SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sacramento State baseball's Scott Randall came into Friday night's game having allowed just four runs over his last five starts. The Hornets got more of the same from their freshman right-hander as Randall tossed six solid innings en route to Sacramento State's 5-1 win over Seattle U.
The Hornets (25-19, 12-4 WAC) sent Randall to the mound for his first home Friday start of the season against conference opponent Seattle U (29-14, 10-6 WAC) and the freshman did not disappoint.
Randall tossed six innings of one-run ball, not allowing his one run until his sixth and final inning of work. He allowed just five hits - two of them in the third and two of them in his one-run sixth - and walked none while striking out three.
"I was really trying to get ahead of hitters early and just jump ahead on the first pitch," said Randall after the game. "I felt like if I could get an early strike across that they wouldn't be able to do much against me."
Randall, who doesn't strike out a lot of batters, kept the Redhawks off balance all night, coaxing weak ground balls and lazy fly outs all night.
"My fastball-changeup combo was working well tonight," Randall added. "I was also able to mix in my curveball, which hasn't worked always but tonight it had some good bite on it."
The outing lowered his ERA to 3.62 on the season while his record improved to 5-3.
"Randall was outstanding tonight, taking on Seattle, a team that is hitting over .300, but he set the tone early," added head coach Reggie Christiansen after the game. "He can throw three pitches for strikes and he's very poised for a freshman. We're not afraid to run him out there on a Friday."
Over his last six outings, Randall has allowed just five earned runs in 28.0 innings of work, good for a 1.61 ERA. He has walked just three while striking out 16 over that time.
After Randall, Austin Roberts, who has also been spectacular over the last month, threw three perfect innings while striking out five to record his first save of the season.
"Roberts has been as hot as anyone right now," said Christiansen.
The sophomore reliever has allowed just one run over his last eight outings (15.2 innings) while piling up 21 strikeouts. He now owns a 2.12 ERA for the season, second best on the team.
At the plate, the Hornets received contributions up and down the lineup, totaling five runs on nine hits and six walks.
Ian Dawkins gave the Hornets their first run, hitting a solo home run to left to lead off the third inning. Dawkins, who is hitting .314 this season, went 2-for-4 from the leadoff spot Friday night.
Later that inning, James Outman extended the lead with a home run of his own, a two-run, opposite field jack that made it a 3-0 ballgame. The home run was the only hit of the night for Outman, but he drew three walks, reaching base in all four of his at bats.
"We had a good approached during BP today," said Outman after the game. "We were really trying to stay oppo, work the other half of the field today, and I think that helped everyone see the ball a little longer today."
Sacramento State added their fourth run of the game in the fifth inning thanks to a clutch two-out, RBI-single by Josh Urps. Urps, who finished his night 1-for-4 with an RBI, extended his career-best hitting streak to eight games.
"It was big for us to add on and score those fourth and fifth runs," said Christiansen. "Just a great win, a great win on a Friday night."
With the win, Sacramento State improves to 25-19 overall and are now just five wins shy of winning 30 games for the seventh straight season. They also improve to 12-4 in WAC play, keeping pace with both Grand Canyon (13-3) and New Mexico State (13-6), who both won on Friday night, as well.
Game two of this three game set is scheduled for tomorrow, Saturday, May 6 with a 6:00 pm first pitch. Austin Root (7-3, 2.67), who leads the team in wins and innings pitched, will be on the mound for the Hornets while the Readhawks go with another big lefty in Jake Prizina (6-0, 3.98).
Tomorrow night is also Alumni Night as the Hornets celebrate the best of the baseball program at Sacramento State. Pregame ceremonies start at 5:30 pm and include the 30-year anniversary of the 1988 World Series team, the retiring of long-time head coach Cal Boyes' #37 uniform, a Rhys Hoskins poster giveaway, and much more. Get all of the details online at HornetSports.com.