Jackrabbits win suspended game, 5-2
MACOMB, Ill. – South Dakota State scored three times in the top of the 11th inning to close out a 5-2 victory over Western Illinois in a suspended game Saturday morning at Alfred D. Boyer Stadium.
In earning a split of the doubleheader and two-game series, SDSU improved to 12-12 overall and 1-1 in The Summit League. WIU dropped to 3-16 overall, 1-1 in league play. The game was suspended because of darkness Friday with the teams tied at 2 through 10 innings.
Illinois native Zach Holt started the game-winning rally for the Jackrabbits with a single to lead off the 11th. Holt moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Al Robbins and advanced to third on a single by Reid Clary. Tyler Shannon then plated Holt with the go-ahead run on a bunt single. Two batters later, Scott Splett delivered a two-run single that scored both Clary and Shannon to provide the final margin.
J.D. Moore, who pitched the final two innings on Friday, closed out the Jackrabbit victory by pitching a scoreless 11th inning on Saturday to earn his second win of the season. He struck out two and walked three in three innings.
Western Illinois led 2-0 through seven innings before the Jackrabbits scored single runs in the eighth and ninth innings to tie the game.
SDSU loaded the bases with nobody out in the top of the eighth as Clary and Shannon walked and Eric Danforth dropped a bunt single down the third-base line. Splett then came through with a sacrifice fly to score Clary, but WIU reliever Tyler Owings escaped further damage by retiring the next two Jackrabbit hitters with a strikeout and groundout.
The Jackrabbits tied the game in the top of the ninth when Danforth was hit by a pitch with two outs and the bases loaded, forcing in Holt.
Play was suspended after the 10th inning, but not before one final threat by Western Illinois. The Fighting Leathernecks loaded the bases on an infield hit and pair of walks, but Moore got J.J. Reimer to ground out for what proved to be the final out of the day.
SDSU went to extra innings for the third consecutive Friday and fifth time this season, moving to 3-2 in extra-inning games.
WIU took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on a run-scoring double by Tanner Glore, who added an RBI single in the sixth inning for the Fighting Leathernecks’ other run.
Travis Stafford led WIU’s 13-hit effort by going 4-for-5. Splett and Clary each notched two hits for the Jackrabbits, who finished with 11 hits in the game. Splett has reached base in all 24 games this season.
SDSU starter Joe Erickson struck out two in 5 2/3 innings. Andrew Clemen pitched 2 1/3 innings of scoreless innings of relief with a pair of strikeouts, while Moore struck out two and walked two in two scoreless innings.
Tyler Willman pitched seven scoreless innings for WIU, striking four and walking one.
The Jackrabbits are scheduled to close out their weekend road trip Sunday afternoon with a doubleheader at Omaha. First pitch is set for noon at the Ballpark at Boys Town.
Game 2: SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 5, WESTERN ILLINOIS 2 (11 inn.)
SDSU 000 000 000 03 5-11-1
WIU 100 001 000 00 2-13-0
SDSU: Joe Erickson, Andrew Clemen (6), J.D. Moore (9) and Reid Clary. WIU: Tyler Willman, Nick Bakeris (8), Tyler Owings (8), Nick Milligan (10), Tom Constand (11) and Adam McGinnis.
W-Moore (2-2). L-Constand (0-5). Save-none.