SACRAMENTO, Calif. – It was a windy Sunday afternoon at John Smith Field, but that didn't effect the Sacramento State baseball team (2-1) as they cruised to a 6-0 shutout win over the Washington Huskies (1-2).
The Hornets put together what head coach Reggie Christiansen called the "best baseball we've played" going back to the fall and including preseason intersquads.
"That was the best we've played," he started. "We pitched well, we played good defense, we had good at bats."
The pitching was strong from the start as freshman right-hander Scott Randall made his Hornets debut against a tough Pac-12 team. Neither the wind nor the opponent fazed Randall as he put together five shutout innings, allowing just three hits and three walks while striking out two. He threw 71 pitches in the outing, 45 of them for strikes.
"I was really spotting up on my fastball," said Randall after the game. "That was my key pitch today, but my change up was also working really well today. I was able to keep it down in the zone, got them to swing over it and hit ground balls."
Christiansen also thought highly of the freshman's debut.
"He's a strike thrower. He can throw three pitches for strikes and we knew that's who he was going to be.
"He's poised for a freshman. First outing of his career, against a Pac-12 school. I thought he was outstanding."
Behind Randall, the bullpen had their best effort of the season as Ty Fox, Austin Ragsdale, and Alex Dentoni combined for four shutout innings. As a trio, they allowed just one hit while striking out four. They faced just one over the minimum as Fox threw a perfect sixth and Dentoni a perfect two innings in the eighth and ninth.
Things were working offensively for the Hornets, as well. Both Steven Moretti and PJ Floyd homered for the Hornets in the win. Moretti's - a second-inning solo shot to left - gave Sacramento State their first run of the afternoon. He added to that lead two innings later with a sacrifice fly to score Vinny Esposito from third.
Leading 2-0 into the seventh, Sacramento State broke things open, sending nine men to the plate in what turned into a four-run inning. The home half of the frame started with Floyd smashing the first pitch of the at bat out to right field for his first home run of the season.
As a team, Sacramento State was 6-for-26, but drew five walks and struck out just six times. They had clutch hits and took advantage of two sacrifice flies in the win.
Moretti finished the afternoon going 1-for-3 with a home run and two RBI while James Outman was 1-for-2 with two walks and an RBI. In total, six different players scored while five different players collected an RBI.
"It was good to see us bounce back offensively," said Christiansen. "We struggled the first two nights, especially in terms of the strikeouts. But we cut that number in half today and that really made a big difference."
The series comes to a close tomorrow as the two teams square off in a Monday matinee with a 1:00 pm first pitch. Freshman lefty Brady Rodriguez (0-0, 0.00) will get the nod for the Hornets while Washington counters with another freshman, Stevie Emanuels (1-0, 0.00).