SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Sacramento State baseball team took both ends of a doubleheader Saturday against Chicago State, 10-running the Cougars in each of the two games. They scored a combined 23 runs on 23 hits, including six home runs, in the two games.
Game one got off to a quick start as the Hornets opened the home half of the first inning with back-to-back base hits from Ian Dawkins and James Outman. Sacramento State's third hitter of the afternoon, Vinny Esposito, turned on a pitch, depositing it behind the wall in left-center for a three-run home run.
The homer was the first of the season for Esposito, who hit 10 last season, and it gave Sacramento State a 3-0 lead. They would only continue to add on from there.
PJ Floyd joined the party in the fourth inning, hitting a leadoff solo home run out to right field to make it a 4-0 game. The home run was Floyd's fourth of the season and his third in the last four games.
Later in the inning, Raul Ortiz came around to score on a Dawkins's second of three hits to make it a 5-0 game.
The Hornets really broke the game open in the fifth inning, scoring four times in the frame. The big hit came from Dawkins, who, with the bases loaded, smashed a long base hit off the wall in left center. Two runners scored, but Dawkins overran Ortiz at first base, resulting in the second out of the inning.
The Hornets added their 10th run in the sixth inning on Steven Moretto's fifth home run of the season, a long solo blast to center.
Because Sacramento State, the home team, led by 10 runs after six and a half innings of play, the game was considered final, per the Western Athletic Conference rules.
As good as the offense was, Parker Brahms was equally impressive on the mound, allowing just one hit over seven shutout innings. He walked four and struck out seven as he picked up his third win of the season.
Game two started a little bit differently, as Chicago State pushed across the game's first run, scoring on a sacrifice fly in the top of the first inning. That lead was almost immediately erased in the home half of the inning, however, as Outman absolutely crushed a solo home run to right to make it a 1-1 game. From there, it was all Sacramento State.
The Hornets blew the game open in the second, scoring six runs on just two hits, taking advantage of three walks and two costly Cougars errors. The big hit in the inning came off the bat of Matt Smith, whose bases-loaded double bounced high off the wall in center field, driving in three.
Sacramento State added three more in the third inning, getting back-to-back doubles form Floyd and Moretto to open the inning before Keith Torres hit his first home run of the season, a two-run shot out to left field.
They had another three-run inning in fourth, including another home run off the bat of Esposito, his second of the day. Torres added an RBI-double and Michael Birch drove in the team's 13th run of the game and 23rd run of the day with a sacrifice fly for his second RBI of the year.
Just like in game one, game two featured another excellent pitching performance, this time by senior Austin Root. After allowing the first-inning run, Root retired the next nine he faced and allowed just three more hits over his seven innings. He did not walk any and struck out six as he picked up his fifth win of the season.
With the wins, Sacramento State has now won six straight games, their longest streak since winning eight consecutive games to close out the 2017 season. The Hornets are 15-14 overall after today's to wins, climbing over .500 for the first time since starting the season 2-1.
In conference play, the Hornets will enter Sunday's contest with a 4-1 WAC record, good for second in the conference.
Tomorrow's game three against Chicago State is scheduled for a 10:30 am PDT start. The Hornets will go for the sweep behind their freshman starter, Scott Randall (2-3, 5.58). They'll go up against the Cougars' Zach Thomas (1-4, 3.58). The game can be heard live online both via HornetSports.com/radio (audio only) and via WACSports.com/watch (video and audio).