SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Sacramento State tallied a season-high 16 hits and earned a 10-0 mercy rule win over Chicago State in eight innings in the second of a three game WAC series at John Smith Field.
Sophomore Andrew McWilliam delivered a walk-off win when he hit his second home run of the game leading off the bottom of the eighth inning. McWilliam was one of seven Hornet position players that had multi-hit days and the team matched its season high with three home runs.
Sacramento State (21-13, 9-2 WAC) earned its first mercy rule win of the year and picked up its third shutout of the season. The squad is now 8-0 in home WAC games so far this season and 9-0 all-time against Chicago State (7-27, 1-10 WAC), which suffered its fifth shutout of the season.
McWilliam also hit a solo home run in the fourth inning and finished 2-for-5. Senior Chris Lewis was 3-for-5 with an RBI and three runs scored and junior Brandon Hunley was 3-for-4 with a 2-run home run. Senior Trent Goodrich, freshman Matt Smith, junior Kody Reynolds, and sophomore Bronson Grubbs all had two-hit lines, with Goodrich driving in three runs.
Not to be overlooked was the pitching of junior starter Max Karnos, who threw his second shutout of the season allowing just three hits over eight innings. He struck out three batters and, despite four walks, faced only two batters over the minimum as the Hornets turned four double plays behind him and catcher Gunner Pollman threw out an attempted base stealer.
The Hornets held just a 1-0 lead into the fourth inning before the bats caught fire. McWilliam made it a 2-0 score with his homer in the fourth inning, and in the fifth Sacramento State scored twice as Grubbs led off the inning with a single and scored on a wild pitch and Smith singled in Lewis.
Two more Hornet runs scored in the sixth on RBI singles from Lewis and Goodrich. Hunley hit a 2-run homer with Reynolds on base with one out in the seventh inning to make the score 8-0. Chicago State then issued four consecutive walks to force in a ninth run and the team came close to ending the game on a fly ball off the bat of Smith but Grubbs was thrown out at the plate.
That didn't extend the game much longer, however, as Karnos set down the Cougars on seven pitches in the top of the eighth and McWilliam hit the walk-off home run on the fourth pitch he saw leading off the bottom half.
Chicago State started Justin Wyant took the loss allowing six runs on 13 hits and one walk in 5.2 innings before two CSU relievers gave up the last four scores. The Cougars had only three singles in the game and had just one at-bat with a runner in scoring position (the Hornets had 13). Sacramento State had 21 at-bats in the game with men on base and hit 9-for-21 (.429) in those chances.
The Hornets also hit .500 (5-for-10) in the game with two outs. They had a season-high 27 total bases and McWilliam had the team's first multi-homer game of the year and just the 73rd in the program's Div. I era.
Sacramento State looks for its third home WAC series sweep of the season in the series finale vs. Chicago State at noon on Sunday.