SACRAMENTO -- Martin Vincelli-Simard homered and scored twice, finishing as one of three Hornets with two hits on the day, while a trio of pitchers combined to limit visiting Utah Valley to just two hits as Sacramento State finished off a sweep of the Wolverines with a 7-2 victory on Sunday afternoon at John Smith Field.
Celebrating their senior class in winning fashion in their penultimate home game of 2022, the Hornets improved to 28-23 overall and 17-13 in Western Athletic Conference play, posting their first conference series sweep of the season while capping off a perfect 4-0 week.
In addition, with one week remaining in the regular season, Sunday's victory also clinched the No. 2 seed out of the league's West Division for Sacramento State in the upcoming Western Athletic Conference Tournament at Hohokam Stadium in Mesa, Ariz., pitting the Hornets against the No. 3 seed out of the Southwest Division on May 25 at 9 a.m. PT.
Utah Valley fell to 16-35 overall and 9-18 in league play with the loss.
Sacramento State's senior class played a huge part in nailing down the victory, combining for six of the team's 11 hits, scoring five runs, and driving in four runs. Vincelli-Simard, who collected his fifth consecutive multi-hit game with a 2-for-3 day, was joined in the two-hit club by Jeffery Heard and fellow senior Nick Iwasa, as eight different Hornets finished with at least one hit.
Meanwhile, on the mound, the trio of Noah Takacs, Trey Goodrich, and Kevin Haynes, combined to stymie the Wolverine bats all afternoon, allowing just six baserunners. Takacs went the first four, allowing the two runs on one swing of the bat in the fourth and striking out a pair, before giving way to Goodrich (1-0) in the fifth, who went the next two innings, allowing a hit and striking out two.
Haynes then wrapped up the victory with the three-inning save, striking out three while facing the minimum over the final three frames.
Jorge Bojorquez got the scoring started in the first with an RBI single, driving home Dawsen Bacho, who walked, for the 1-0 lead. Trevor Doyle made it 2-0 in the second with a run-scoring single of his own to score Dylan McPhillips for the 2-0 advantage before the Hornets broke the game wide open with a three-run third.
A hit batter and a single by Heard put two on for Nick Iwasa, who dropped a single into centerfield to score Vincelli-Simard for a three-run cushion. After a walk to Gunner Gouldsmith loaded the bases, McPhillips lofted a ball into deep right field, enough to score Heard with a sacrifice fly to make it a 4-0 game.
Controversy led to Sacramento State's fifth run of the game after Josh Rolling was initially called out on a ground ball that would have ended the inning, but the ruling was reversed when it was determined that the throw pulled the Utah Valley first baseman off the bag, allowing Iwasa's run to count and make it 5-0.
The Wolverines pulled two runs back in the fourth after Spencer Olsen was hit by a pitch as Mick Madsen launched a 1-0 offering over the wall in right for Utah Valley's first hit of the game, cutting the deficit to 5-2.
However, single runs in the fifth and sixth innings allowed the Hornets to rebuild their five-run lead as Rolling plated Gouldsmith with an infield single and Vincelli-Simard left the yard with his fourth home run of the season over the left field wall for the final 7-2 score.
Vincelli-Simard's home run was the team's 52nd of the season, matching last year's total and the most since Sacramento State slugged 63 round-trippers in 2009.
The Hornets close out the 2022 regular season with a three-game non-conference series against Bay Area rival San Jose State next weekend. Sacramento State hosts the opener on Thursday (May 19) at 6 p.m., with the final two games scheduled for Excite Ballpark in San Jose on Friday (May 20) at 6:05 p.m. and Saturday (May 21) at 4:05 p.m.