SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Sacramento State picked up a pair of wins over North Dakota on Saturday, with both victories coming from late-inning heroics. The Hornets took game one of the doubleheader in 11 innings, 3-2, on a walk-off single from Trent Goodrich and won game two, 3-2, on an RBI double in the bottom of the eighth from Vinny Esposito.
Sacramento State (14-8, 3-0 WAC) won its fifth straight game and swept its first conference series of the season for the third consecutive year. The Hornets' five straight wins have all come by a single run. The squad is 8-0 in one-run games and 3-0 in extra inning games this season behind a strong bullpen and timely hitting.
North Dakota (3-13, 0-3 WAC) actually outhit the Hornets 22-21 in the series but all 22 of the Fighting Hawk hits were singles. UND stranded nine men on base in the first game on Saturday and 12 in the second as the Hornets consistently got big outs when they needed them.
The Hornets are now 6-2 on their record long 13-game homestand with five more contests to come next week. The team hosts New Mexico at 3 p.m. Monday and 2 p.m. Tuesday at John Smith Field.
Trent Goodrich delivered Sacramento State's second walk-off win of the week with an RBI single in the bottom of the 11th inning. Sophomore Dan Deely drew a walk to open the inning and was sacrificed to second before a hard hit single through the left side from junior Blake Edmonson. Goodrich then lined a 2-1 pitch over the head of the North Dakota shortstop to bring in Deely with the winning run.
The Hornets had to battle back from a 2-0 deficit as North Dakota plated single runs in the first and fourth innings. In the bottom of the sixth sophomore Bronson Grubbs led off with a single and Edmonson promptly brought him home with a double to right center. The Hornets loaded the bases with one out in the inning but UND got out of the inning without further damage.
Sacramento State loaded the bases again in the bottom of the eighth with a single and two walks with nobody out. Freshman James Outman hit a deep fly ball to right with one away that was caught on the warning track, but Goodrich was able to tag and come in with the tying run.
In the 10th inning the Hornets once again loaded the bases with one out but could not bring in the winning run. Senior Tyler Beardsley set the side down in order in the top of the 11th to set up the win.
Edmonson, Goodrich, and sophomore Andrew McWilliam, the top three hitters in the Hornet lineup, each had two hits in the contest. Beardsley pitched the final 2.2 innings and allowed just one hit to improve to 4-0 this season after junior starter Max Karnos allowed just two runs on eight hits over seven innings.
North Dakota starter Brett DeGagne' permitted just one run on six hits with nine strikeouts in seven innings but did not factor in the decision. UND's 2, 3, and 4 hitters all had two hits in the game but the team hit just 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position.
In another well pitched game on both sides Sacramento State rallied from deficits of 1-0 and 3-2 before again breaking a late tie for the win.
North Dakota took another early lead with a run in the first inning before the Hornets tied the game on two-out singles from senior Josh Egan and Deely, with a wild pitch moving Egan to second before Deely's RBI knock.
Junior Brandon Hunley scored on a wild pitch in the third inning but the Fighting Hawks scored the same way in the fifth. In the sixth inning North Dakota got a leadoff walk and single and an RBI groundout from Ellery Bresnahan regained a 3-2 lead. The Hornets started the same way in the bottom of the inning and scored on a McWilliam RBI groundout.
North Dakota left two men on base in the top of the eighth, and in the bottom half freshman Matt Smith had a two-out single and Esposito followed with an RBI double down the left field line.
The Hawks had a hit batter, a fielding error, sacrifice, and intentional walk to load the bases with one out in the ninth inning. Hornet junior Chad Perry got pinch hitter Brett Harrison to foul out to first base on the first pitch he saw then struck out Hayden May to end the game.
Perry pitched the last two innings for the Hornets to pick up his second win of the year. Senior Grant Kukuk started and allowed just two earned runs on six hits in six innings while North Dakota starter McKay McNair allowed four runs (three earned) on seven hits over 7.2 innings.
Smith went 2-for-4 in the game and, after also tallying a single in the first game on Saturday, extended his career-opening hitting streak to 16 games with his batting average at .421. North Dakota outhit the Hornets 8-7 in game two but were 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position and stranded 12 men on base.
Jimboy's Tacos Strikeout Meter
Game One: 7
Game Two: 4