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SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Sacramento State baseball team tallied three home runs, including two in the first inning, and clinched a three-game series against Cal State Northridge with a 9-6 win over the Matadors on Sunday at John Smith Field.

The Hornets (9-6) won for the seventh time in nine games after posting nine runs on 13 hits with one error. The Matadors (6-10) scored six runs on eight hits with no errors. Sacramento State took game one of the series, 4-3, while Cal State Northridge was the second game, 5-3.

Sacramento State reliever RHP Zach Morgan (2-1) earned the win after allowing two runs on five hits in 5.1 innings with three strikeouts and no walks. Starting pitcher Tanner Mendonca was pulled after he gave up three runs on just one hit with three walks and strikeout in the first inning. Sacramento State pitchers had walked just three batters in the previous 46.2 innings. Freshman RHP Sutter McLoughlin tossed a scoreless ninth to record his third save of the season.

Cal State Northridge starter Brandon Warner (1-1) took the loss after surrendering five runs on five hits in 1.1 innings, with no walks and no strikeouts. The Matadors used six relief pitchers in the game and four of them allowed one run each.

After going down 3-0 in the top half of the first inning, the Hornets wasted little time in taking the lead.

In the bottom of the first inning, third baseman Will Soto led off with a single to left, one of four hits on the day, and moved to second when center fielder David Del Grande was hit by pitch. After a foul out, second baseman Andrew Ayers stepped to the plate and crushed a three-run home run to left field.

Ayers hit .500 in the series with the Matadors (6-for-12) with two doubles, a home run, four runs scored and three RBIs.

Later in the first inning, left fielder Justin Higley hit a two-out solo home run to left center to give the Hornets a 4-3 lead. Higley was one of six Hornets to hit .300 or better against the Matadors and the Hornets hit .320 as a team in the series.

After the fireworks in the first, the Hornets tacked on single runs in the second, fourth, sixth, seventh and eighth innings. The run in the fourth came on Soto's two-out solo blast to right field.

Soto went 4-for-4 with two runs scored and three RBIs on Sunday. Ayers also had three RBIs and went 2-for-4. Higley, shortstop Scotty Burcham and catcher Dane Fujinaka each had two hits as well.

Cal State Northridge third baseman Michael Livingston had a team-high two hits while catcher Alexis Mercado led the Matadors with two RBIs.

Up next for Sacramento State is a midweek game at Saint Mary's on Tuesday before head coach Reggie Christiansen's team heads to UC Santa Barbara for a three-game series this weekend.

Sacramento State 9, Cal State Northridge 6 (Mar 10, 2013 at Sacramento, Calif.)
Cal State Northridge 300 002 010 - 6 8 0 (6-10)
Sacramento State.... 410 101 11X - 9 13 1 (9-6)
Pitchers: Cal State Northridge - Warner, Brandon; Rutherford, Brycen(2); Sandoval, Oscar(6);
Coates, Michael(6); Salas, John(7); Milam, DJ(8); Cohen, Louis(8) and Mercado, Alexis.
Sacramento State - Mendonca, Tanner; Morgan, Zach(2); Creel, Brandon(7); Hoelzen, Tyler(8);
McLoughlin, Sutter(9) and Fujinaka, Dane.
Win-Morgan, Zach(2-1) Save-McLoughlin, Sutter(3) Loss-Warner, Brandon(1-1) T-2:46 A-611
HR SAC - Soto, Will (1); Ayers, Andrew (1); Higley, Justin (1).
Weather: 62 degrees, sunny, NW 3 MPH
Game: 15CSUN13