BELLEVUE, Wash. — Andrew Ayers' two-run home run in the eighth innings broke a 4-4 tie and propelled the Sacramento State baseball team to a 6-4 victory at Seattle U on Saturday afternoon. The Hornets now lead the series, 2-0, and will be looking to complete the sweep on Sunday at noon.
Sacramento State won its fifth consecutive game and its seven in the last eight while improving to 29-18 overall and 12-8 in Western Athletic Conference games. The Redhawks are now 18-28 overall and 7-12 in conference games.
Seattle took an early lead with a run in the first and two in the third. The first came on a solo home run from Nate Roberts and the later pair on a two-run shot from Cullen Hendrickson.
That lead was sliced to 3-2 when David Del Grande doubled down the left field line to score Will Soto and Scotty Burcham immediately tripled to plate Del Grande in the fourth inning. The Hornets took their first lead in the next inning when Rhys Hoskins doubled to right center to score Chris Lewis and Nathan Lukes.
The Redhawks tied the game with an unearned run in the sixth inning. Zach Morgan took over for Ty Nichols to start the inning and issued a walk to Nick Latta to begin the frame. Latta was sacrificed to second and took third on a wild pitch before coming home on a throwing error. With two outs, the ball was hit to short where Burcham's throw pulled Hoskins off the bag at first.
The play took a bad twist for the Hornets when Hoskins turned his ankle upon landing and was forced to leave the game. X-rays were negative on the sophomore slugger but his status is doubtful for the final game of the series.
Hoskins' replacement in the lineup — Kyle Moses — led off the eighth inning with a double to left field. That set the table for Ayers who blasted his seventh home run of the season.
The Hornets then turned to freshman Sutter McLoughlin for the final two innings. The Rio Americano HS graduate earned his 14th save of the season with a strikeout and two hits.
Morgan was credited with the victory and improved to 5-2.
Lewis and Burcham both had two hits and five other Sacramento State batters had one to account for the team's nine hits. Five of those hits went for extra bases as the team had three doubles, a triple and home run.