FRESNO, Calif. – Freshman Sam Long allowed just one earned run over five innings in his collegiate debut, and every Hornet starter reached base in the contest with eight tallying hits and six different players scoring runs in a 6-4 victory at Fresno State.
Sacramento State (3-2) earned a win in its first road contest of the season after a season-opening split with Utah. Fresno State (3-2), which topped new WAC member Grand Canyon by a 10-1 score on Tuesday, took its first home loss of the year.
For the fourth time in five games this season, the Hornets were able to get on the board first. With one out in the third inning the Hornets had a single, double, walk, and single in succession to score twice, and senior Will Soto added a two-out RBI single to put Sacramento State up 3-0.
Junior Clay Cederquist brought home a fourth Hornet run with a sac fly in the top of the fourth, but in the home half of the inning the Bulldogs got a solo home run from Jordan Luplow followed by an unearned run off a Hornet error to trim the Sacramento State lead to 4-2.
The Hornets came right back with a pair of runs in the fifth, as leadoff hits from sophomore Chris Lewis and Soto set the table and sophomore catcher Dane Fujinaka brought both home with a two-out single to make the score 6-2.
Long departed after five solid innings and the Bulldogs got two runs back in the sixth. Both came across on a two-run shot from sophomore Taylor Ward, but the damage could have been worse if not for Fujinaka throwing out two runners trying to steal in an inning in which the Bulldogs had two hits and drew two walks.
Junior Alex Palsha continued his brilliant start to the season with two more scoreless innings over the seventh and eighth, allowing just two base runners with three strikeouts. He got the Hornets to the ninth inning with a two run lead, and after a one-out single sophomore closer Sutter McLoughlin rolled a 4-6-3 double play to give the Hornets the win.
Eight of the nine Sacramento State starting position players in the game had at least one hit, while the only one who didn't, Cederquist, drew two walks and hit a sacrifice fly. Soto and junior Rhys Hoskins each had two hits and four Hornets drove in runs, led by the two RBIs from Fujinaka.
Long allowed six hits with no walks and three strikeouts over five innings, allowing two runs but just one that was earned. Palsha has now thrown six scoreless innings over the first five games of the season while allowing just two hits and one walk with seven strikeouts. McLoughlin is 1-0 with two saves and has allowed only three base runners for the year.
The Hornets face one of their stiffest tests of the season this weekend with a three game set at No. 21 Texas A&M. Friday and Saturday's games will take place at 4:30 p.m. Pacific time with Sunday's finale at 11 a.m. All three games can be heard live on HornetSports.com/Radio.