SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Nathan Lukes went 3-for-4 and Sacramento State overcame a three-run deficit to defeat UC Davis, 6-4, on Tuesday at John Smith Field. The victory was the second by the Hornets this season over the Aggies in the ScholarShare Causeway series. The teams will meet for a third time on May 7 in Davis.
Sacramento State (15-13) continued its success in midweek games, improving to 5-1 this season on Tuesdays. UC Davis dropped to 10-16 overall and lost its fourth consecutive games.
The Aggies jumped to a 3-0 lead in the second inning behind three singles, a hit batter and a passed ball. That lead held for one inning before Sacramento State matched the output in the bottom of the third.
During that frame, the first two Hornet batters were retired before Justin Higley started the rally with a walk. A single by Andrew Ayers was followed by a slicing triple down the right-field line by Chris Lewis to score both runners. Rhys Hoskins then reached on a chopper up the middle to tie the score.
"I thought we were lethargic to start and that our energy level was not good," Sacramento State head coach Reggie Christiansen said. "I think we settled down and our guys are buying into our approach at the plate."
Sacramento State starter Hunter Greenwood settled down after the second inning and retired the last 13 batters he faced before giving way to Ty Nichols in the sixth inning. After Nichols pitched a scoreless sixth, the Hornets took their first lead of the game when Dane Fujinaka drew a bases loaded walk.
The Aggies tied the game through a series of Sacramento State mistakes. After Spencer Brann singled through the right side he advanced to second on a wild pitch. A fly ball to right allowed Brann to tag up and take third but the throw from Lukes skipped past third as well as the backup and Brann scored.
The score remained tied until the eighth inning when Hoskins started with a single up and took second on a wild pitch. Lukes singled to right to place runners on the corners and proceeded to steal second. After a strikeout, Scotty Burcham was intentionally walked to load the bases for Fujinaka. The catcher then dropped a bunt down the first base line which left the Aggies without a play, scoring Hoskins from third. A second run scored when the second throw on a would-be double play pulled the first baseman off the bag.
Freshman Sutter McLoughlin took the ball in the ninth inning and recorded his fifth save of the season.
Senior Brandon Creel (4-1) threw 1.1 perfect innings to earn the win. Zach Williams (0-1) took the loss for the Aggies.
Sacramento State will play its second non-league game of the week when it hosts San Francisco on Wednesday at 3 p.m.