SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Pacific center fielder Tyler Sullivan went 5-for-5 with three RBIs and three runs scored out of the leadoff spot to propel the Tigers to a 9-6 victory over Sacramento State on Tuesday at John Smith Field.
Pacific (8-27) earned some retribution after the Hornets had a 3-2 win over the squad in Stockton two weeks ago. The loss was just the fifth for Sacramento State (19-16) in 19 games this season on John Smith Field.
Sullivan had two doubles and a triple in his perfect line. Pacific's eighth-place hitter, third baseman JJ Wagner, also had a flawless day going 4-for-4 with two runs as the Tigers totaled 15 hits in the contest.
Sacramento State had nine hits with three extra-base knocks including a solo home run and an RBI double from junior Nathan Lukes. Senior Scotty Burcham went 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored and freshman Devin Lehman went 2-for-5 with two runs driven in.
Each team scored twice in the first inning and the Tigers added two more in the top of the second on Sullivan's two-run double. The Hornets got one run back in the bottom of the second on a Lehman RBI single and the score held at 4-3 into the fifth inning.
The teams again traded runs in the fifth with Lukes launching his fourth home run of the season in the bottom half. Pacific tacked on another run in the seventh inning and opened up a five-run lead after scoring three times in the eighth.
Sacramento State got a run in the bottom of the eighth when Burcham scored on an RBI triple off the bat of freshman Vinny Esposito and the home team manufactured a run without a hit in the ninth but could get no more.
Cory Popham got his first win of the season for Pacific, pitching five innings and allowing four runs on six hits and two walks before two relievers closed out the victory. Jake Stassi was the first of six Hornet pitchers in the game and took the loss after two innings pitched.
Senior Ty Nichols threw two scoreless innings for the Hornets and relievers Grant Kukuk, Chad Perry, and Sutter McLoughlin also did not allow any earned runs. Lukes remains the only WAC player that has reached base in every game this season (now 35 games) while senior Kyle Moses had a single on Tuesday and has reached base in 23 straight contests.
The Hornets resume WAC play this weekend hosting an important three-game series against Bakersfield, which is currently in third place in the league. The series opener is at 3 p.m. Friday at John Smith Field followed by first pitches at 1 p.m. Saturday and noon Sunday.