SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Sacramento State senior pitcher Brennan Leitao went the full nine innings and allowed just one run on five hits with seven strikeouts but Bakersfield starter Hayden Carter threw a shutout with spectacular defense backing him up in a 1-0 win for the Roadrunners on Friday at John Smith Field.
With his seven strikeouts Leitao became just the fourth pitcher in program history to surpass 200 career strikeouts and is the first to do so in 20 years, as the double century mark was last reached by Mike Eby in 1995. He didn't walk a man on Friday and needed just 103 pitches, 83 of which were strikes, to go nine outstanding innings.
CSU Bakersfield (21-14-1, 9-3-1 WAC) got the only run it needed in the second inning as Ryan Grotjohn and Soloman Williams reached on consecutive singles to left with one away in the inning. Center fielder Chance Gusbeth followed with a single to center and the relay throw to the plate was just a fraction late as Grotjohn slid in safely before the tag.
Sacramento State (19-17, 7-6 WAC) had its chances and hit a lot of balls squarely but most were tracked down by Bakersfield's strong defense, which entered the game leading the WAC and ranked 16th in the nation in fielding percentage. Gusbeth robbed at least three base hits himself and Grotjohn, the left fielder, made two running catches at the wall.
The Hornets got freshman Devin Lehman to third with two away in the sixth inning but he was stranded. The next inning sophomore Brandon Hunley hit a deep drive to left that Grotjohn tracked down up against the wall.
Leading off the bottom of the ninth, CSUB first baseman Max Carter robbed junior Nathan Lukes of a base hit on a diving grab and flip to pitcher Hayden Carter on the cover. Senior Scotty Burcham kept the Hornets alive with a two out single but Carter snagged a comebacker off the bat of freshman Vinny Esposito to close the win.
Carter allowed five singles with two walks (one intentional) and one strikeout, making 113 pitches for the shutout. He threw 47 balls among his 113 pitches but managed to issue just one unintentional walk. Carter stranded six Hornets on base while the Roadrunners left five aboard offensively.
Burcham went 2-for-3 with a walk for the Hornets and Grotjohn went 2-for-4 as the only players in the game with multi-hit lines. All 10 hits in the game were singles and there were just 13 total base runners in the contest. Leitao did not allow a hit after the third inning until Grotjohn had his second single with two out in the ninth.
In game two of the series at 1 p.m. Saturday at John Smith Field Hornet sophomore Sam Long will take on Bakersfield senior James Barragan.