CHICAGO – Trailing 1-0 after five innings Sacramento State scored twice in the sixth, three times in the seventh, twice more in the eighth, and added another run in the ninth inning to run away with an 8-1 win over Chicago State on Saturday.
In clinching a series win Sacramento State (24-23, 11-9 WAC) has outscored Chicago State (11-34-1, 4-14-1 WAC) 15-3 over the first two games of the weekend series. The Hornets are now 6-0 all-time vs. the Cougars.
Chicago State took a 1-0 lead in the second inning on two singles and a walk followed by a sacrifice fly from Mattingly Romanin scoring Robert Swensen. The Hornets had runners on base in each of the first four innings but could not score.
That changed in the sixth inning as senior Scotty Burcham doubled and freshmen Devin Lehman and Vinny Esposito drew walks to load the bases with one out. Junior Chris Lewis hit a sacrifice fly to bring in Burcham with the tying run and Lehman gave Sacramento State the lead stealing home on a double steal with Esposito taking second.
Freshman Dan Deely was hit by a pitch to lead off the seventh before sophomore Brandon Hunley launched a two-run homer to left. Later in the inning Lehman drove in freshman Bronson Grubbs on a sacrifice fly to give the visitors a 5-1 lead.
Sacramento State added on in the eighth, loading the bases with nobody out and scoring on a Grubbs RBI groundout and an RBI single from Nathan Lukes. For good measure the Hornets plated an eighth run in the ninth inning on a two-out single by Lewis followed by an RBI double from sophomore Dane Fujinaka.
All nine starting position players for the Hornets had hits in the game, with Burcham going 2-for-5 for his eighth straight multi-hit game. With one hit Lukes now has 226 career hits to tie former Hornet player and current assistant coach David Flores for third in program history in career hits. He is just three hits shy of the program record of 229 hits held by Aurelio Jackson, and Burcham is just 10 hits back of that record.
Sophomore Sam Long allowed just one run for the win, going six innings and allowing five hits with three strikeouts. Junior Tyler Beardsley pitched the final three innings and did not allow a hit while picking up his first career save.
Chicago State starter Jake Perkins threw five scoreless innings before running into trouble and ended up allowing five runs on five hits and three walks over six innings, facing three batters in the seventh and not recording an out before being lifted.
The Hornets had a 10-5 advantage in hits with three extra-base hits, and the visitors stole four bases. Seven Sacramento State players scored in the game and six had RBIs. The Cougars had five singles from five different players.
Sacramento State looks to sweep Chicago State for the second consecutive year in the series finale at 10 a.m. Pacific Time Sunday.