Sacramento State scored three runs early on and never looked back as the Hornets defeated Louisiana Tech, 4-1, to complete the series victory Sunday at John Smith Field in Sacramento.
Sacramento State (26-18, 10-8 WAC) plated three runs off five hits and capitalized off two Louisiana Tech (15-30, 3-15 WAC) errors in the first inning of the series finale to take an early 3-1 lead over the Bulldogs, who added a run in the fourth for Tech's lone run of the afternoon.
"[Sacramento State] out-pitched us, out-hit us and played better defense today," head coach Wade Simoneaux said. "They made all the plays defensively, including the tough and easy ones, but we can't give a good team what we gave them in the first inning. That came back to bite us, but it all comes down to offense. We had our chances but we couldn't get the hits with people on base. A lot of things haven't gone our way, but our guys have to keep fighting."
Senior Trevor Petersen (2-4) started on the mound for Tech and was charged with the loss after allowing three runs – two earned – off eight hits in 4.1 innings of work. After allowing three runs in the first inning, Petersen settled down to allow just three hits in the final three innings of his outing. Jamie Gilley relieved Petersen in the fifth and allowed one run – an earned run – off two hits in two full innings of relief. Sam Alvis and Caleb Dudley also combined to pitch the final two innings of the game.
Tanner Mendonca pitched five complete innings and earned the victory for Sacramento State. Mendonca (2-3) gave up just one run off two hits, while striking out a season-high seven Bulldog hitters. Zach Morgan pitched three innings of relief and allowed just one hit, while holding Tech scoreless. Sutter McLoughlin (12) started the ninth and struck out the side to earn his second save in as many days.
After leading 3-0 after the first, the game remained scoreless until the fourth when Bre'shon Kimbell doubled down the left field line to score Tyler Ervine from first and cut the Hornets lead to 3-1. Sacramento State responded in the sixth and added an insurance run off a solo home run by Andrew Ayers, his fifth of the season, to extend its lead to three runs.
Ayers led Sacramento State at the plate with a 3-for-4 effort with a home run, two runs batted in and two runs scored. Will Soto, Rhys Hoskins and Chris Lewis each notched two hits on the afternoon for the Hornets.
Kimbell, Tyler Ervine and Tyler Qualls each had one hit apiece for Tech's only three hits of the day, while the Bulldogs stranded nine base runners in the loss.
Louisiana Tech will return home to host CSU Bakersfield in a three-game conference home series beginning at 6 p.m. Friday, May 3 at J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park in Ruston.