inning. Davis settled down and kept the deficit at three until the fifth inning, when Rhys Hoskins reached on a one-out single and later scored on an error committed by Roadrunner shortstop Oscar Sanay.
Dillon walked the leadoff man in the bottom of the first before retiring the next seven batters. He worked around walks in the third and seventh innings as well, not allowing a runner to advance beyond second base through seven. In the eighth, Metzgar broke up the no hitter on his infield single, stole second, and advanced to third with one out before Dillon got a strikeout and groundout to end the inning.
In the top of the ninth inning the Hornets loaded the bases with one out and senior David Del Grande singled home Nathan Lukes with the fifth Hornet run. The bases remained loaded with two outs when Hornet shortstop Scotty Burcham singled through the left side of the infield to bring home Hoskins and junior Kyle Moses and build the Sacramento State lead to 7-0.
Those insurance runs proved to be important in the bottom of the ninth when, with Dillon being relieved by freshman Austin Ragsdale, the Roadrunners opened with a single and had a batter reach on an error in front of a 3-run homer to left off the bat of first baseman Soloman Williams. After another single Hornet sophomore closer Sutter McLoughlin was summoned from the bullpen and worked around a second Hornet error of the inning to finish off the win.
When McLoughlin came in the score was just short of it being a save situation, so despite earning the final three outs McLoughlin remained one save shy of the all-time program record. Davis dropped to 2-8 with the loss after allowing four runs (two earned) on seven hits and four walks over seven innings, striking out five.
Hoskins finished 3-for-4 with three runs scored and an RBI while Lukes and Burcham each had two hits, with Burcham adding three RBIs. Hoskins, Lukes, and Burcham each had a double in the contest and the home run from Williams was the only long ball hit in the series by either team. The Hornet pitchers had a 1.91 ERA in the weekend series, allowing just six earned runs with 19 strikeouts and only four walks.
With just three more weeks of competition left in the regular season, the Hornets play a pair of midweek games before hosting Chicago State next weekend. The team will host former assistant coach Jake McKinley and Menlo College at 1 p.m. Tuesday and play at Nevada at 6 p.m. Wednesday.