SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Starter Max Karnos and two relievers permitted just three singles and the Hornets used a four-run third inning to pick up a 6-3 win over Seattle U Thursday night at John Smith Field.
Seattle U (33-19, 19-6 WAC) entered the game leading the WAC hitting .299 and with a 3.43 ERA but were held to just 3-for-26 offensively and the Hornets scored six times against Redhawk pitching. The loss dropped Seattle U into a tie with New Mexico State atop the WAC standings with two games remaining in regular season.
Sacramento State (29-24, 16-9 WAC) remained tied with Utah Valley for third place in the conference standings with the win. New Mexico State, Utah Valley, CSU Bakersfield, and Grand Canyon were the other WAC winners on Thursday.
Two of Seattle U's three hits were infield singles and the other was a bloop single to center. The Hornets turned two double plays defensively and were able to strand eight Redhawks on base.
Karnos, who had allowed just 20 walks in 78.1 innings pitched this season, permitted six walks in six innings on Thursday but allowed just the three hits and struck out three to pick up his team-leading seventh victory of the season. Junior Chad Perry did not allow a hit in the seventh inning and senior Tyler Beardsley pitched the last two frames for his 10th save of the season.
Offensively the Hornets got two-hit games from Trent Goodrich, Chris Lewis, and Andrew McWilliam. Goodrich scored twice out of the leadoff spot, Lewis had 2 RBIs and 2 runs scored hitting third, and McWilliam had two doubles and an RBI hitting cleanup. Junior Gunner Pollman also had a single in the win.
All of the Hornet offense came in two innings. After Seattle U took a 1-0 lead with a fielder's choice groundout in the second inning, the Hornets tallied four hits and had a hit batter to score four times in the third. Goodrich had an RBI single, sophomore PJ Floyd hit a sacrifice fly, and Lewis and McWilliam had RBI hits as Sacramento State sent eight men to the plate in the inning.
The Redhawks loaded the bases on two walks and an infield single in the fourth but Karnos was able to limit the damage to just one run in the inning. Seattle U made it a one run game in the seventh as Curtis Perrin reached on an error to open the inning and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly from Sheldon Stober.
The Hornets scored two insurance runs in the ninth. Goodrich opened the inning with a single and, after a sacrifice, scored on a Lewis RBI single. McWiliam then doubled to left center to move Lewis to third and junior Kody Reynolds brought him in with a groundout. Beardsley issued a pair of walks but got a double play and a groundout in the ninth.
Sacramento State pitchers held the top five hitters in the Seattle U lineup to an 0-for-14 line with seven runners stranded on base. The Hornets handed Seattle U starter Ted Hammond just his third loss of the season as the senior was charged with four runs on four hits and a walk over six innings.
With a win on Friday Sacramento State would hand Seattle U just its second WAC series loss of the season. A pair of lefties will meet as Sam Long faces Nick Meservey at 7 p.m. in what will be Sacramento State's third and final night game of the season at John Smith Field.