SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Sacramento State junior right handed pitcher Max Karnos faced just one batter over the minimum, allowing just three singles in a complete game shutout, and his offense provided more than enough support in an 8-0 win for the Hornets over Utah Valley on Friday to open a three-games series.
Karnos permitted only four base runners on three singles and a walk, and after each of the three singles he allowed he got double play groundouts from the next batter. He struck out four and threw only 94 pitches for his second shutout of the season.
"I got a lot of first pitch strikes and they were pretty aggressive so I was able to let my defense work for me," Karnos said. "My sinker produces a lot of groundballs and I wanted contact and it worked well today."
Sacramento State (26-19, 13-6 WAC) improved to 10-0 in home WAC games this season. The Hornets scored eight runs in support of Karnos with two runs in the fourth inning, two in the sixth inning, and four more in the seventh and ended a four-game winning streak for Utah Valley (26-19, 11-8 WAC).
Freshman Matt Smith was 3-for-4 with two doubles, two RBIs, and two runs scored to lead the Hornets. Senior Chris Lewis, hitting behind Smith in the cleanup spot, was 1-for-3 with a double and four RBIs for his second four-RBI game of the season. Senior Trent Goodrich went 1-for-2 with a walk and three runs scored as seven of the nine Hornet starters had hits.
Utah Valley starter Patrick Wolfe did not a allow a single base runner through the first three innings but the Hornets got to him in the fourth as Goodrich had a one-out single and scored on an RBI double from Smith. A wild pitch moved Smith to third and Lewis hit a deep fly ball to center to bring him in.
In the sixth inning a walk from Goodrich and a Smith double put runners on second and third and Lewis drove in both with a single down the left field line. The Hornets chased Wolfe and tacked on four more runs in the seventh inning on four hits, including back-to-back doubles from sophomore Vinny Esposito and junior Gunner Pollman to open the inning.
Utah Valley got a leadoff single in the second, a one out single in the sixth, and a leadoff single in the ninth inning before Karnos immediately got the next hitter to ground into a double play. The only base runner the Wolverines stranded was a two-out walk in the third.
The Hornets left just three runners on base, hitting 6-for-13 with men on base and 4-for-7 with runners in scoring position. Wolfe was charged with six earned runs on seven hits and two walks in six innings before the Hornets scored a pair of runs off reliever Jason Jourdan.
Hornet junior Sam Long will face Utah Valley senior Danny Beddes in game two of the series at 2 p.m. Saturday at John Smith Field.