SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Sophomore James Outman hit his first career grand slam in a six-run sixth inning and freshman Parker Brahms allowed just three hits and one walk with nine strikeouts over seven scoreless innings as Sacramento State shut out Northern Kentucky for the second time in three games, winning 10-0.
Sacramento State (5-1) has taken the first three games of the series with shutouts on Thursday, in Justin Dillin's no-hitter, and again on Saturday. Northern Kentucky (1-5) could not get any offense going against Brahms or relievers Jonny Palsha and Ryan Smith with all three of its hits singles.
Junior first baseman Vinny Esposito also homered for the Hornets, blasting a two-run shot to left to give his team a 2-0 lead in the second inning. The Hornets added another run in the third inning as senior Kody Reynolds single in junior Andrew McWilliam after a leadoff double and moved to a 4-0 lead in the fourth with Reynolds scoring on a wild pitch.
The home team blew the game open in the sixth. Redshirt sophomore Devin Lehman drove in freshman Dawson Bacho with a one-out double and the Norse elected to intentionally walk McWilliam to face Outman with the bases loaded. The sophomore hit the sixth pitch of the at-bat over the right field wall but just a few feet foul, then hammered the next pitch out of the ballpark in fair territory.
Outman recorded Sacramento State's first grand slam since Brandon Hunley and Will Soto both hit Grand Slams in the same game at New Mexico State in 2014. It was the first grand slam for the Hornets at John Smith Field since Andrew Ayers hit one at home on May 16, 2013.
The Hornets added a sixth run in the inning when Hunley drove in Reynolds with an RBI double. That was more than enough offense for Brahms, who stranded the bases loaded in the fourth inning but allowed only one base runner to reach scoring position over his other six innings pitched.
Palsha had a strikeout in a perfect eighth inning and Smith had a strikeout in the ninth. Hornet pitchers have struck out at least 11 Norse hitters in every game of the series with 38 total punch-outs. Hornet pitchers have also allowed just 12 hits in the series.
Outman finished 2-for-3 with a walk and 4 RBIs. McWilliam, Bacho, and junior Ian Dawkins also had two-hit games as the Hornets totaled 14 hits with five extra-base knocks. McWilliam, who missed both Thursday and Friday's games, has now reached base in 22 consecutive games played dating back to last season.
Sacramento State concludes its season-opening seven game homestand and looks for a sweep of the Norse when the teams meet again Sunday at 1 p.m.