Hornets win with the bats against Northern Colorado

State Hornet Staff

Sacramento State woke up the bats Friday scoring nine runs and beating the University of Northern Colorado in the first game of Western Athletic Conference play at John Smith Field.

Five players had multiple hits in the 9-2 victory. Nine runs is the most the Hornets have scored all season.

Sac State and Northern Colorado were tied at two until the fifth inning where the Hornets took the lead for good. The Hornets scored seven unanswered runs including six combined in the seventh and eighth innings.

“We’ve been playing soccer lately scoring just a couple goals at a time, today we finally scored some runs,” said head coach Reggie Christiansen. “It was good, our guys came out and we swung the bats good. Kinda stuck with our plan and came out on top today.”

Freshman designated hitter Ryan Locke got just his ninth start of the season but is on a tear with the bat lately. He is 5-for-7 with two doubles and four RBIs. Locke is 4-for-4 in pinch hitting duties this season, his latest hit being a game-winner against Pacific last Tuesday.

“Definitely excited to start, definitely a lot more fun to get more at bats,” Locke said. “I’m having a blast out there.”

Locke was not the only player hitting well, freshman shortstop Brandon Hunley and senior center fielder David Del Grande each had a homerun. It was Hunley’s second of the season while it was the first for Del Grande.

Sophomore catcher Dane Fujinaka entered the game in the sixth and went 2-for-2 with a double, RBI and a run scored, his first of the season. In the sixth, Fujinaka had a chance to score two runs but was called out at home in a play at the plate.

“Today we did a really good job of hitting our pitch well, we got a lot of fastballs and we didn’t miss them,” Fujinaka said. “When we do that as a team, we’re gonna do really well.”

Sac State is now 10-11 overall and 1-0 in conference play. The Hornets will play game two of the series, Saturday against Northern Colorado at John Smith Field.