BASEBALL MOVES INTO TIE FOR FIRST IN THE WAC WITH 9-5 WIN OVER GRAND CANYON

BASEBALL MOVES INTO TIE FOR FIRST IN THE WAC WITH 9-5 WIN OVER GRAND CANYON

PHOENIX, Ariz. – The Sacramento State baseball team (28-20, 14-5 WAC) racked up nine runs on 15 hits Friday night en route to a dominating 9-5 win over the Grand Canyon Antelopes (27-22, 14-5). With the win, the Hornets moved into a tie with the Lopes atop the Western Athletic Conference standings.

Sacramento State's 15 hits matched their season high (also March 16 at UC Santa Barbara). Of those 15 hits, seven went for extra bases, including three home runs.

Even more impressive, 11 of their hits and six of their runs came against Grand Canyon's starter Jake Wong, who entered the game with an 8-1 record and was the WAC Preseason Pitcher of the Year selection.

Keith Torres was the first to homer for the Hornets Friday night, driving one out to right field in the third inning. The home run cut GCU's 2-0 lead to one run and was the start of a scoring outburst for Sacramento State.

After the third-inning home run, the Hornets scored in each of the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth innings.

The fifth inning was the big one for Sacramento State, as they scored four times on five hits to take a 6-2 lead. PJ Floyd started the scoring with a two-run double down the left field line scoring Ian Dawkins and James Outman. Vinny Esposito then knocked in Floyd with a base hit before scoring on Steven Moretto's double.

Esposito added the team's second home run, a solo shot to lead off the seventh. Dawkins hit the third home run of the night for Sacramento State, going to the opposite field in the eighth to give the Hornets their ninth and final run.

In total, Dawkins finished a triple shy of the cycle while scoring three runs and driving in another. Esposito went 3-for-5 with a home run, two RBIs, and two runs scored, while Moretto also had three hits with an RBI and a run scored.

On the mound for the Hornets, Scott Randall and Austin Roberts combined to allow just five total runs to a Grand Canyon team that had averaged over seven runs per game over their last 10 games.

Four of GCU's five runs came against Randall, who matched his career-high with six innings. He picked up his sixth win of the season with the effort. Roberts threw the final three innings, allowing one run on one hit and a walk while striking out four. Roberts earned his second save of the season.

With the win, Sacramento State improved to 28-20 overall and 14-5 in the WAC. The win moved them into a tie with Grand Canyon for first place in the conference.

The series continues tomorrow night as the Hornets and Lopes take the field for a 6:00 pm first pitch. Sacramento State will send Austin Root (7-3, 2.82) to the mound to face Grand Canyon's Jake Repavich (2-4, 6.87). The game will stream online on both the WAC Digital Network and Hornets Radio. For more information, please visit the Sacramento State Baseball 2018 schedule online at HornetSports.com.