SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Washington State catcher Cory Meyer capped a 3-run eighth inning with a 2-run homer down the left field line as Washington State battled back from a 3-1 deficit to defeat Sacramento State, 4-3, on a rainy Sunday at John Smith Field.
After winning both ends of a season-opening doubleheader against the Cougars on Saturday, Sacramento State (2-1) again rallied from an early deficit to take a late lead but Washington State (1-2) was able to move back ahead and finish its first win of the season.
For the second consecutive game the Hornets got an impressive performance by a freshman starting pitcher, as Parker Brahms went six innings on Sunday allowing just one run and four hits with three strikeouts and just one walk. All three Sacramento State starting pitchers over the weekend (Brahms, senior Justin Dillon, and freshman Austin Roberts) allowed just one earned run and between them totaled 13 strikeouts with just seven hits allowed over 17 innings.
As was the case in both games on Saturday, Washington State took an early 1-0 lead again on Sunday on a two-out RBI single from JJ Hancock in the third inning. The Hornets nearly tied it up in the bottom of the third but catcher Raul Ortiz was thrown out at the plate trying to score from second on a single to right field from Devin Lehman.
In the fifth inning Ortiz and freshman Ricky Martinez had two-out singles bringing Lehman to the plate again with men on board. The redshirt sophomore laced a ball into the left field gap, scoring both runners to put the Hornets ahead 2-1.
Sacramento State extended to a 3-1 lead in the seventh inning as sophomore James Outman drew a leadoff walk, moved to second on a wild pitch, reached third on a sacrifice bunt, and scored on a sacrifice fly from Martinez.
The Hornets got the first out in the top of the eighth before a Hancock double. He still stood at second with two away but Justin Harrer brought him in with an RBI single before the Meyer home run put the Cougars ahead.
Parker McFadden pitched a perfect eighth inning and Scotty Sunitsch set the Hornets down in order in the ninth to complete the WSU win.
Lehman had two of Sacramento State's six hits. Through three games he is 3-for-7 (.429) with two doubles, two RBIs, and two runs scored and has five walks, reaching base in eight of his 12 plate appearances hitting in the leadoff spot. Martinez was 1-for-1 with an RBI and a run in his first collegiate start.
Washington State reliever Isaac Mullins earned the win on Sunday despite facing just one batter. Starter Cody Anderson went just 4.2 innings, allowing five hits and two walks for two earned runs. In addition to the strong outing by Brahms, Hornet relievers Tanner Olson and Ryan Smith also threw scoreless innings and Austin Ragsdale retired the lone batter he faced.
The Hornets and Cougars are scheduled to wrap up their series Monday at 6 p.m., weather permitting.