MESA, Ariz. – A day after scoring 11 runs in its WAC Tournament opener, Sacramento State put ten runs on the board behind 15 hits with a pair of home runs in a 10-6 win over CSU Bakersfield on the second day of the conference tournament.
Sacramento State (30-27) moved to 2-0 in the tournament and will play Friday night at 7 p.m. against Northern Colorado, which upset No. 1 seed New Mexico State, 5-4, later Thursday. A win on Friday would put the Hornets in a championship game on Saturday.
The Hornets have put up 21 runs through two games in Mesa, hitting .386 as a team with five home runs and 13 total extra-base hits. Sacramento State did its damage on Thursday against WAC Pitcher of the Year Max Carter, teeing off on the Bakersfield ace with seven runs on 12 hits over 6.2 innings.
The No. 2 seed for the conference tournament, CSU Bakersfield (29-23) will play in an elimination game Friday morning vs. Seattle U, which eliminated Utah Valley with an 11-9 win in the first game of the day on Thursday.
Kody Reynolds homered and drove in four runs for the second consecutive game, again coming through with two outs in the first inning with a 2-run double. He and Andrew McWilliam had three-hit games on Thursday while three other Hornets tallied two hits. Sacramento State scored at least one run in seven of the first eight innings of the game.
After scoring a pair on the Reynolds double in the first inning the Hornets scored again in the second as Ricky Martinez drove in McWilliam with a single. The Roadrunners scored twice in the bottom half on a home run from Luis Martinez but stranded runners on the corners.
Reynolds drove in Vinny Esposito in the third inning and, after not scoring in the fourth, the Hornets made it 5-2 on a James Outman solo home run in the fifth. Ian Dawkins doubled in McWilliam to make it 6-2 in the sixth, but in the bottom half Andrew Penner had a bases-loaded triple to get the Roadrunners to within a 6-5 deficit.
Penner would be stranded at third as the potential tying run, and the Hornets came right back with a run in the seventh inning as Reynolds hit a long home run to left center that traveled well over 400 feet. Sacramento State added three runs on four hits and two CSUB errors in the eighth, including an RBI triple from Trent Goodrich and an RBI double from Outman.
The Roadrunners scored one run in the ninth but Chad Perry struck out Martinez to end the game. CSUB left two runners on base in the ninth and left 12 aboard in the game as Hornet pitchers held their hitters to 2-for-13 (.154) hitting with runners in scoring position.
The Hornets were 7-for-16 (.438) with runners in scoring position. Hornet freshman Parker Brahms, who was named WAC Freshman of the Year and joined Carter as the two starting pitchers on the all-WAC first team, was not his sharpest on Thursday but battled through 5.1 innings before Austin Root and Perry closed out the win.
Reynolds and McWilliam are both 4-for-7 (.571) over two WAC Tournament games and Outman is 4-for-8. Reynolds and Outman have homered in both games and Outman also has two doubles. Reynolds now leads the team with 11 home runs this season and is slugging 1.571 in Mesa with eight RBIs.
Thursday's win gave Sacramento State its sixth consecutive 30-win season. The Hornets have won six straight games and have won each of their last seven games against WAC teams.