Jackrabbit offense comes alive late in 11-4 win
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – South Dakota State scored the final nine runs of the game, highlighted by home runs from Cody Sharrow and Scott Splett, and Joe Erickson pitched four shutout innings in relief as the Jackrabbit baseball wrapped up a successful weekend Sunday afternoon with an 11-4 victory over Alabama A&M.
In winning three of four games in the series, the Jackrabbits improved to 5-3 overall. Alabama A&M dropped to 3-7 on the season.
Alabama A&M broke into the scoring column first, plating a run in the bottom of the first inning on a two-out run-scoring single by Andrew Utterback.
Jackrabbit starter Kolton Emery ran into further trouble in the third inning, allowing three runs on four hits as A&M grabbed a 4-2 lead. Utterback delivered a two-run single to give the Bulldogs the lead back and later scored on a fielders choice.
Erickson, a sophomore from Urbandale, Iowa, entered to start the fourth inning kept the Bulldogs at bay while the SDSU offense got in gear in the late innings. The right-hander did not allow a hit, while walking three and striking out two en route to his first collegiate victory.
SDSU took the lead for good in the top of the fifth, scoring three times. Finocchiaro drove in the first run of the inning with a sacrifice fly and Sharrow plated the tying run with a single that scored Varga, with Reid Clary scoring the go-ahead run by stealing home.
The Jackrabbits built the lead to 7-4 with single runs in the sixth and eighth innings. Al Robbins led off the sixth with a triple and came across to score on a sacrifice fly by Matt Johnson. Robbins scored again in the eighth on a base hit by Machbitz after earning his way on base with a walk.
Sharrow posted his career-best fourth RBI of the game with a solo home run in the ninth inning. Splett followed three batters later with a three-run blast that scored Zach Coppola and Robbins ahead of him.
SDSU finished with a season-high 13 hits, including three each by Sharrow, Varga and Coppola. The bottom two batters in the Jackrabbit lineup, Sharrow and Coppola each were 3-for-5.
Brandyn Crutcher tallied three of Alabama A&M’s eight hits.
The Jackrabbits return to action Friday at fellow 2013 NCAA Tournament qualifier Texas-San Antonio. First pitch for the opening game of the three-game series is set for 6 p.m.
SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 11, ALABAMA A&M 4
SDSU 020 031 014 11-13-0
AAM 103 000 000 4-8-2
SDSU: Kolton Emery, Joe Erickson (4), Austin Kost (8), Andrew Clemen (9), Aaron Klatt (9) and Reid Clary. AAM: Benjamin Ryder, Derrick Winter (6), Payden Khun (8), Manny Lora (8), Caleb Bowen (9) and Dustin Dhanani.
W-Erickson (1-0). L-Ryder. Save-none.
HR: SDSU-Cody Sharrow (1), Scott Splett (1).