Photo by Brigham Berthold
OREM — Justin Dillon cruised through seven innings and Andrew McWilliam hit two home runs to help Sacramento State University rout UVU 9-1 Friday afternoon at Brent Brown Ballpark.
Dillon, the Hornet’s ace, lived up to his billing, throwing seven innings of one-run ball. He mixed his 89 MPH fastball with a sharp breaking ball that fooled Wolverine hitters and kept them off balance throughout the game. He finished his day with six strikeouts and two walks. Dillon also benefitted from several impressive defensive plays that held UVU to one run on nine hits.
Sac State got on the board in the first inning when with two outs, PJ Floyd drove a fastball up in the zone to the opposite field that carried for a home run to give the Hornets the 1-0 lead. In the second inning, a pair of singles and a throwing error put runners on second and third for freshman Michael Birch who scored them both with a single to left-center field.
Jackson Cofer started the game for UVU and had to work hard to get through 6 1/3 innings, throwing 114 pitches. Cofer was forced to pitch out of the stretch for much of the game and did well limiting the damage until the fifth inning when it caught up with him.
Left fielder McWilliam hit a solo home run to begin the fifth inning then Cofer got two quick outs. First baseman Vinny Esposito then beat out a ground ball for an infield single. A throwing error from short stop Paul Estrada on a would-be ground out to end the inning put runners on second and third. Shortstop Trent Goodrich cashed in on the error when he singled to score both runs and Birch doubled to score another one, opening up the game for the Hornets.
The Wolverines scored their only run of the game in the bottom half of the fifth inning when Paul Estrada doubled and scored on a Trevor Peterson single to center field. Peterson, who is hitting .364 on the season, is tied for first on the team in on base percentage of players with more than 50 at bats and runs scored with 18.
McWilliam crushed another home run to left-center field in the eighth inning with a runner on to make the final score 9-1 Sac State.
UVU will begin the second game of the doubleheader at approximately 4:15 p.m. MDT. Jake Mayer is on the mound facing freshman Parker Brahms.
Ty Bianucci is a life-long fan of the San Francisco Giants, 49ers and Golden State Warriors who started on the sports beat for The Review, but now contributes investigative stories. He, along with two of his colleagues, were awarded the Sunshine Award in 2018 by the Society of Professional Journalists.