SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Grand Canyon had three hits and capitalized on three Hornet errors to score six runs in the fifth inning, all with two out, as the Antelopes battled back from an early 2-0 deficit to take the rubber game of the weekend series with Sacramento State, 8-2.
After the teams split the first two games of the series with the Hornets earning a 7-1 win on Saturday, Grand Canyon (14-17, 8-1 WAC) rebounded from its first conference loss scoring eight runs on nine hits, including three doubles and a solo home run.
Sacramento State (15-16, 3-6 WAC) got off to a great start, scoring two runs before making an out in the home half of the first inning. PJ Floyd drew a leadoff walk and Ricky Martinez doubled down the left field line to put men on second and third for Ian Dawkins. The Hornet center fielder hit the first pitch he saw into the left center gap for a two-run double. Dawkins reached third with one away but was stranded.
Hornet senior Max Karnos allowed just a walk and no hits through the first three innings but in the fourth Greg Saenz led off with a double and would scored on a groundout. In the fifth inning GCU's Kona Quiggle drew a one out walk and stole second base but remained at second with two away.
A Hornet fielding error on a fly ball down the left field line allowed Quiggle to score the tying run. Saenz followed with an RBI double and after a walk he scored on a Tyler Wyatt single. Zach Mallis scored GCU's fourth run on a wild pitch as a Hornet throwing error also moved Wyatt to third. Karnos then struck out Cuba Bess but he would reach on another throwing error that allowed Wyatt to score. Garrison Schwartz then singled in Bess with the team's sixth unearned run of the inning.
Sacramento State had base runners in the sixth and seventh innings but could not get back in the game. Schwartz added Grand Canyon's eighth run with a solo home run leading off the eighth inning.
Karnos allowed just four hits and had six strikeouts in 4.2 innings, permitting just one earned run, but took the loss. Grand Canyon starter Jack Schneider settled in after a rough start, allowing just three more baserunners after the first three Hornets reached. Schneider finished with five hits allowed and six strikeouts in 5.2 innings before three GCU relievers combined to allow just one hit over the last 3.1 innings of the game.
The Hornets had six hits in the game with two from Dawkins, who recorded his team-leading 14th multi-hit game of the season and raised his season batting average to .369. Martinez and sophomore James Outman both extended to career-long seven game hitting streaks as each had a double on Sunday.
Sacramento State still has five games remaining on its season-long nine game homestand. The Hornets host Causeway rival UC Davis at 6 p.m. Tuesday looking to avenge a narrow 7-6 loss in Davis last week.