SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Six Hornet starters had two-hit games, including the first five batters in the lineup, and junior Brennan Leitao allowed just one run over seven innings as Sacramento State opened a three-game WAC home series vs. Seattle U with an 8-1 win.
The victory was the 10th straight for Sacramento State (18-11, 7-0 WAC), equaling the second longest winning streak in program history behind just a 16-game winning streak recorded in 1992. The Hornets also improved to 7-0 in WAC games after handing Seattle U (11-13, 3-1 WAC) its first conference loss.
"I've been kind of under the weather for the last few days but luckily I found my stuff today and worked through it," said Leitao, who allowed a run in the first inning before hurling six scoreless frames. "This season I've been having a lot of rough first innings and then I kind of settle down. I knew to keep the ball in play and get ground balls, doing what I do best, and that seemed to work today."
The early Seattle run came an a 2-out RBI single up the middle and the bottom of the first was a near carbon copy as Hornet senior Will Soto drove home sophomore Nathan Lukes with a 2-out single up the middle to bring the score even at 1-1.
In the bottom of the second an error put a runner on base for freshman Brandon Hunley, who launched a 2-run home run to left field to move into a tie (with junior Rhys Hoskins) for the WAC lead with five homers this season. After two more Hornet singles senior David Del Grande brought home Lukes with a fielders choice ground out to move the Hornet lead to 4-1.
The Hornets added another run in the third when Soto scored from third on a sacrifice bunt from sophomore Dane Fujinaka. In the sixth inning, Del Grande drove home Lukes again with an RBI single before Hoskins banged a 2-run double off the wall in center field to bring home Del Grande and sophomore Kyle Moses.
Meanwhile, Leitao scattered seven hits over his seven innings pitched, facing just three batters more than the minimum over his final six innings of work. Freshman Chad Perry worked a scoreless eighth and senior Hunter Greenwood finished it off in the ninth as the Hornets became the only remaining undefeated team in WAC play.
Lukes, Moses, Del Grande, Hoskins, and Soto each had two hits in the top five spots in the Hornet lineup while Hunley also had two hits hitting ninth. Del Grande, Hoskins, and Hunley each drove in two runs and Lukes scored three times.
Seattle U starter Mac Acker took the loss, allowing five runs (three earned) on seven hits and a walk over just three innings. All nine Redhawk hits in the game were singles.
Game two of the series at 2 p.m. Saturday figures to be a good pitching matchup as Hornet freshman Sam Long (4-0, 1.75 ERA) faces Seattle U sophomore Grant Gunning (1-0, 1.23 ERA).