BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – In the resumption of Saturday's suspended game Sacramento State completed a 6-3 win to open action on Sunday before senior AJ Monnarez threw a complete game leading CSU Bakersfield to a 4-2 win in the series finale.
The defending WAC Tournament champion, CSU Bakersfield (7-23, 2-7 WAC) claimed the series after recording a narrow 4-3 win in the first game on Saturday. Sacramento State (18-13, 7-2 WAC) remains near the top of the WAC standings just one game behind league-leading Seattle U.
The Hornets had a 6-3 lead through eight innings when the second game of Saturday's doubleheader was suspended due to rain. The teams had to wait through another two hour delay due to field conditions before completing the contest on Sunday.
After the Hornets were retired in the top of the ninth senior Tyler Beardsley came on for the bottom half and record his sixth save of the season, striking out one and setting down the Roadrunners in order on just seven pitches. Senior starter Grant Kukuk was the winning pitcher in the contest, improving to 4-1 this season.
Game three pitted the team's Friday starters, Monnarez and Hornet junior Max Karnos, after their matchup on Friday was rained out. Monnarez went the distance, allowing two runs (one earned) on seven hits with one walk and six strikeouts, throwing 116 pitches. He retired the last 10 men he faced after his team gave him the lead in the fifth inning.
Bakersfield scored twice in the first inning on four singles but the Hornets were able to draw even. Sacramento State scored a run in the second inning when sophomore Dan Deely brought in sophomore Andrew McWilliam with a two-out RBI single. The Hornets tied the game the next inning with another two-out run as sophomore Bronson Grubbs hit a leadoff single and advanced to third before he came in on a single from freshman Matt Smith.
The Roadrunners broke the 2-2 tie with two runs in the fifth inning. Dustin Frailey had a one-out single and scored on an RBI double from Mahlik Jones. With two away Jones scored on an RBI single off the bat of Cody White.
McWilliam led off the top of the sixth inning with a single but he would be the last Hornet batter to reach base. Sophomore Jonny Palsha and junior Chad Perry were fantastic in relief, combining to allow just one hit and no walks over 2.2 innings to keep the Hornet deficit at two runs, but Monnarez finished the game strong.
Palsha came in for Karnos in the sixth inning and got the last two outs before Perry put up zeros in the seventh and eighth innings on just 22 pitches. The seven Hornet hits in the game came from seven different players and of the 19 total hits between the two teams 18 were singles.
McWilliam was 1-for-3 and is hitting .500 (13-for-26) with 9 RBIs and 8 runs scored over the last seven games. Both McWilliam and junior Kody Reynolds hit .500 over four games during the week. With his single Smith now has hits in 23 of the 25 games he has played this season.
The Hornets play another road game at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Nevada before returning home to continue WAC play with a weekend series against Chicago State.