FRESNO, Calif. – Sophomore Andrew McWilliam had another big game going 4-for-5 with a home run and 3 RBIs but Fresno State hit three home runs and hung on late to complete a 7-5 win on Wednesday night.
Playing its first road game since March 13, Sacramento State (17-11) pushed across five runs against a Bulldog team that entered the game with a 2.90 team ERA. Fresno State (21-9) has been nearly unbeatable at home this season, improving to 16-2 on its home field this year with the win.
McWilliam recorded his fourth consecutive game with an RBI and runs scored while hitting his second home run of the season. Over the last four games McWilliam is 9-for-15 (.600) with 7 RBIs and 5 runs scored with a homer and two doubles. He also tied the program record with four stolen bases against Northern Colorado on Sunday.
Senior Chris Lewis hit 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI as Sacramento State outhit Fresno State 11-9 in the game with five extra-base hits. The Hornets threatened in nearly every inning but hit just 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position. The squad only permitted five Bulldog at-bats with runners in scoring position but the home team scored a pair of unearned runs in addition to slugging three solo home runs.
McWilliam got the scoring started driving in senior Trent Goodrich with a two-out RBI single in the first inning before the Bulldogs scored twice in the second. Fresno State opened the sixth inning with consecutive singles and on an ensuing fly out the baserunners tried to advance and both ended up scoring on a throwing error by Goodrich.
The Hornets got those two runs right back in the top of the sixth. McWilliam led off the inning with a solo homer before the Hornets loaded the bases with one away. Sophomore Bronson Grubbs drew a walk to force in a run but Bulldog reliever Ricky Ramirez struck out the next two batters to keep the Fresno State lead at 4-3.
Solo home runs from Austin Guibor and Kevin Viers gave the Bulldogs a 6-3 lead in the bottom of the sixth. The Hornets got a run in the top of the eighth on a Lewis RBI double but in the bottom half Guibor homered again.
Sacramento State got a quick run in the ninth on a leadoff single from freshman Matt Smith and a McWilliam RBI double but Bulldog closer Dylan Lee retired the next three batters to close it out.
In his second start as a Hornet junior Tanner Olson was solid again, allowing just two earned runs on five hits in five innings pitched but took the loss. Fresno State starter Kenny Varnell allowed three runs on six hits and two walks over 5.1 inning to pick up his first career win.
Sacramento State will make the short trip down 99 for a weekend WAC series at CSU Bakersfield. The teams will play at 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday with a noon finale on Sunday.
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