SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Minnesota scored multiple runs in four innings and evened the weekend series with Sacramento State with a 9-2 win Friday at John Smith Field.
After a come-from-behind 3-2 win on Thursday, Sacramento State (10-7) lost for just the fourth time in 12 home games this year as Minnesota (10-8) leveled the series and forced a rubber game on Saturday.
Minnesota got strong pitching and timely hitting on Friday, allowing eight hits but just one earned run. Offensively, Toby Hanson finished a home run shy of hitting for the cycle and had three RBIs while Alex Boxwell homered and also had three hits to lead the Golden Gophers. Jordan Smith reached base in all five plate appearances with two hits and three walks.
Senior Brandon Hunley was 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles and junior PJ Floyd drove in a run in the ninth inning to pace the Hornets. The top five hitters in Sacramento State's starting lineup each had a hit, while relievers Austin Ragsdale and Jonny Palsha each had scoreless pitching appearances.
The Hornets loaded the bases with one out in the second inning but Minnesota starter Brett Schulze pitched out of it. The Golden Gophers got a walk before a home run from Boxwell to open the third and picked up another run in the inning, but in the bottom half juniors Ian Dawkins and Andrew McWilliam singled and Floyd, who reached on a fielder's choice, would score on an error by Schulze.
Minnesota loaded the bases with none out in the fifth and scored twice on a Jordan Kozicky RBI single. The visitors picked up two more runs in the sixth and a pair in the eighth to pull away. The Hornets got a run back in the ninth as freshman Ricky Martinez singled and scored on Floyd's RBI single.
Schulz allowed just five hits and a walk with an unearned run over six innings and earned the win before Reggie Meyer threw the last three innings and permitted three hits. The series wraps up at 2 p.m. Saturday.