The Sacramento State baseball team scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to come back and defeat the Minnesota Golden Gophers 3-2 Thursday at John Smith Field.
Sac State (10-6) sophomore right fielder James Outman began the eighth-inning rally by hitting his second home run of the season on a solo shot to right field. Two pitches later, senior shortstop Trent Goodrich hit a single off of Minnesota (9-8) relief pitcher Tyler Hanson.
After a base hit single from junior center fielder Ian Dawkins, closer Brian Glowicki entered the game to relieve Hanson — who finished the game allowing three hits and three earned runs in one inning of work. However, junior left fielder Andrew McWilliam reached base on a fielder’s choice pop fly to center field to score Goodrich for the 2-2 tie in the eighth inning.
A walk to Hornets’ designated hitter Devin Lehman moved McWilliam to second base. Senior third baseman Brandon Hunley hit an RBI single to bring McWilliam home and grab a 3-2 lead over Minnesota.
“(Outman) started us off with a home run and a lot of momentum, and we just kind of knew that we were going to do something that inning,” Hunley said after junior pitcher Ty Fox ended the ninth inning with three outs for the save.
Minnesota starting pitcher Lucas Gilbreath earned a no decision after only giving up two hits, two walks and nine strikeouts in six innings of work. Sac State senior pitcher Justin Dillon finished the game with a no decision after allowing six hits, two earned runs and five strikeouts in seven innings. Senior pitcher Tanner Olson earned the win after allowing one hit in the eighth inning.
“We only walked one guy I think, and we played pretty good defense,” Sac State coach Reggie Christiansen said. “Anytime you throw strikes and play good defense — you can stay in the game and it allows your offense to kind of come back like we did tonight.”
The Hornets will face Minnesota in game two of the series at 6 p.m. Friday at John Smith Field.
“I think (the win) changes everything,” Hunley said. “Now we can go in there a little more relaxed.”
CORRECTION: March 17 at 10:33 a.m. — The original version of this story falsely reported that Sac State shortstop Trent Goodrich and center fielder Ian Dawkins hit singles off of Lucas Gilbreath in the eighth inning. However, these base hits came off of Tyler Hanson. Gilbreath ended his night in the sixth inning.
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