Long tosses complete game shutout against Utah Valley

State Hornet Staff

Sacramento State baseball needed just seven innings Friday to take down Utah Valley as the Hornets were excellent in all three phases of the game.

Freshman starting pitcher Sam Long threw a gem, tossing a complete game shutout and surrendering just four hits in the 10-0 win. This came off a start last Saturday against Grand Canyon where the lefty struggled, giving up four runs on 10 hits.

“It felt good to come back like that after not having my best stuff last weekend,” Long said. “So being able to come out and be back on top felt good.”

Long improves to 5-0 on the season and now is tied for the team lead in wins.

“Yeah, he was really good. The fastball, changeup combination, and his breaking ball was good as well,” said Sac State head coach Reggie Christiansen. “He was outstanding, he’s been good all year and gives us a chance to win every time.”

The hitting and defense were just as impressive as every single Hornet reached base at least once during the game. With a 2-0 lead heading into the bottom of the sixth, Sac State sent up 10 batters to the plate and scored eight runs.

It was a hit parade of singles until center fielder David Del Grande hit the first extra base hit, a double, of the game in the eight-run sixth. Senior third baseman Will Soto followed Del Grande with a two-run home run which put the Hornets in position to win by mercy rule.

Sac State was busy on the basepaths as there were six stolen bases throughout the game.

“We just had a feeling today that it was going to be different and we tried to find different ways to score runs and it worked out,” Christiansen said.

A constant throughout this season has been the play of the team’s defense. Del Grande, Soto, junior shortstop Scotty Burcham and sophomore right fielder Nathan Lukes are just a few of the standouts in the field.

Soto and Burcham combined for a rather weird play early in the the game when a sharply hit ball bounced off of Soto into the glove of Burcham and he made the clean throw to first for the out. In the final inning, Utah Valley hit a fly ball that landed at the base of the wall and Lukes threw a line drive to second keeping the runner at first.

Being solid at all three phases of the game have helped Sac State to a 24-14, 12-2 record this season.

“Good pitching, played defense, that was a little bit of a different game than some of our games where we were able to use our legs to score some runs,” Christiansen said.

The Hornets will go for the sweep of Utah Valley, Saturday at John Smith Field. First pitch is at 2 p.m.