OREM, Utah – Sacramento State continued to swing the bats well as Vinny Esposito and Kody Reynolds both homered but Utah Valley scored seven runs over the first four innings of the game and held on for a 7-6 win on Saturday.
Utah Valley (9-17, 4-2 WAC) earned the win after the Hornets scored 21 runs in a doubleheader sweep on Saturday. Sacramento State (14-12, 2-4 WAC) scored five or more runs for the seventh consecutive game but was held scoreless over the last four innings on Saturday as the Wolverine bullpen closed out a win.
Esposito and Reynolds both had two hits in the game and added two more Hornet home runs after the team hit six in Friday's doubleheader. Sacramento State had 11 hits on Saturday and hit .347 in the series with 27 runs scored and 20 extra-base hits for a .678 slugging percentage. Esposito hit .467 in the series with two home runs and junior Andrew McWilliam hit .429 with three homers and six RBIs.
The Hornets jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning on Saturday as junior Ian Dawkins led off with a triple and scored on a McWilliam RBI single. Sacramento State loaded the bases with one out and scored another run when McWilliam came in on a bases-loaded walk from senior Trent Goodrich.
Utah Valley quickly answered in the bottom of the first as Jackson Overland tied the game with a two-run homer. Reynolds hit a two-out, two-run home run in the third inning after James Outman had a one-out double, but in the bottom half the Wolverines scored three times on a Zach Willis two-run double and a Hornet throwing error.
Sacramento State tied the game back up at 5-5 in the top of the fourth as PJ Floyd had an RBI groundout. Justin Erlandson doubled to lead off the bottom of the fourth and Kade Poulsen followed with a 2-run homer to put UVU ahead 7-5. Esposito homered to start the fifth inning but, after all the early offense, that would be the last run of the game.
Reliever Paxton Schultz gave up the Esposito homer but was superb after that, going five innings and allowing just four hits with seven strikeouts. Sacramento State got outstanding relief work as well as Tanner Olson threw a perfect fifth inning, Austin Roberts struck out the side in the sixth, and Alex Dentoni retired all six batters he faced in two scoreless innings.
After Schultz threw 71 pitches in relief the Wolverines went to closer Patrick Wolfe in the ninth inning. The Hornets got the leadoff man aboard as Floyd was hit by a pitch but Wolfe came back to get a fly out and two strikeouts to end the game.
Dawkins and Outman also had two hits for the Hornets with Dawkins extending his hit streak to 12 games. Esposito had at least two hits in all three games of the series and Hornet hitters totaled 15 multi-hit lines over the three games.
Utah Valley's seven hits on Saturday came from seven different players. Wolverine pitchers were able to strand nine Hornet baserunners in the game while the Hornets committed their first defensive error in five games.
The Hornets play their eighth road game over nine contests at UC Davis at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday before opening a nine-game homestand hosting Fresno State at 6 p.m. Wednesday.