CHICAGO – After scoring seven runs on Friday and eight on Saturday Sacramento State put up a nine-spot on Sunday to complete a dominant three-game sweep of Chicago State with a 9-2 win.
Sacramento State (25-23, 12-9 WAC) outscored Chicago State (11-35-1, 4-15-1 WAC) 24-5 in the series, wining each game comfortably while averaging eight runs scored per contest. The Hornets hit .343 as a team in the series, easily the team's best series batting average this season, with six starters hitting better than .360. The pitching was just as good with a 1.33 ERA and a .159 opposing batting average over the three games.
Senior Scotty Burcham posted his ninth straight multi-hit game going 3-for-4 with two RBIs in the contest and is hitting an absurd .488 with a .511 on-base percentage in the last nine games. Junior Chris Lewis also had three hits and two RBIs on Sunday while freshmen Bronson Grubbs and Vinny Esposito and sophomore Brandon Hunley each had two hits.
With a double on Sunday Hornet junior outfielder Nathan Lukes now has 227 career hits to rank third in program history and sit just two hits shy of the program record. Burcham now has 222 career hits as well, good for fifth all-time. Lukes is also now tied for second in program history with 128 career runs scored, just 10 behind the program record, and Burcham has 121.
On the mound on Sunday senior Ty Nichols got the start for the Hornets and had another superb outing allowing just two runs (one earned) on four hits, one walk, and six strikeouts over seven innings. Freshman Jeremiah Moore had two strikeouts in a scoreless eighth and junior Sutter McLoughlin had a strikeout in a perfect ninth inning.
Lewis gave the Hornets a 2-0 lead in the first inning with a 2-run double with the bases loaded. Two more Sacramento State runs scored in the second on a fielder's choice RBI from Lukes and an RBI single by Burcham.
Chicago State got its two runs in the third inning, scoring a run on a fielder's choice and a Hornet throwing error and making the score 4-2 on a Matt Schmidt sacrifice fly. The two-run deficit was short lived as in the next half inning the Hornets got those runs back on another RBI single from Burcham and a fielder's choice groundout from freshman Devin Lehman.
In the fifth the Hornets benefited from a Chicago State error and scores again on an RBI groundout from freshman Dan Deely. The last two Sacramento State runs scored in the seventh inning on two hits and two Cougar errors with a two-out single by Hunley plating two runs.
Sacramento State had hits in all but one inning on Sunday, totaling 14 hits with a pair of doubles. Chicago State was held to four hits and just one walk while committing three errors. Starter Tyler Abbott took the loss on Sunday allowing six runs on seven hits and three walks over four innings.
The Hornets were 8-for-12 in stolen base attempts in the series with Burcham stealing three and allowed just three Cougar steals. Sacramento State is now 7-0 all-time against Chicago State with series sweeps in each of the last two seasons.
After its 10-day road trip the Hornets return home for a midweek contest against rival UC Davis at 6:35 p.m. Tuesday at Raley Field.