SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – After a tough weekend on the road in San Francisco, the Sacramento State baseball team turned things around Tuesday night on the road at Pacific. Taking advantage of two big innings, the Hornets defeated the Tigers 9-2.
The scoring started for Sacramento State in a five-run third inning in which they sent 11 men to the plate. The top half of the frame started on a base hit by catcher Dylan McPhillips and snowballed from there. Josh Urps followed with a base hit of his own and after Keith Torres was hit by a pitch, the Hornets had the bases loaded with nobody out.
Ian Dawkins, making his first start since Feb. 19, started the scoring with an RBI-base hit to left. A passed ball allowed Urps to score before James Outman drew a walk, loading the bases again for Sacramento State for the second time with still no one out.
Three singles later, the Hornets had added three more runs to take a 5-1 lead. It was the biggest inning of the season for Sacramento State, passing their previous high of four runs, something they had done twice.
The Hornets were far from finished however, and had another big inning in them saved for the top of the seventh. With the score 5-2, Sacramento State added four more runs in the seventh inning. Although they had just three hits – all singles – in the inning, they also drew three walks in the inning. The big hit came off the bat of Outman, who had a two-run base hit to cap the inning for Sacramento State.
In total, Sacramento State scored nine times on 12 hits while drawing even walks. Every starter had at least one hit in the win and all 12 of the team's hits were singles.
Three of those hits belonged to Vinny Esposito, who went 3-for-5 Tuesday with an RBI and a run scored. Steven Moretto collected two hits while everyone else had one. Outman went 1-for-4 with a walk, a run scored, and two RBIs while Matt Smith added two RBIs of his own.
McPhillips continued to stay hot at the plate, going 1-for-2 with a walk, a run, and an RBI just two days after a 3-for-4 performance against San Jose.
Making his first start of the season, Andrew McWilliam went 1-for-5 as the designated hitter. Last season, McWilliam hit .277 with four home runs and 11 doubles in 56 games.
On the mound for the Hornets, starter Parker Brahms threw just one inning, giving up two hits while striking out one. With four games scheduled for this weekend, Brahms appearance was expected to be a short one as he will need to pitch again against either Milwaukee or Gonzaga at home.
He was followed by freshman Scott Randall, who returned to form after a rough outing against San Jose. Randall threw three innings, giving up one run on three hits while striking out two. Tanner Dalton followed Randall with a scoreless fifth. The Tigers got to Hornets for a run in the sixth, but Austin Root pitched a scoreless final three innings to earn the save.
Sacramento State will look to make it two in a row as they return to John Smith Field on Saturday for a three-day, three-team series with Gonzaga and Milwaukee. The Hornets will host Milwaukee Saturday night at 7:00 pm before playing a double-header Sunday against Gonzaga (3:00 pm) and Milwaukee (7:00 pm). Monday features a matinee contest between the Hornets and Bulldogs at noon.