SDSU starts series against Bison with 4-2 loss
FARGO, N.D. – North Dakota State scored three runs in the bottom of the second inning, and David Ernst and the rest of the Bison made the lead stand up as NDSU defeated South Dakota State, 4-2, in the opening game of a Summit League baseball series Thursday night at Newman Outdoor Field.
Both teams ended the night tied for third place in Summit League play with 9-10 records. Overall, NDSU improved to 21-22 overall, while SDSU dropped to 25-26.
After SDSU left the bases loaded in the top of the second inning, the Bison sent seven men to the plate in the home half of the inning. Andy Wicklund and Michael Leach opened the frame with back-to-back singles off Jackrabbit starter Adam Bray. A sacrifice bunt by Paul Funk moved both runners into scoring position before Aiden Hook walked to load the bases. Tim Colwell plated the first run on a fielders choice and Jon Hechtner followed with a run-scoring single to center field. Colwell scored the final run of the inning on a wild pitch.
The Jackrabbits trimmed the deficit to 3-2 with both of their runs scoring in the fifth inning. Cody Sharrow led off with a double down the left field line and moved up a base on a failed pickoff attempt during the next at-bat. SDSU cashed in as Sharrow scored on a groundout by Scott Splett. The second Jackrabbit run of the inning came on three consecutive two-out hits – singles by Aaron Machbitz and Matt Johnson, capped by an RBI double down the right-field line by Eric Danforth.
NDSU added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth against the Jackrabbit bullpen. Leach walked to lead off the inning, advanced to second on another sacrifice by Funk and scored on a Colwell single to right field.
SDSU stranded two runners in the eighth inning and brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth inning, but failed to score against the Bison bullpen.
Ernst worked the first 7 2/3 innings, striking out four and walking four in evening his record at 4-4.Trevor Jaunich recorded the final four outs for his sixth save of the season.
Bray allowed five hits to go along with three strikeouts and three walks in dropping his third consecutive start.
Hits were even at seven apiece. Machbitz was the lone player in the game with more than one hit, going 2-for-5 on the night.
The two teams are scheduled to play a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. Friday.
NORTH DAKOTA STATE 4, SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 2
SDSU 000 020 000 2-7-1
NDSU 030 001 00X 4-7-2
SDSU: Adam Bray, Derringer Huff (6), Tyler Shannon (8) and Reid Clary. NDSU: David Ernst, Trevor Jaunich (8) and Michael Leach.
W-Ernst (4-4). L-Bray (5-6). Save-Jaunich (6).