AUSTIN, Texas - Sophomore starting pitcher Brennan Leitao allowed two runs on six hits over seven innings and the Sacramento State baseball team defeated Texas, 5-3, on Saturday afternoon in front of 5,778 fans at UFCU Disch-Falk Field
The Hornets (1-1) tallied five runs on 10 hits with one error while the Longhorns (1-1) posted three runs on nine hits with two errors.
Leitao's command was excellent on Saturday, throwing 60 of his 84 pitches for strikes. After giving up a run in the first inning, the Irvine, Calif., native retired seven straight batters through the third and did not allow another run until the fifth. He was perfect in the sixth but allowed two of his six hits in the seventh. He got out of the jam unscathed before being pulled before the eighth.
"Brennan was special today," said head coach Reggie Christiansen. "Our kids believe in one another and today was a great win for our program."
Leitao (1-0) earned the win while Texas starter Nathan Thornhill (0-1) took the loss after allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits in 3.2 innings with one strikeout and one walk. Freshman Sutter McLoughlin earned the save in his first collegiate appearance. The Rio Americano HS native allowed just one hit in 1.2 innings with one strikeout.
Sacramento State tied the game, 1-1, in the second inning when Rhys Hoskins scored on a throwing error after Chris Lewis singled up the middle.
The Hornets broke out in the third, scoring three runs on four hits and an error. Freshman Nathan Lukes started the frame with a single through the right side. Will Soto flew out to center for the first out but Andrew Ayers followed with a single through the left side. Hoskins smashed his third double of the series to center to score Lukes from second. In the next at-bat David Del Grande singled back to the pitcher and Ayers scored from third. Justin Higley reached on a fielder's choice that drove in Hoskins for the final run of the inning.
Ayers added an RBI single in the seventh which scored Lukes after he stole second. After scoring in the first inning, Texas tacked on single runs in the fifth and eighth innings.
The Longhorns excited the home faithful with back-to-back singles to leadoff the ninth inning. However, McLoughlin forced a fielder's choice to second and a 4-6-3 double play ended the game.
Lukes, Ayers, Hoskins and Lewis each finished with two hits while Lukes and Hoskins both tallied two runs. The Hornets' 3-4-5-6 hitters each posted one RBI each.
Texas designated hitter Matt Moynihan and third baseman Madison Carter each had two hits. Both also had RBIs in addition to second baseman Erich Weiss.
The rubber match of the series is set for 11 a.m. PT. RHP Zach Morgan will start on the mound for the Hornets.