Jacks win slugfest, 12-10
South Dakota State scored five times in the bottom of the eighth inning, defeating Western Illinois, 12-10, in the opening game of a four-game Summit League baseball series Thursday afternoon at Erv Huether Field.
The Jackrabbits improved to 17-31-1 overall and 6-12 in league play. Western Illinois dropped to 15-34-1 on the season, including 5-16 in The Summit League.
Eric Cain, who was 4-for-4, started the game-winning rally with an infield single and moved to second on an error when the throw got past the first baseman. Eric Danforth reached on the Fighting Leathernecks' second error of the inning - and fifth of the game - and Cain scored on Aaron Machbitz's third double of the game to center field. WIU reliever Gabe Long failed to record an out as he hit one batter and walked the next three hitters with the bases loaded, the last of which was to Andrew Phelan that gave SDSU an 11-10 lead. A groundout by Zach Rhodes plated Andrew Melton with the final run.
The Jackrabbit rally came after the Fighting Leathernecks took a 10-7 lead in the top of the seventh on two-run home runs by Matt Igara and Tom Lilja off SDSU left-hander Shane Kraemer.
SDSU scored in each of the first five innings, but led only 7-6. Western Illinois scored four times in the second inning to build a 5-1 lead and knock out Jackrabbit starter Layne Somsen. Lilja, who was 3-for-4 with a home run and pair of doubles, doubled in the second run of the inning and Dan Dispensa added a two-run single.
The Jackrabbits took a 6-5 lead with a three-run third inning as Machbitz, who tallied a career-best four hits in five trips to the plate, doubled in the first run and Zach Briggs added a two-run ground-rule double.
Three freshman relievers combined to allow only one run in six innings of work for the Jackrabbits. Talon Jumper gave up only one run in four innings in relief of Somsen, while Ty Walker was credited with the victory after pitching a scoreless eighth. Closer J.D. Moore struck out all three batters he faced in the ninth to record his team-leading fifth save of the season.
SDSU pounded out 15 hits in the game, tying a season high with seven doubles. Machbitz's three doubles marked the 10th time in the Division I era a Jackrabbit player accomplished the feat.
The two teams are scheduled to play a doubleheader starting at noon Friday.
SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 12, WESTERN ILLINOIS 10
WIU 140 010 400 10-11-5
SDSU 113 110 005X 12-15-0
WIU: Dan Russell, Mason Pingell (4), Chris Macek (5), Gabe Long (8), Philip Tolman (8) and Manny Reyes, Mark Garton. SDSU: Layne Somsen, Talon Jumper (2), Shane Kraemer (6), Ty Walker (8), J.D. Moore (9) and Zach Briggs, Nick Andrews.
W-Walker (1-0). L-Long (0-1). Save-Moore (5).
HR: WIU-Matt Igara (4), Tom Lilja (4).