SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Four Penn State pitchers permitted just two hits and first baseman Willie Burger struck the big blow with a 3-run homer in the third inning as the Nittany Lions earned a 6-1 win over Sacramento State on Saturday in the series finale.
Sacramento State (8-6) put up 11 runs on 14 hits in an 11-3 win on Friday but Penn State pitching held the Hornet bats in check on Saturday. Penn State (6-8) concluded a seven-game trip to Northern California with a 4-3 record, having also won 2-of-3 games at Pacific with a midweek loss at UC Davis.
On Saturday the Nittany Lions got on the board with a run in the first inning on a single, a wild pitch, a stolen base, and an RBI groundout. PSU capitalized on a Hornet error to open the third inning, and with two on and two out Burger hit a towering home run just over the wall in left center.
The Hornets posed their biggest offensive threat in the fourth inning. With two away, Andrew McWilliam singled and stole second before PJ Floyd drew a walk. McWilliam would score on a throwing error by Penn State third baseman Christian Helsel, and after freshman Dawsen Bacho drew a walk the Hornets had the bases loaded. Penn State went to reliever Dakota Forsythe and he was able to induce a pop out to end the inning.
The Lions got that run back in the fifth on two singles and a sun-aided Braxton Giavedoni RBI double to right. Sacramento State got runners to third in the fifth and sixth innings and to second in the seventh but could not push across another run. PSU added an insurance run in the ninth as Burger doubled with one away and scored on an infield single and Hornet throwing error.
Forsyth earned the win for Penn State as, after he got out of the bases loaded jam in the fourth, he went on to throw 2.1 innings allowing just one walk. Eric Mock went 1.2 before Taylor Lehman got the last four outs as the three Penn State relievers combined to throw 5.1 hitless innings.
In his second start back from injury, Hornet senior Max Karnos allowed just one hit and one earned run in 2.2 innings. Alex Dentoni kept the Hornet deficit at four as he struck out four in 2.2 innings of relief. Floyd had a single in the second inning before McWilliam picked up his single and scored in the fourth.
Junior Ian Dawkins had reached base in each of the first 13 games of the season but was held off the bags for the first time in his Hornet career on Saturday. Burger finished 3-for-5 with four RBIs and two runs scored while four of his teammates had two-hit games.
Sacramento State plays its first midweek game of the year on Tuesday, traveling to Reno to face Nevada at 2 p.m.