WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. – In the first of three Sacramento State game this season at Raley Field, the Hornets got five shutout innings from starter Justin Dillon but Nevada put up four runs in the sixth inning and added a couple of insurance scores late for a 6-2 win on Tuesday night.
In his longest outing of the season, Dillon allowed just one hit and two walks with two strikeouts and needed only 59 pitches over five scoreless frames. Wolf Pack sophomore lefty Trenton Brooks also had a scoreless start, throwing three shutout innings, as neither team had a run or a hit that left the infield over the first five innings.
Nevada (16-4) put together a big sixth inning on two hits, two walks, and a Hornet error. With the bases loaded and one out the Wolf Pack got their first run on a wild pitch, then got a second on a groundball to first in which the runner came in from third on a Hornet throwing error. With two away catcher Jordan Devencenzi had the big blow with a two-run single to left.
Sacramento State (10-9) came out swinging in the bottom half of the sixth and quickly scored a run on a leadoff double from senior Kyle Moses followed by an RBI single off the bat of senior Scotty Burcham. With one away sophomore Brandon Hunley doubled home Burcham to cut the Nevada lead to two runs.
Unfortunately for the home team it was Nevada that closed the scoring. The Wolf Pack got one run on a safety squeeze bunt in the eighth inning and picked up another on a sacrifice fly in the ninth. The Hornets got two men aboard in the bottom of the ninth but Nevada closer Adam Whitt got the final out for his ninth save of the season.
Reliever Sam Held gave up the two Nevada runs but earned the win to improve to 3-0. Senior Jake Stassi took the loss as one of five Hornet relievers. In the ninth inning Sacramento State junior closer Sutter McLoughlin made his season debut returning from injury.
Burcham paced the offense with a 2-for-4 line with an RBI and a run scored. Each team totaled six hits in the game while three of the Hornet hits were doubles. Junior Nathan Lukes picked up a single in the eighth inning and has now reached base in all 19 Hornet games this season while Hunley extended his hitting streak to eight games.
Nevada leadoff hitter Cal Stevenson had half of the Wolf Pack hits as he went 3-for-5 with a run scored. Devencenzi had two hits and two RBIs as the pair provided most of the Nevada offense as the Wolf Pack avenged a loss to Sacramento State at Raley Field last season. The teams will meet again next Tuesday night in Reno.
The Hornets open Western Athletic Conference (WAC) play this weekend hosting Texas-Pan American for a three-game set. Game times at John Smith Field will be 3 p.m. Friday, 1 p.m. Saturday, and noon Sunday.