SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Junior Max Karnos allowed just one run over seven innings and senior Chris Lewis was 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles out of the leadoff spot as Sacramento State defeated Northern Colorado, 5-1, on Saturday at John Smith Field.
Sacramento State (16-10, 5-0 WAC) remained undefeated in the WAC and clinched a second series win to begin conference play. Northern Colorado (5-18, 0-2 WAC) remained winless in league games.
Karnos allowed just six singles and walked only one batter with five strikeouts in his fourth straight start allowing two runs or fewer. Junior Chad Perry struck out the side in the eighth inning and senior Tyler Beardsley struck out two in a perfect ninth in a dominant Hornet pitching performance.
In similar fashion to Friday's win, the Hornets tacked on late runs to extend an early lead. Sacramento State scored twice in the first inning on RBI singles from freshman Matt Smith and sophomore Andrew McWilliam but did not score again until the seventh inning.
Northern Colorado's lone offensive uprising came in the fourth inning. The Bears scored a two-out run after a pair of singles and had runners on second and third when Beardsley struck out Rob Cashel to end the inning.
The Bears got two men aboard on a single and a Hornet fielding error with one away in the sixth and looked to have a game-tying RBI single as Cashel hit a ground ball up the middle. Hornet senior shortstop Trent Goodrich dove to glove the ball and flipped it to second baseman Brandon Hunley to start an inning-ending double play.
The Hornets made it 3-1 in the seventh inning as Bronson Grubbs hit a leadoff triple and Lewis brought him in with a single. In the bottom of the eighth the home team got a pair of insurance runs on a leadoff double from McWilliam and consecutive Northern Colorado throwing errors on Hornet sacrifice bunt attempts.
McWilliam was 2-for-4 in the game. Smith was 1-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored and now has a hit in 19 of the first 20 games he has played to begin his collegiate career. Northern Colorado's six hits came from six different players while starter Alex Werbach allowed three earned runs on eight hits and one walk over six innings to take the loss.
With a win on Sunday Sacramento State would sweep its first two WAC series of the season for the third consecutive year. First pitch for the series finale at John Smith Field will be at noon.
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