OREM, Utah – Sacramento State scored in five innings, highlighted by an eight-run sixth inning, and all 10 Hornets that had at-bats in the game got hits in a 13-2 mercy rule win over Utah Valley in seven innings to close the three game series.
Sophomore Justin Dillon allowed just one earned run over five innings for the win as Sacramento State (19-15, 7-5 WAC) ended its eight-game road trip with a conference win. After scoring 23 runs in the first two games of the series, Utah Valley (12-21, 8-4 WAC) was held in check on Sunday by Dillon and senior Ty Nichols.
Junior Chris Lewis had the big blow in the sixth inning with a 3-run homer, his second home run of the series, and finished the game just a double shy of hitting for the cycle. Senior Scotty Burcham also went 3-for-5 on Sunday with three RBIs while freshman Dan Deely hit his first career home run and drove in two runs and freshman Vinny Esposito homered as well.
Sacramento State hit five home runs and scored 22 runs over the last two games of the series. Lewis and sophomore Gunner Pollman each hit .500 in the series, with Lewis driving in seven runs and slugging 1.071. Burcham hit .417 with six RBIs as the Hornets hit .320 as a team with 13 extra base hits and a .580 slugging percentage.
The Hornets scored first in all three games of the series, on Sunday taking a quick 1-0 lead on a Burcham RBI single in the first inning. Deely homered in the second to make the score 2-0, and after the Wolverines got a run in the bottom of the second Sacramento State scored twice in the third on a Burcham sacrifice fly and a solo homer from Esposito.
With the Hornets leading 5-2 in the bottom of the fifth inning Utah Valley loaded the bases with nobody out before Dillon got a pop up and a double play groundout to strand the three runners. The eight Hornet runs in the sixth inning came on six hits, three hit batters, and a Wolverine error as 12 men hit in the inning and Lewis, Deely, freshmen PJ Floyd and Devin Lehman, and sophomore Brandon Hunley drove in runs.
Nichols allowed just one hit pitching the sixth and seventh innings to put the WAC 10-run mercy rule into effect after the seventh inning concluded. Utah Valley starter Kaden Schmitt lasted just three innings allowing four runs on six hits and a walk to fall to 0-2 on the season. Wolverine relievers Kyle Valgardson and Eric Olguin combined to allow nine runs on seven hits in 2.2 innings.
The 13 runs scored on Sunday were a season high for Sacramento State, which also had its second 3-homer game of the year. After two weeks on the road the Hornets play four home games next week, hosting Pacific at 3 p.m. Tuesday at John Smith Field before a WAC series hosting CSU Bakersfield next weekend.