SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sophomore Brennan Leitao provided another gem and the Hornets offense jumped to an early lead to spark Sacramento State to a 4-1 victory over San Jose State on Friday at John Smith Field.
The victory gave the Hornets (31-19) their seventh win in the last eight games and their ninth out of the last 11. Sacramento State also improved to 13-9 in Western Athletic Conference games.
Leitao was masterful through his eight innings. The Irvine, Calif., native is now 8-2 overall, including a 7-1 record and 1.55 ERA in WAC games. Leitao only allowed a bloop double and a bunt single through his first seven innings. A leadoff double in the eighth by Sheldon Dacquioag down the left field line was the first solid hit surrendered during the day. Dacquioag eventually scored SJSU's only run as he came home on a single up the middle by Andre Mercurio.
"Its pretty awesome knowing that you can give him the ball and he's going to give you a chance to win every time," Sacramento State head coach Reggie Christiansen said of Leitao. "He was really, really good again today."
Despite throwing just 85 pitches, Leitao was removed after eight innings in place of Sutter McLoughlin. The freshman threw a perfect ninth inning with two ground outs and a foul out to record his 16th save of the season. That total not only adds to his school single season record, it tied him for second on the Sacramento State career list.
"Brennan was not happy that he didn't get a chance to finish the game and that's what you want," Christiansen explained. "But when you have a guy like Sutter back there you're going to bring him in."
The Hornets scored quickly with two runs in the first inning and one in the second to take control of the game. The first inning rally featured four singles, including run-scoring hits by Andrew Ayers and Will Soto. Chris Lewis had a two-out single to drive in Dane Fujinaka in the second.
Neither team scored until the bottom of the sixth where David Del Grande had a one-out triple to right center. During the next at bat, Scotty Burcham chopped a ball to third with Del Grande going on contact. The junior froze between third and home expecting to get in a rundown but the first throw was errant allowing him to score.
Sacramento State tallied 11 hits (10 singles) during the day with Nathan Lukes, Lewis, Soto and Del Grande each having two. Nine of the 10 singles were driven through the infield, including the Hornets' first eight of the game.
"It was nothing we talked about," Christiansen said. "Our guys are swinging better and when we're on time we're going to hit more line drives and ground balls."
David Wayne Russo (4-8) took the loss after giving up 10 hits and three earned runs in seven innings. Mercurio led the Spartan offense with a pair of hits.
Game two of the series will be on Saturday at 1 p.m. Ty Nichols (4-5) will start for Sacramento State against DJ Slaton (3-6).
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June 27, 2013 BASEBALL WELL REPRESENTED IN SUMMER COLLEGIATE LEAGUES
June 26, 2013 FOURTEEN HORNETS NAMED TO WAC ALL-ACADEMIC TEAM
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June 8, 2013 AYERS DRAFTED BY KANSAS CITY ROYALS
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June 5, 2013 McLOUGHLIN, LEWIS NAMED FRESHMEN ALL-AMERICANS
May 20, 2013 BASEBALL HEADS TO GRAND PRAIRIE FOR WAC TOURNAMENT
April 30, 2013 QUICK START LIFTS BASEBALL TO 7-6 WIN AT NEVADA
April 29, 2013 SOTO, McLOUGHLIN NAMED WAC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
April 28, 2013 BASEBALL CAPTURES SERIES WITH 4-1 WIN OVER LOUISIANA TECH
April 27, 2013 ONE RUN ENOUGH FOR BASEBALL IN 1-0 WIN OVER LA TECH
April 26, 2013 BASEBALL STUMBLES IN 5-4 LOSS TO LOUISIANA TECH
April 25, 2013 BASEBALL RETURNS HOME TO FACE LOUISIANA TECH
April 24, 2013 BASEBALL CONTINUES MIDWEEK SUCCESS WITH 7-2 WIN AT USF
April 23, 2013 McLOUGHLIN NAMED TO NCBWA WATCH LIST
April 23, 2013 BASEBALL COMPLETES SEASON SERIES SWEEP OF SAINT MARY'S
April 20, 2013 BASEBALL EVENS SERIES WITH 12-1 VICTORY AT UTSA
April 19, 2013 UTSA PULLS AWAY LATE TO WIN FIRST GAME OF SERIES
April 18, 2013 BASEBALL RETURNS TO TEXAS TO PLAY UTSA IN WAC SERIES
April 13, 2013 BASEBALL CRUSHES NEW MEXICO STATE, 16-4, IN RUN RULE GAME
April 12, 2013 DEFENSE FALTERS IN BASEBALL'S 5-4 LOSS AT NEW MEXICO STATE
April 11, 2013 BASEBALL TAKES FOUR GAME WIN STREAK TO NEW MEXICO STATE
April 5, 2013 BASEBALL BOUNCES BACK BY BEATING BOBCATS, 3-2
April 4, 2013 BASEBALL HOSTS TEXAS STATE FOR WAC SERIES
April 3, 2013 BASEBALL DROPS 8-4 DECISION TO SAN FRANCISCO
April 2, 2013 BASEBALL EARNS SECOND WIN OVER UC DAVIS THIS SEASON
March 30, 2013 OFFENSE ERUPTS IN 11-7 BASEBALL VICTORY OVER DALLAS BAPTIST
March 29, 2013 DALLAS BAPTIST PULLS AWAY LATE FOR 6-3 WIN OVER BASEBALL
March 28, 2013 BASEBALL DROPS FIRST GAME OF SERIES AT DALLAS BAPTIST
March 25, 2013 BASEBALL MEETS FRESNO STATE AT RALEY FIELD
March 22, 2013 BASEBALL DROPS FIRST GAME OF SERIES TO CSU BAKERSFIELD, 4-2
March 19, 2013 BASEBALL RALLIES FOR 9-7 WIN AT SAINT MARY'S
March 17, 2013 BASEBALL BLASTS UCSB IN 13-7 VICTORY
March 16, 2013 BASEBALL CLIPPED LATE AT UC SANTA BARBARA
March 15, 2013 BASEBALL BLANKED IN UCSB SERIES OPENER
March 14, 2013 BASEBALL VISITS UC SANTA BARBARA THIS WEEKEND
March 11, 2013 BASEBALL FIVE-GAME TICKET PLAN AVAILABLE
March 9, 2013 CSUN'S BIG INNING DOOMS BASEBALL IN 5-3 LOSS
March 5, 2013 BASEBALL CRUSHES RIVAL UC DAVIS, 14-0
February 28, 2013 BASEBALL HOSTS UTAH VALLEY THIS WEEKEND
February 26, 2013 PITCHING LEADS BASEBALL TO 4-1 WIN VS. NEVADA
February 25, 2013 BASEBALL HOSTS NEVADA ON TUESDAY
February 24, 2013 BASEBALL SPLITS SERIES WITH 7-4 WIN OVER UC RIVERSIDE IN FINALE
February 23, 2013 BASEBALL SPLITS DOUBLEHEADER WITH HIGHLANDERS
February 22, 2013 BASEBALL DROPS HOME OPENER, 2-1, TO UC RIVERSIDE
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February 11, 2013 BASEBALL OPENS 2013 SEASON AT TEXAS
February 4, 2013 Last Chance for Baseball Season Tickets
December 14, 2012 Baseball Adds Four in Early Signing Peroid
December 8, 2012 Baseball Announces Details for Third Annual Diamond Dinner
August 13, 2012 Nichols Earns Summer League Honor