MESA, Ariz. – Sacramento State hit three home runs with James Outman ending the game with a solo homer in the seventh inning as the Hornets beat Seattle U, 11-1, via the WAC mercy rule on the first day of the WAC Tournament.
Sacramento State (29-27), the No. 3 seed for the conference tournament, advanced to face second-seeded CSU Bakersfield on Thursday at 3:00 p.m. The loss put Seattle U (19-34-1) into an elimination game vs. Utah Valley at 11 a.m. Thursday.
Kody Reynolds and Vinny Esposito also homered for the Hornets, who had six extra-base hits among their 12 hits in the game. Reynolds and Esposito both hit their 10th home run of the season, becoming the first Hornets to hit double-digit homers since Rhys Hoskins hit 12 in 2014.
Reynolds got the Hornets on the board with a 3-run homer in the first inning and had a sacrifice fly to drive in four runs in the game. Esposito and Outman both had two hits and Ian Dawkins had three. Dawkins recorded his 27th multi-hit game of the season, moving within one multi-hit game from the single season program record.
On the mound, Justin Dillon allowed just five hit and two walks with six strikeouts over seven innings. The only run he permitted scored on a wild pitch as the Redhawks had just five singles. Dillon got three double-play groundouts to erase any threat of Seattle U cutting into its deficit.
Dawkins had a leadoff single in the first and Outman drew a seven-pitch walk with two away ahead of Reynolds' deep home run to left. The Hornets scored three more runs in the third inning, as Outman bounced a ground-rule double into the left field corner to score Trent Goodrich with the fourth Hornet run. Reynolds followed with the sac fly and Andrew McWillaim doubled Outman home.
Dillon allowed just one baserunner through the first three innings but Seattle U drew a pair of walks in the fourth and scored a run on a wild pitch. Dillon got double-plays in the fourth, fifth, and seventh innings and the Hornets led 7-1 when PJ Floyd tripled and scored on a Raul Ortiz single in the sixth.
Dawkins had his third hit in the bottom of the seventh and scored on a Goodrich single. Esposito followed with a 2-run homer to make it 10-1 and Outman ended it with his homer to center. The Hornets won their WAC Tournament opener for the second straight season and had their first mercy rule win in the tournament since beating Nevada 15-5 in eight innings in 2012.
The Hornets have won five straight games and had wins in each of their last six games against WAC teams. Sacramento State is now just one win away from its sixth consecutive 30-win season.
Parker Brahms, named the WAC Freshman of the Year on Tuesday, will start against CSU Bakersfield on Thursday. Brahms beat the Roadrunners during the regular season allowing just seven hits and one run over seven innings.