SACRAMENTO, Calif. — James Outman and PJ Floyd each homered but Seattle U broke a 3-3 tie with a run in the eighth inning to defeat Sacramento State on Saturday night at John Smith Field.
The loss dropped the Hornets to 25-20 overall and 12-5 in Western Athletic Conference play. The Redhawks moved to 30-14 overall and are now a game back of Sacramento State at 11-6 in league games.
The Hornets jumped on the board first, when Outman hit a blast over the right field fence for his 10th home run of the year. Starter Austin Root sat down the first 11 batters he faced but ran into trouble with two outs in the top of the fourth. Dalton Hurd hit a line drive past third base for a double and came home on a double to right from Sean Sutton to tie the game.
The Redhawks added to their advantage the following inning with another two-out rally. Kyler Murphy singled up the middle before leadoff hitter Austin Lively cleared the right field fence to give SU a 3-1 lead.
Sacramento State was not able to answer until the seventh inning when Keith Torres started the frame with a walk. Ian Dawkins then had an 11-pitch at-bat which ended the day for starter Jake Prizina who exited after his 120th pitch. Nathan Bonck was summoned and got a strikeout for the second out of the inning but surrendered a two-run shot down the right-field line to Floyd to tie the game, 3-3.
Tanner Dalton, who has been the WAC Pitcher of the Week the past two weeks, was called on to start the eighth inning but did not record an out. Sutton started the inning with a single to right and Justin Mazone drew a walk. Chase Wells then doubled off the right field wall to send the lead back to the Redhawks at 4-3. After Jake Cosgrove was hit by a pitch, Dalton was lifted for Brady Rodriguez who came on with the bases loaded and no outs. The freshman struck out Cameron Sterne looking and then got a 6-4-3 double play to avoid further damage.
Sacramento State was able to get a runner on in the eighth and ninth but could not advance either one past first base.
Bonck earned the win and improved to 4-1 on the season and Tyler Yeh picked up his second save of the year after pitching the ninth. Dalton took the loss and fell to 5-4 on the year.
Floyd and Matt Smith each had a pair of hits to lead Sacramento State. Mazone went 3-for-3 to pace the Redhawks who also had Sutton and Wells record two hits. In fact, the middle three hitters in the Seattle U lineup combined to go 7-for-11 while the rest of the team was 3-for-24.
The rubber game of the three-game series will come on Sunday at 12 p.m. Sacramento State remains a game out of first place as CSU Bakersfield rallied to defeat Grand Canyon, 9-7. Parker Brahms (4-3, 2.17) is expected to start for the Hornets will will be opposed by Nick Meservey (0-0, 1.80)
NOTES: Saturday night also served as Alumni Night…the school recognized the 1988 NCAA Div. II College World Series team prior to the start of the game…former head coach and director of ahtletics Cal Boyes also had his #37 retired…former Hornet Ron Ash was presented the Daryl Horn Award in a pregame ceremony…the award is named after the Hornet catcher who was tragically killed along with his son, brother-in-law and nephew in an automobile accident this fall…the award will be given annually to a former Sacramento State player who embodies Daryl's spirit and commitment to his community.
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