GREELEY, Colo. – Northern Colorado scored six runs in the fifth inning to erase a 3-1 deficit and held on for an 9-5 win in game two of the weekend WAC series against Sacramento State on Saturday.
Northern Colorado (10-12, 2-0 WAC) continued to swing the bat well on its nearly mile-high home field after tallying seven runs on Friday. The Bears had to hold on again as the Hornets made another late push but Sacramento State (11-10, 0-2 WAC) came up short of another comeback win.
In the loss junior Ian Dawkins recorded his second four-hit game this season, finishing 4-for-5 with his first home run as a Hornet and 3 RBIs. Andrew McWilliam and Kody Reynolds also had two-hit games for Sacramento State, which tallied 11 hits in the game but left 11 men on base.
The Hornets took an early 2-0 lead with a pair of runs in the first as Reynolds drove in Dawkins with an RBI single and junior Vinny Esposito plated sophomore James Outman with a double. Sacramento State took a 3-0 lead in the fourth as freshman Michael Birch drew a two-out walk and scored on a single from Dawkins.
Cole Maltese hit a solo homer in the bottom of the fourth to get the Bears on the board. Six runs would score in the bottom of the fifth inning on four hits, two walks, and a Hornet throwing error with Dean Lawson hitting a 2-run homer as the Bears batted around.
Northern Colorado capitalized on a Hornet error in the seventh to extend to an 8-3 lead. The Hornets left the bases loaded in the seventh but had a response in the top of the eighth. With two away and Blake Edmonson aboard Dawkins homered to left center to make it an 8-5 game. McWilliam and PJ Floyd both got aboard to follow and brought the tying run to the plate but reliever Dylan Shiraki got a groundout to end the inning.
The Bears added a run in the top of the ninth as Lawson had a leadoff double and scored on a two-out RBI single from Jack Pauley. Anthony Brady issued a walk but nothing more in the ninth.
Starter Troy Watson earned the win going six innings and allowing three runs on six hits and three walks. Freshman Parker Brahms allowed just three hits and one run through the first four innings for Sacramento State before running into trouble in the fifth and taking the loss.
Senior Max Karnos will get the ball for the Hornets in the series finale at 11 a.m. Pacific time Sunday in Greeley.