Jackrabbits, Falcons split doubleheader
South Dakota State and Air Force wrapped up their three-game weekend baseball series Saturday afternoon by splitting a doubleheader at Erv Huether Field.
Zach Coppola singled in the game-winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning to give the Jackrabbits a 2-1 victory in the opener. Air Force came back to win Game 2, 4-2, to move to 10-25 on the season. SDSU ended the day 16-17 overall.
In the opener, the Jackrabbits trailed 1-0 until tying the game in the bottom of the eighth. Sam Pack opened the inning with a bunt single. Pinch runner Eric Danforth then advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Zach Holt and scored two batters later on a single to center field by Scott Splett.
Tyler Shannon started the game-winning rally in the 10th with a one-out single that was followed by a walk to Jordan Varga. After Falcon reliever Nathan Stanford struck out Splett for the second out of the inning, Coppola lined an 0-1 pitch to left center to plate Shannon.
Air Force took advantage of shaky Jackrabbit defense to score its lone run of the game in the top of the second inning. Spencer Draws and Bradley Haslam opened the inning by reaching on back-to-back errors, with Draws later scorig on a sacrifice bunt by Russell Williams.
SDSU starter Chris Anderson allowed only two hits in eight innings, but did not factor into the decision. The left-hander struck out three and walked one. Reliever J.D. Moore earned the victory after throwing two hitless innings.
Air Force starter Griffin Jax struck out four and did not walk a batter in eight innings.
Splett and Coppola each tallied two of SDSU’s seven hits. The Jackrabbits improved to 4-2 in extra-inning games this season.
The Jackrabbits carried the momentum into the start of the second game as Splett led off the bottom of the first with a walk, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Aaron Machbitz’s single to left field.
Air Force tied the game with an unearned run in the second, then took the lead in the top of the fourth on a solo home run by Seth Kline to lead off the frame against SDSU starter Chad Hodges. The Falcons added two more runs in the sixth on an RBI double by Adam Groesbeck, which was followed by the third Jackrabbit error of the game.
SDSU put together a rally in the seventh and final inning and brought the tying run to the plate after Paul Jacobson singled and later scored on an error. Stanford, however, retired the next two hitters after the error to secure the Falcon victory and his third save of the season.
Falcon starter Steven Trojan allowed four hits, walked three and struck out six in six innings. Hodges, meanwhile, gave up six hits, walked one and struck out two. Only two of the four runs he allowed were earned.
Jacobson notched two of the Jackrabbits’ five hits. Air Force’s seven hits were spread among seven different players.
The Jackrabbits close out their eight-game homestand Tuesday afternoon with a single game against North Dakota. First pitch is slated for 3 p.m. at Erv Huether Field.
Game 1: SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 2, AIR FORCE 1 (10 inn.)
AF 010 000 000 0 1-2-2
SDSU 000 000 010 1 2-7-3
AF: Griffin Jax, Ben Yokley (9), Nathan Stanford (10) and Travis Neubeck. SDSU: Chris Anderson, J.D. Moore (9) and Sam Pack, Reid Clary (9).
W-Moore (3-2). L-Yokley (1-2). Save-none.
Game 2: AIR FORCE 4, SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 2
AF 010 102 0 4-7-2
SDSU 100 000 1 2-5-3
AF: Steven Trojan, Nathan Stanford (7) and Travis Neubeck. SDSU: Chad Hodges, Marcus Heemstra (6) and Reid Clary.
W-Trojan (2-5). L-Hodges (4-3). Save-Stanford (3).
HR: AF-Seth Kline (2).