DAVIS, Calif. -- Sacramento State's Nathan Lukes scored the go-ahead run on a two-out throwing error in the eighth to break a 2-2 tie, and the Hornets added an insurance score in the ninth, to hand UC Davis a stinging 4-2 loss on Wednesday afternoon at Dobbins Stadium.
The defeat was the fourth in the last five games for the Aggies, who fell to 19-11-1 overall heading into this weekend's three-game Big West Conference home series against Cal State Fullerton. The Hornets snapped a three-game winning streak, improving to 18-13 overall and clinching their fifth straight win at Dobbins Stadium in the series.
Lukes had reached on a fielder's choice for the second out of the inning against reliever Justin Mullins (0-1), and stole second with Chris Lewis at the plate to move himself into scoring position. After falling behind in the count, Mullins battled back to even it up at 2-2 before getting Lewis to chop a ground ball up the middle near the second base bag. Shortstop Evan Heptig fielded the ball cleanly, but his throw took a hop to the outfield side of first base where Nick Lynch was unable to snatch it out of the dirt allowing Lukes, who never stopped running around third, to score easily and make it 3-2 in favor of Sacramento State.
The Hornets then added another in the ninth as Vinny Esposito doubled with one out and scored two batters later when Kyle Moses singled to center, barely beating a throw to the plate by John Williams to make it 4-2.
Sutter McLoughlin then came on to notch his fifth save of the year, retiring the side in order in the ninth to nail down the win for reliever Ty Nichols (2-0), who allowed just four hits and struck out two in four innings of work. Jake Stassi started, but left with the no-decision, allowing two runs on six hits.
Mullins allowed just two hits in the loss while striking out a pair over 2.2 innings of work, part of a bullpen that held the Hornets to just five hits over the final seven innings. Junior Nat Hamby got the start, allowing two runs on three hits in two innings with a pair of strikeouts, before giving way to Matt Blais to start the third.
Blais retired the first six batters he faced and allowed a single hit while facing just one over the minimum in his three innings of work. Sophomore right-hander Zach Stone closed the game, allowing a hit and striking out one in two-thirds of an inning.
Sacramento State was the first on the board with a pair of runs in the opening inning. Burcham tripled with one out and was followed by Lukes, who was hit by a pitch to put runners at the corners. Lewis following with an RBI infield single and Brandon Hunley rolled a single through the left side to make it 2-0.
The Aggies got a run back in their half of the inning as Tanner Bily singled to lead things off and moved to third when Tino Lipson dropped a single into right field. After Lipson was caught stealing, Lynch drew a walk to put runners at the corners for Austin March, who lifted a fly ball deep enough into right field to score Bily and make it 2-1.
UC Davis pushed across the tying run in the fourth after Izaak Silva doubled to lead-off the inning -- one of four doubles for the Aggies on the day -- and moved to third on Spencer Henderson's single to shallow center. Freshman Brad Pluschkell then cashed in the run, lofting a ball into centerfield that drove home Silva to make it 2-2.
Numerous chances went by the wayside for UC Davis, which stranded seven runners on the day -- including three in scoring position, two of those at third base, and had another potential run picked off at second base in the seventh to end the inning.
Silva finished 3-for-4 with a double and run scored, notching his ninth multi-hit game of the season and his fourth, three-hit contest -- the latter tied with Lynch for the most on the team this season. Bily was 2-for-4 at the top of the lineup to tally his seventh multi-hit game of the year. With a single in the fifth, Lynch extended his hitting streak to eight games -- the longest active streak and the third-longest by an Aggie this season behind Lipson (13 games) and Kevin Barker (nine games).
First pitch for Friday's series opener against the Titans is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. at Dobbins Stadium, with Saturday and Sunday's games two and three scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.
Sacramento State 4, UC Davis 2 (Apr 08, 2015 at Davis, Calif.)
Sacramento State.... 200 000 011 - 4 8 0 (18-13)
UC Davis............ 100 100 000 - 2 10 1 (19-11-1)
Pitchers: Sacramento State - Stassi,Jake; Nichols,Ty(5); McLoughlin,Sutter(9) and Pollman,Gunner. UC Davis - Hamby, Nat; Blais, Matt (3); Mullins, Justin (6); Peters, Blake (8); Stone, Zach (9) and Silva, Izaak.
Win-Nichols,Ty(2-0) Save-McLoughlin,Sutter(5) Loss- Mullins, Justin (0-1) T-2:27
Weather: mid-50s, patchy clouds