STOCKTON, Calif. – Freshman Devin Lehman went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, including a game-winning RBI single in the eighth inning, to lift the Hornets to a 3-2 win at Pacific on Tuesday night in Stockton.
Junior Sutter McLoughlin picked up his fourth save of the year and now holds the WAC record on his own with 30 career saves, breaking a tie with former Louisiana Tech closer Caleb Dudley. After missing the first month of the season McLoughlin is now 4-for-4 in save opportunities and has thrown just 33 pitches to record the four saves, needing just seven pitches (all strikes) on Tuesday.
Sacramento State (17-10) won the first of two meetings this year with Pacific (5-21), which had won three of its last six contests. The squads will meet again in two weeks at John Smith Field.
Pacific took an early 1-0 lead on a two-out RBI single by Brett Sullivan in the first inning before Lehman jump started the Hornet offense in the second. Sophomore Ryan Locke was hit by a pitch to open the inning and junior Dane Fujinaka followed with a single before Lehman singled to left center to bring in Locke and tie the score. Freshman Bronson Grubbs followed with an RBI single of his own to put the Hornets up 2-1.
Sullivan came through again in the third inning with another two-out RBI single to level the score. The Tigers threatened again with two men on base in the fourth but could not score as six Hornet pitchers in the game stranded nine total Pacific baserunners.
Junior Nathan Lukes opened the top of the eighth inning with a bunt single to third and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Pacific reliever Mike Hager struck out the next two Hornets before Lehman came through, lining the first pitch he saw to left center to bring in the go-ahead run.
Lehman's fifth career multi-hit game was one of just two multi-hit lines in the game, the other belonging to Sullivan. Pacific had an 8-7 edge in hits and 14 of the 15 hits in the game were singles. With his single in the eighth Lukes extended his season-long reached base streak to 27 games.
Starter Jake Stassi and the five Hornet relievers that followed combined for seven strikeouts with no walks allowed. Stassi had three of the strikeouts over three innings and the five relievers allowed just four hits and no runs over the last six innings. Sophomore Chad Perry picked up the win after a scoreless seventh.
Hager took the loss to drop to 1-3. He was the last of three Tiger pitchers in the game after starter Cory Popham lasted 2.2 innings allowing two runs on four hits and two walks.
After the first of eighth straight games on the road Sacramento State heads to the Pacific Northwest for its first WAC road series of the year Thursday-Saturday at Seattle U.