WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sacramento State jumped to a 3-0 lead in the first inning but was held scoreless on just three hits over the last eight innings of the game while UC Davis took a 5-3 lead in the fourth en route to a 6-3 victory on Tuesday night at Raley Field.
The loss ended an eight-game winning streak for the Hornets over their Causeway rival, as UC Davis hadn't defeated Sacramento State since Feb. 20, 2011. The Aggies avenged a 15-7 loss to the Hornets in Davis in April to split the season series.
Sacramento State (32-21) dropped its third consecutive game and lost for the first time in six games this season at Raley Field. UC Davis (21-27) ended an eight-game road trip with the victory in the final nonconference game of the season for both teams.
Tuesday's contest started similarly to the slugfest between the teams last month, with the Hornets putting three runs on the board in the first inning. Singles by Nathan Lukes and Kyle Moses and a walk from junior Rhys Hoskins loaded the bases with nobody out in the top of the first. Lukes scored on a David Del Grande sacrifice fly while Moses also came in to score on a throwing error by the Aggie left fielder. Senior Will Soto then doubled home Hoskins as the Hornets scored three runs with only one out recorded.
The last 26 outs of the game came easier for the Aggies, as starter Max Cordy limited the first inning damage with a strikeout and a groundout. UC Davis plated a pair of runs in the second inning, as a leadoff single came around to score on a groundout and catcher Spencer Brann hit a solo home run to right field to make it a one-run game.
The Hornets got two men aboard in the bottom of the second one more in the third but could not score. The Aggies jumped ahead in the fourth inning after loading the bases with nobody out. A sacrifice fly score one run, a double scored another, and a third run came in on a passed ball as the visitors went ahead 5-3.
UC Davis added an insurance run in the seventh inning on a one-out sacrifice fly. The Hornets were set down in order in the eighth and ninth but got a leadoff single from sophomore Chris Lewis to open the bottom of the ninth. UC Davis reliever Raul Jacobson rolled an ensuing double play, however, and finished the win for his second save of the season.
The win went to UC Davis freshman Orlando Razo, who entered the game with one away in the third inning and pitched into the ninth, allowing no runs on just two hits and one walk with five strikeouts. Senior Hunter Greenwood took the loss as five of the six runs (four earned runs) were charged to him over two innings of relief. Junior Ty Nichols started the game in a planned one-inning outing and allowed a walk but nothing more in his first appearance since March 25.
Sophomore Nathan Lukes went 2-for-3 with a walk and a run scored out of the leadoff spot for the Hornets and reached base in his 33rd consecutive game. Brann and third baseman Adam Young each went 2-for-4 for the Aggies and Brann had two RBIs while hitting his first home run of the season.
The game was the final competition in the season-long ScholarShare Causeway Cup and gave UC Davis 2.50 points. The Aggies had already clinched the all-sport competition and finish the 2013-14 year with a 68.75-31.25 victory.
Sacramento State closes the regular season with a home WAC series vs. North Dakota, taking a one game lead atop the WAC standings into the final weekend of the regular year. Game times against North Dakota will be 3 p.m. Thursday, 3 p.m. Friday, and 1 p.m. Saturday.