SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Sacramento State scored in five of the first six innings of the game, scoring multiple runs in three frames, en route to an 11-3 win over Penn State before a large home crowd on Friday night at John Smith Field.
Sacramento State (8-5) evened the series after the Nittany Lions took a 4-2 win in the first game on Thursday. Penn State (5-8) is the 11th Power 5 schools the Hornets have defeated in the last four seasons and the third this year, along with Washington and Washington State.
Senior Brandon Hunley and redshirt sophomore Devin Lehman both went 3-for-4 with a double and three RBIs to lead the Hornet attack. Four other Sacramento State players had two-hit games and junior PJ Floyd scored three runs. The scoring total marked the third time this year that the Hornets have scored double-digit runs.
Sacramento State also had strong performances on the mound. Freshman starter Parker Brahms retired the first 14 batters he faced before a two-out single in the fifth. Brahms finished the night with eight strikeouts while allowing just two runs on five hits and two walks over 7.0 innings to earn his second collegiate win.
The Hornets jumped to a big early lead scoring five runs in the first two innings. Sacramento State scored twice with two away in the first inning on an Andrew McWilliam RBI single. The home team loaded the bases with one out in the second inning before Lehman brought all three runners in on a booming double to left center.
In the third, Floyd had a one-out single, stole second, and scored on an RBI single from freshman Dawsen Bacho. Lehman had a single in the fourth but did not score, and in the fifth inning Hunley doubled home Floyd to put the Hornets ahead 7-0.
Penn State got a run on a walk and a pair of bloop singles in the sixth but, with one away and the bases loaded, Brahms got a 3-6-1 double-play to get out of the inning. The Hornets then batted around in the bottom of the sixth, scoring four times on three hits, a walk, a hit batter, and a Penn State fielding error, with Hunley putting the Hornets ahead 11-1 with a two-run single.
The Nittany Lions got single runs in the seventh and eighth innings but never seriously threatened to mount a comeback from their large deficit.
Starter Justin Hagenman took the loss for Penn State, lasting just 4.2 innings and allowing seven runs (six earned) on 11 hits and two walks. After Brahms departed junior Jonny Palsha allowed just a solo homer in the eighth and junior Austin Root set down the Lions in order in the ninth on just eight pitches.
While Penn State committed three errors the Hornets had none for their fifth straight errorless game. Junior Ian Dawkins was 2-for-5 with two runs for the Hornets to extend his season-long reached base streak to 13 games and bump his team-leading batting average up to .358.
The rubber match of the three-game series is slated for 1 p.m. Saturday.