SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sacramento State scored all its runs in the third inning but it proved to be enough in a 3-2 win over Texas State on Friday at John Smith Field. The Hornets moved to 16-13 overall and 3-4 in the Western Athletic Conference. The Bobcats, who entered the game tied for the WAC lead, are now 12-17 overall and 5-2.
Sacramento State jumped on Texas State starter Taylor Black for four hits in the first two innings but could not score. The team broke through in the third with a three-run inning which began with a single from Nathan Lukes. A one-out single by Chris Lewis placed runners on the corners before Rhys Hoskins singled down the right field line to score Lukes. The Bobcats had a chance to get out of the inning on a chopper up the middle by Will Soto but the ball was misplayed allowing two runners to score.
Hornet starter Ty Nichols was efficient in his six innings of work, limiting Texas State to four hits with only one walk and three strikeouts.
Senior Brandon Creel came on in the seventh and ran into immediate trouble with a leadoff double by Colby Targun. A single moved Targun to third where he eventually scored on a wild pitch. The Hornets dodged further trouble when shortstop Scotty Burcham thew out a runner trying to advance from second to third on a ground ball and catcher Dane Fujinaka gunned down the WAC's leading base stealer (Kevin Sah) trying to take second.
The Bobcats pulled closer in the eighth with another leadoff double. An infield single placed runners on the corners before a flyout. Tyler Hoelzen replaced Creel and recorded a pair of flyouts. The first, however, was deep enough to plate the runner on a sacrifice fly.
Freshman Sutter McLoughlin sat down Texas State in order in the ninth inning for his sixth save of the season.
Lukes matched his career high, going 3-for-4, including his first triple. The true freshman was one of three Hornets to have multiple hits as he was joined by Hoskins and Justin Higley.
The series continues on Saturday at 1 p.m.