CHICAGO – With temperatures in the low 40's and winds up to 25 miles per hour at Cougar Stadium in Chicago, Sacramento State (25-13, 11-3 WAC) beat the Chicago State Cougars (10-25, 5-9 WAC) in both ends of a Friday doubleheader.
Hornets slug three homers in eight-inning, 13-3 win
Despite the cold conditions, the Hornets came out swinging in game one of Friday's twin bill. Sacramento State scored 13 runs on 13 hits as they won their first 10-run game of the season, beating the Cougars in eight innings.
Eight of Sacramento State's hits in the opener went for extra bases, including three home runs.
Dylan McPhillips had the first long ball of the day, a solo shot in the top of the third inning. It was his second of the season and second in as many games, as the sophomore also homered in Wednesday's midweek game at Illinois State.
Ryan Walstad was next to leave the yard, hitting a three-run shot in top half of the seventh inning. The home run was also his second of the year.
Steven Moretto hit his fourth home run of the season, a two-run shot in the top of the eighth inning. Moretto's blast made it a 13-3 game, putting the Hornets ahead by 10 and bringing the WAC's 10-run rule into effect after Chicago State went down quietly in the bottom of the inning.
Although he didn't join in on the home run party, Martin Vincelli-Simard drove in a team-high four runs in the win. Vincelli-Simard was 2-for-5 in game one, including a bases-clearing, three-run double in the fifth inning.
Sacramento State blows this game wide open with a six-run fifth inning, highlighted by a bases-loaded double by Vincelli-Simard! Roberts back to the mound for the Hornets. #StingersUp— Sac State Baseball (@SacStBaseball) April 19, 2019
⬇5️⃣ | SAC 8, CSU 0
All nine Hornets starters had at least one hit while four had two. Eight of nine scored at least one run while six of nine had at least one RBI.
Making just his fifth start of the season, Austin Roberts threw six innings of three-run ball for the Hornets. He scattered six hits and walked two while striking out 10.
He earned the win with the performance, improving to 4-2 overall this season. Despite throwing just 40.2 innings this season, Roberts ranks second on the team with 56 total strikeouts.
Late home run gives Hornets 7-5 win in back-and-forth affair
While game one became lopsided early, game two was exactly the opposite as Sacramento State and Chicago State went back and forth for nine innings.
The Cougars took the early lead, going ahead 1-0 in the first before doubling the lead with another run in the third.
Sacramento State countered with three runs in the fifth to take the lead, but immediately lost it again when Chicago State scored two of their own in the fifth.
A Matt Smith two-run double made it a 5-4 Hornets' lead in the sixth, but a solo home run by Chicago State in the seventh tied things yet again.
With two outs in the ninth and the game still tied at five, Steven Moretto provided the difference in the game with a two-out, two-run blast to right field, putting Sacramento State ahead for good, 7-5.
WAY TO GO, MO! ��⚾— Sac State Baseball (@SacStBaseball) April 19, 2019
Steven Moretto blasts a two-out, two run home run in the top of the ninth to put the Hornets on top! The opposite-field home run gives Sacramento State a two-run lead.
⬆9️⃣ | SAC 7, CSU 5 | #StingersUp pic.twitter.com/FRCHbAu3mg
The homer was Moretto's second of the day, giving him RBIs 23 and 24 and a team-leading five home runs this season.
Before Moretto's blast, it had been Smith and Keith Torres who were responsible for most of the damage. Smith was 2-for-4 with a double and three RBIs while Torres went 1-for-5 with a double and two RBIs.
Similar to game one, eight of nine starters had at least one hit in the game. Dawsen Bacho, the only Hornet without a hit in game two, drew two walks and scored a run.
Scott Randall was on the hill for the Hornets to start game two, throwing five innings and giving up four runs - two earned - on six hits and a walk with five strikeouts. Randall, the team's win-leader, settled for a no decision on Saturday.
With the double-header sweep, Sacramento State guaranteed their fifth consecutive series victory, all against conference opponents, and their eighth series win of the season.
They also improved to 10-2 in doubleheaders this season. Sacramento State has swept four doubleheaders and split the other two, including one at No. 3 UCLA.
Most importantly, with two wins on Saturday, Sacramento State moves to 11-3 in conference play. At the moment, the Hornets are alone atop the conference standings.
The Hornets will go for the series sweep tomorrow morning as they face Chicago State in a Saturday series finale at 10 am PT/12 pm CT. The game will broadcast live at HornetSports.com/Radio with live stats at HornetStats.com.
More details on all tomorrow's game can be found online at HornetSports.com by visiting the 2019 Sacramento State baseball homepage.