SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Sacramento State held the potent New Mexico State offense to just one run through the first six innings but the Aggies scored three in the seventh and added an insurance run in the ninth inning to record a 5-2 win over the Hornets in the series finale on Saturday.
New Mexico State (23-14, 8-1 WAC) took the rubber game of the series after the Hornets recorded a 2-1 win in 12 innings on Friday night. Sophomore James Outman, who won Friday's game with a walk-off single, collected two more RBIs for Sacramento State (17-18, 4-8 WAC) with a two-run double on Saturday.
Senior Max Karnos allowed just four hits and one run and had six strikeouts over the first six innings of Saturday's game. The Aggies lone run in that span came in the first inning as Brent Sakurai hit a leadoff triple and scored on a Joey Ortiz sacrifice fly.
Karnos then matched zeros with New Mexico State starter Jonathan Groff, who allowed just two hits and two walks with eight strikeouts over six scoreless innings of work. The Hornets got men to third base in the first and fifth innings but were unable to push a run across.
The Aggies were able to extend their lead in the seventh as the inning began with an LJ Hatch double before a Mason Fishback RBI single and a bunt single from Marcus Still. Karnos got his seventh strikeout but Sakurai followed with an RBI single and New Mexico State scored its third run of the inning on a squeeze bunt from Ortiz bringing in Still.
Sacramento State answered in the bottom of the seventh as Trent Goodrich drew a leadoff walk and Kody Gardner followed with a single. The Aggies retired the next two hitters but Outman doubled over the head of right fielder Dan Hetzel to bring in both base runners.
Outman would be left at second and the Hornets were retired in order in the eighth. In the top of the ninth New Mexico State plated a fifth run as Still and pinch-hitter Brian Kiser opened the inning with consecutive doubles. Freshman Ricky Martinez had a two-out single in the bottom of the ninth but Dalton Shalberg closed the game for his first save of the season.
Martinez had three of Sacramento State's five hits on Saturday to record his first career three-hit game and sixth multi-hit game this season. After Karnos had seven strikeouts Tanner Olson had one in relief and Chad Perry struck out the side in order in the eighth.
Sacramento State pitchers totaled 34 strikeouts to just nine walks in the series, averaging better than 11 strikeouts per game. Hornet hitters, meanwhile, drew 19 walks over the three games with Outman walking five times.
The Hornets conclude their season-long nine game homestand hosting San Francisco at 6 p.m. Monday. The teams are also scheduled to play a second game Tuesday afternoon in San Francisco.