SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sacramento State battled back from an early 2-0 deficit to force extra innings, but Minnesota pushed across three runs in the 10th and withstood a Hornet rally in the bottom of the inning to score a 5-3 win on Sunday at John Smith Field.
"I really felt like we swung the bats well today and hit a lot of balls hard right at guys," Sacramento State head coach Reggie Christiansen said. "This group is not going to give in. I don't think we played great this weekend but I think it's a step in the right direction."
Minnesota (9-6) took two of three games in the series, with Sacramento State (8-11) getting a win on Saturday. Junior Dallas Chadwick made his first start of the season for the Hornets and allowed just one hit and two walks over three innings. That one hit, however, led to two runs, as Minnesota second baseman Conner Schaefbauer drove home a run with an RBI triple and then scored on a sacrifice fly to give the Gophers a 2-0 lead in the third inning.
The two runs came after the Hornets loaded the bases with nobody out on three singles in the bottom of the second but failed to push across a run. Sacramento State did get on the scoreboard in the sixth as senior designated hitter Clay Cederquist launched a leadoff home run to right, the Hornets first homer at John Smith Field this season.
Gopher starter Ben Meyer departed after giving up just the one run over six innings while Hornet relievers Jared Paderez, Chad Perry, Sterling Humphry, and Sutter McLoughlin got the Hornets to the eighth inning trialing by just a 2-1 margin.
In the bottom of the eighth, junior Rhys Hoskins walked and junior Scotty Burcham singled as the Hornets had runners on first and second with two outs. Freshman Ryan Locke came off the bench and laced a pinch-hit RBI single to left to bring home the tying run.
McLoughlin pitched another scoreless frame in the ninth but the Gophers struck for three runs on four hits and two walks in the 10th, with the big blow a two-run single by Schaefbauer to give Minnesota a 5-2 lead. The Hornets got one run back in the home half as Burcham doubled home Hoskins, and the Hornets had the potential tying runs on the corners with one away but could not bring home any more runs.
Kevin Kray pitched the final 2 1/3 for Minnesota and earned the win while Hornet freshman Julian Barron was charged with the loss. Both teams had nine hits in the contest but combined to leave 25 men on base, 13 for Minnesota and 12 for Sacramento State.
Burcham recorded the second three-hit game of his career while Cederquist finished 2-for-4. Schaefbauer was 2-for-5 with three RBIs out of the leadoff spot for Minnesota and No. 2 hitter Jake Bergren was 2-for-4 with an RBI. McLoughlin and Humphry have both still not allowed a run this season over 13.0 innings pitched for McLoughlin and 8.1 innings for Humphry and both have opponent batting averages below .090.
Sacramento State's nine-game home stand continues Tuesday at Raley Field as the Hornets host Pacific at 6:35 p.m.