SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Sacramento State pounded out 11 hits and chipped away after Seattle U took an early 6-0 lead but fell short in the regular season finale, 6-3, on Saturday at John Smith Field.
Sacramento State (29-26, 16-11 WAC) will be the No. 4 seed for the WAC Tournament and will open play at 3 p.m. Wednesday against fifth-seeded Northern Colorado. The Hornets swept the Bears in a three game series in Sacramento in April.
With the win and a loss by New Mexico State on Saturday, Seattle U (35-19, 21-6) won the regular season WAC title and will be the top seed for the conference tournament. For the second consecutive year the tournament will be played at Hohokam Stadium, the spring training home of the Oakland Athletics, in Mesa, Ariz.
Senior Chris Lewis was 2-for-5 with an RBI single in his final home game. The three other Hornet seniors also saw action in their final home game as Grant Kukuk was the starting pitcher, Josh Egan started at catcher, and Tyler Beardsley threw two scoreless inning of relief out of the bullpen.
Juniors Trent Goodrich and Kody Reynolds and sophomore Bronson Grubbs also had two hits apiece for the Hornets. Freshman James Outman hit his first career home run with a solo shot in the fourth inning and Sophomore Andrew McWilliam had an RBI single to extend his on-base streak to 16 consecutive games.
The Redhawks jumped to an early lead with four runs on three hits, two walks, and a Hornet fielding error while sending all nine men to the plate in the first inning. Seattle U upped its lead to 6-0 with a pair of runs in the second inning as Dalton Hurd singled ahead of a 2-run home run off the bat of Sheldon Stober.
Sacramento State had runners on base in each of the first three innings and got on the board in the fourth as Outman blasted the first pitch of the inning deep over the wall in right center. In the fifth, Grubbs and Goodrich both singled to start the inning and Lewis drove in Grubbs with a one-out single.
The Hornets made the score 6-3 in the seventh inning when McWilliam drove in Goodrich with a single. The home team loaded the bases with one out in the ninth inning on a single, walk, and Seattle U fielding error, but closer Zach Wolf got the last two outs.
Four Hornet relief pitchers were sensational on Saturday as Jonny Palsha tossed one scoreless frame and Tanner Olson, Chad Perry, and Beardsley each threw two scoreless innings as the four relievers permitted just six hits and one walk over the last seven innings of the game.
Starter Janson Junk earned the win for the Redhawks allowing two earned runs on seven hits and one walk over five innings. The top four hitters in the SU lineup each had two hits as did the No. 7 hitter, Jack Reisinger.
Sacramento State and Northern Colorado will open the WAC Tournament before No. 3 Utah Valley plays No. 6 CSU Bakersfield on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The lowest winning seed from Wednesday will play No. 1 Seattle U on Thursday while the higher seeded winner will play No. 2 New Mexico State.