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BASEBALL COMPLETES SWEEP OF NORTHERN COLORADO WITH 6-3 WIN

BASEBALL COMPLETES SWEEP OF NORTHERN COLORADO WITH 6-3 WIN

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Sophomore Andrew McWilliam tied the program record with four stolen bases and had 2 RBIs and 2 runs scored as Sacramento State completed a weekend sweep of Northern Colorado with a 6-3 win on Sunday.

Sacramento State (17-10, 6-0 WAC) began conference play with consecutive sweeps for the third straight season. The Hornets outscored the Bears 19-9 in the series and had a 6-1 lead on Sunday before Northern Colorado (5-19, 0-3 WAC) hit a two-run home run with two out in the ninth inning. Sacramento State is 10-0 against Northern Colorado since the Bears joined the WAC in 2014.

McWilliam reached base three times out of the leadoff spot on Sunday and his four stolen bases all came in the first four innings of the game. He became the sixth player in program history to steal four bags in a game but is the first to do so since 1992. He finished one steal shy of the WAC single game record.

Sacramento State took an early 6-0 through the first four innings. For the third time in as many games in the Northern Colorado series the Hornets scored in the first inning, with Matt Smith driving in McWilliam with a two-out single.

The Hornets scored twice more with two away in the second inning as sophomores Dan Deely and Bronson Grubbs had consecutive singles and McWilliam brought them both home with a single to right.

The home team tacked on three runs in the fourth inning. Junior Brandon Hunley and Deely had singles and Hunley scored from third on a safety squeeze bunt from Grubbs. After McWilliam walked senior Trent Goodrich drove in both Deely and McWilliam with a double to left center.

Northern Colorado actually outhit the Hornets 14-10 in the game and had at least one hit in every inning. The Bears scored once on a leadoff double and RBI single in the fifth inning but stranded 10 runners on base and didn't score again until the ninth.

Right fielder Cole Maltese hit a two-out, two-run shot over the wall in left before a popout ended the game. Before the Maltese home run the Bears had hit 4-for-17 in the game with runners on base and were 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position. Furthermore, two of the team's three hits with RISP were infield singles that did not drive in runs, as Hornet pitchers consistently worked out of jams.

The Hornets stranded five men on base but were a solid 3-for-8 with runners in coming position. Deely and junior catcher Gunner Pollman had two-hit days as eight of the Hornets' nine starting position players had a hit in the game.

Senior Grant Kukuk improved to 3-1 this season with the win, allowing 10 hits over six innings but just one run with four strikeouts and no walks. For Northern Colorado Nick Tanner, who started in right field in the first two games of the series, hit leadoff again on Sunday as the starting pitcher, allowing six runs (five earned) on seven hits and a walk in 3.2 innings. Tanner and two relievers did not record a strikeout as the Hornet hitters had their first game of the season without striking out.

The win concluded a program record long 13-game homestand for Sacramento State. The squad went 9-4 during the homestand with WAC series sweeps of North Dakota and Northern Colorado and single wins over Cal Poly, San Francisco, and William Jessup.

The Hornets will now play 13 of their next 17 games on the road. Sacramento State travels to central California next week for a game at Fresno State at 6 p.m. Wednesday before a WAC series at CSU Bakersfield next weekend.

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