CHICAGO, Ill. – Sacramento State used a six-run fifth inning to open up a 9-0 lead and finished off a 10-3 win in the rubber game of the weekend WAC series at Chicago State.
Sacramento State (24-24, 9-12 WAC) moved two wins ahead of Chicago State (11-33, 7-11 WAC) in the WAC standings and earned the tiebreaker with the Cougars in taking 2-of-3 games. After Chicago State pulled out a win in game one on Friday the Hornets followed with commanding 7-0 and 10-3 wins in the last two games between the teams.
Ian Dawkins, Vinny Esposito, PJ Floyd, and Raul Ortiz all drove in two runs for the Hornets on Sunday. Dawkins, Floyd, Ortiz, and Kody Reynolds all had two hits in the game and Floyd had a triple and scored three runs. The Hornets had 12 hits and drew six walks while also capitalizing on three Chicago State errors.
Freshman Austin Roberts got the start for the Hornets and did not allow a run over the first six innings, going 6 + innings and allowing just two runs on six hits with five strikeouts. Ty Fox and Chad Perry put up zeros in the last two innings as the Hornets improved to 7-4 in Roberts' 11 starts this season while his record moved to 3-1.
Sacramento State scored the first run of the game in the third inning as Dawkins stole home on a strikeout in which the Cougar catcher had to throw to first to complete the out. In the fourth, Reynolds led off with a single and Floyd and Ricky Martinez walked to load the bases with two out ahead of Dawkins, who delivered a two-run single through the left side to make it a 3-0 Hornet lead.
The Hornets sent 11 men to the plate in the fifth inning, totaling six runs on six hits, two walks, and a Chicago State error. Three runs scored on a squeeze bunt from Floyd and a Chicago State throwing error and Ortiz drove him in from third with a single. Sacramento State loaded the bases again with a Martinez double and Trent Goodrich walk and Esposito brought in two more runs with a double down the left field line.
Chicago State's only offensive came in the seventh inning as a hit batter and a single led off the inning and ended the day for Roberts. Reliever Austin Root got the next two outs but Zach Thomas connected on a three-run homer. Sacramento State completed the scoring in the ninth as Floyd had a one-out triple and scored on the second RBI single of the game from Ortiz.
Junior starter Grant Trower took the loss for Chicago State allowing nine runs on 10 hits and five walks over five innings. Sacramento State scored 19 runs with nine extra base hits and was 7-for-9 in stolen base attempts in the series.
Sacramento State plays four non-conference road games next week before concluding the regular season hosting UT Rio Grande Valley for a WAC series May 18-20. The Hornets play at Fresno State at 6 p.m. Tuesday.