OUTMAN'S HOME RUN, ROOT’S STRONG START LIFT HORNETS TO 5-2 WIN OVER UTRGV

OUTMAN'S HOME RUN, ROOT’S STRONG START LIFT HORNETS TO 5-2 WIN OVER UTRGV

Western Athletic Conference Baseball Standings

EDINBURG, Texas – Sacramento State baseball's James Outman broke a 1-1 tie with a three-run home run while Austin Root tossed six strong innings en route to a 5-2 Hornets win over UT Rio Grande Valley. With the win, the Hornets have now won seven straight conference series, dating back to last season.

With the game tied at one and two on and two out in the third inning, Outman delivered on the first pitch of the at bat. He turned on an inside fastball, sending it deep out to right field to break the tie and give the Hornets (24-18, 11-4 WAC) a three-run advantage over the Vaqueros (21-23, 6-9 WAC).

The blast was Outman's eighth of the season and gave him RBIs 28, 29, and 30. His eight home runs are the most on the team while his 30 RBIs are second most on the team, one behind freshman Steven Moretto (31).

It was the only hit of the afternoon for the junior right-fielder, but it proved to be the difference maker as Sacramento State went on to win, 5-2.

The Hornets first run of the game came in the first inning as Bronson Grubbs, who hit leadoff for just the second time this season on Sunday, scored as PJ Floyd grounded into a double play. UTRGV countered immediately with a run of their own in the home half of the first.

After the Vaqueros scored another run in the sixth to make it a 4-2 game, Floyd added an insurance run in the seventh, knocking in Grubbs with an RBI-base hit.

Grubbs finished 1-for-4, but reached base twice (once on an error) and scored two runs. Floyd, Keith Torres, and Josh Urps each had two hits in the win.

For Urps, it was his fifth straight game with a hit. Since resuming a starting role in the infield, Urps is hitting .350 (7-for-20) with three doubles, five RBIs, and three runs scored. He has raised his average 50 points from .148 to .198 in those five games.

On the mound for the Hornets, Austin Root continued to provide quality starts, throwing six innings and allowing just two runs on six hits. He did not walk a batter and struck out six.

Root, who entered the weekend with a conference-best 1.39 walks-per-nine, improved that number even further, lowering it to 1.28. He was 36th in the nation and figures to be among the top 30 in that category after today.

He also picked up his team- and conference-leading seventh win of the year, improving to 7-3 on the season.

After Ty Fox threw a perfect seventh inning, Tanner Dalton again took over in the eighth, looking for the six out save. He was perfect over two innings, striking out two, as he picked up his ninth save of the season. Dalton lowered his ERA to 1.59 in the process, the best mark on the club.

With the 5-2 win on Sunday, the Hornets won their fifth straight conference series this season and their seventh overall dating back to the 2017 campaign. Their overall record climbs to 24-18 while they improve to 11-4 in WAC competition. With a Grand Canyon loss tonight (at home vs. New Mexico State), the Hornets and Antelopes would be tied for first place in the WAC.

Sacramento State will return to California but won't stay long as the Hornets take on the Nevada Wolf Pack in Reno on Tuesday, May 1. First pitch is scheduled for Tuesday evening at 6:00 pm PT. Be sure to catch all the action by visiting the 2018 Sacramento State baseball schedule online at HornetSports.com.