LAS CRUCES, N.M. – New Mexico State used five home runs for a 13-6 victory over Sacramento State on Sunday in Las Cruces.
New Mexico State (25-18, 13-5 WAC) moved into sole possession of second place in the WAC with the win. Sacramento State (25-18, 12-6 WAC) hit a solid .290 for the series but the slugging Aggies built on their WAC-leading scoring average.
The Hornets outhit the Aggies 15-10 on Sunday and had scoring opportunities in each of the last eighth innings of the game, generating 16 at-bats with runners in scoring position in the game. Senior Chris Lewis hit his fourth home run of the season while Dan Deely, Trent Goodrich, and Gunner Pollman all had three-hit games.
Goodrich drove in two runs while Lewis and junior Brandon Hunley each scored twice. Eight of the nine Hornet starters had hits in the game, and for the series Pollman hit .500 (5-for-10) and Deely hit .455 (5-for-11).
Sacramento State took the early lead again on Sunday as Lewis launched a solo home run in the second inning. New Mexico State came back with a 2-run homer in the bottom of the third but the Hornets drew even when Goodrich drove in Deely with a single in the fourth.
The Hornets jumped to a 5-2 lead with three runs in the top of the fifth. Lewis led off with a single before sophomore Andrew McWilliam drove him in with an RBI triple. McWilliam would score on a sacrifice fly from Pollman, and Deely drove in the third run of the inning scoring Hunley from second with a single.
The Aggies answered immediately with three runs in the bottom of the third to tie it 5-5, and in the home half of the sixth inning NMSU opened things up with five runs on four hits, with three of the four hits home runs.
Sacramento State got a run back in the seventh inning as Hunley led off with a double and scored on a two-out RBI single from Goodrich. New Mexico State finished the scoring with three runs in the eighth inning on a 3-run homer from Daniel Johnson, his second home run of the game.
Johnson homered in each game of the series, and over the three games he hit 10-for-15 (.667) with four home runs, 13 RBIs, seven runs scored, and a stolen base. Sacramento State scored five times against NMSU starter Dalton Shalberg over 4.1 innings on Sunday but four Aggie relievers combined to allow just one run over the remainder of the game. Senior Grant Kukuk was handed just his second loss of the year for the Hornets.
The Hornets conclude a stretch of eight of nine games on the road with the first of two meetings with Causeway rival UC Davis. The foes will meet at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday in Davis.