PHOENIX, Ariz. – Sacramento State struggled in the field Sunday afternoon in their series finale against the Grand Canyon Lopes. The Hornets defense, one of the best in the conference this season, committed a season-high four errors as they fell to the Lopes by a score of 10-2.
Sacramento State (28-22, 14-7 WAC) entered this weekend's conference showdown against Grand Canyon (29-22, 16-5 WAC) with the WAC's best fielding percentage at .978. That defense was perfect in the field through the first two games of the series but ran into all sorts of trouble Sunday.
The first error came in the third inning and immediately came back to haunt the Hornets as it turned into two unearned runs. Instead of trailing 1-0, Sacramento State found themselves down three after three innings of play.
After that, the Hornets defense committed an error in each of the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings. In total, Sacramento State's four errors turned into four unearned runs for Grand Canyon.
At the plate, Sacramento State collected eight hits hits, including two each from Ian Dawkins and PJ Floyd. Floyd was responsible for one of the team's two RBIs on Sunday, while Steven Moretto recorded the other. Usually a patient team at the plate, the Hornets walked just twice on Sunday while striking out 13 times.
Dawkins paced the Hornets offense all weekend. After going 2-for-4 with a double on Sunday, he finished the three-game series going 10-for-13 (.769) with two home runs, a triple, and two doubles. He slugged 1.538 and scored five runs over the three games. He is now hitting .343 with a .404 on base percentage for the season, both tops on the club.
On the mound, starter Parker Brahms went five innings for the Hornets, scattering five hits while allowing four runs (two earned). He walked one and struck out five, bringing his total for the season to an even 100. He is 19 strikeouts back of the Sacramento State single-season record.
Behind Brahms, the bullpen combined to allow six runs (four earned) over just three innings. Though the bullpen did not walk a batter, the struck out just one and allowed seven hits.
The loss snaps Sacramento State's conference series win streak at eight. They had won all six of their conference series this season coming into this weekend plus their last two of the 2017 campaign. On the other side of the diamond, Grand Canyon continued their conference series win streak, extending it to 16 consecutive conference series wins.
The Hornets are now 28-22 overall and 14-7 in the Western Athletic Conference. With the loss, Sacramento State is now in third place in the conference heading into the last week of the season. They are one game back of second-place NM State (15-6 WAC) and one game ahead of the fourth-place Seattle U Redhawks (13-8 WAC).
There won't be much time for the Hornets to think about this past weekend, however, as they get right back at it tomorrow evening at home at John Smith Field. Sacramento State welcomes the Pac-12's Arizona Wildcats to the John for a Monday night matchup. First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 pm PT at home and the game will be available to stream and to listen to online at HornetSports.com.