CHICAGO, Ill. – Sophomore James Outman hit his eighth home run of the season as Sacramento State tried to rally from an early 4-0 deficit but lost to Chicago State, 6-2, to open a three-game WAC series.
Chicago State (11-31, 7-9 WAC) has now won at least one game in each of its six WAC series this year. The win was the first in program history for the Cougars over the Hornets, who had been 10-0 all-time against the Windy City school.
Senior Trent Goodrich was 3-for-4 with a pair of ground rule doubles for Sacramento State (22-24, 7-12 WAC). The Hornets had nine hits and three walks in the game but saw nine runners get left on base with at least one runner stranded in each of the last eight innings of the game by Cougar pitching.
Starter Brad Moore pitched 6.2 innings for Chicago State, allowing eight hits and two walks but just two runs. Reliever Joe Baier got the Cougars out of a jam in the seventh and allowed just one hits and one walk in completing a seven-out save.
Chicago State scored a run in the first inning and three in the third. With men on first and second and two away in the third inning Matt Paciello had an infield single to load the bases and Cody Freund followed with a two-run double. Sanford Hunt then had an infield single to make it a 4-0 Cougar lead.
The Hornets got back in the game in the sixth inning when Vinny Esposito drew an eight-pitch walk and Outman hit an 0-1 pitch over the wall in right field to cut the score to 4-2. The Hornets had three singles in the seventh inning but had a man caught stealing. Esposito did get a chance to hit with the potential tying runs on base and two away but Baier came in and got the Hornet first baseman to ground out after an eight-pitch battle.
The Cougars would add two insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth, again scoring both with two outs. Goodrich hit his second double of the game in the ninth but that was all Baier would permit as he earned his first save.
Senior Justin Dillon went the full eight innings for the Hornets, striking out five without issuing a walk. Outman had two hits while three CSU players had multi-hit lines with Matt Sullivan going 3-for-4 with a triple and a run scored.
Freshman Parker Brahms, who is 4-0 with a 1.07 ERA in his last five starts, looks to help the Hornets even the series as he will get the ball in game two at 1 p.m. Pacific time Saturday.