Jackrabbits split baseball home opener
The South Dakota State University baseball team opened the home portion of its schedule Sunday afternoon by splitting a doubleheader with league-leading Fort Wayne at Erv Huether Field.
The Jackrabbits won the opener, 2-1, behind the pitching of junior right-hander Adam Bray, then dropped a 9-5 decision later in the day. SDSU moved to 13-15 overall, 2-4 in The Summit League. Fort Wayne ended the day 13-17 overall, 5-1 in league play.
In the opener, Bray struck out a career-high 11 batters in only six innings as he improved to 4-2 on the season.
After leaving the bases loaded in the top of the second, Fort Wayne cracked the scoring column with a two-out rally against Bray. Carter DeBoe and Shane Trevino hit back-to-back doubles for what proved to be the only Mastodon run in the game.
SDSU tied the game in the home half of the third inning. Tyler Shannon walked to lead off the inning, then moved into scoring position by stealing second base with two outs. After a walk to Paul Jacobson, cleanup hitter Aaron Machbitz brought home the tying run with a base hit to center field.
The Jackrabbits gained the lead thanks to a Fort Wayne error the next inning. Reid Clary singled with one out, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Zach Coppola and scored when Shannon’s towering popup to third base was dropped.
J.D. Moore worked around a Jackrabbit error in the top of the seventh to record his fourth save of the season. With his 22nd career save, Moore also moved within one save of the Jackrabbit career mark held by Trever Vermeulen (23 saves from 2008-11).
Bray scattered seven hits and walked two in picking up the victory. His counterpart, Nate White, was the hard-luck loser after allowing only three hits to go along with three strikeouts and four walks in a six-inning complete-game effort.
Trevino and Evan VanSumeren each tallied two hits for Fort Wayne.
In the nitecap, the Mastodons scored four unearned runs that proved to be the difference in a 9-5 victory.
Fort Wayne jumped out to an early 1-0 lead as Malcolm White led off the game with a double off SDSU starter Chris Anderson, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a base hit by DeBoe. The Masotodon lead grew to 4-0 in the third inning with the help of a Jackrabbit error and a quirk in the ground rules due to soggy field conditions. The first run of the inning scored on a groundout, which was followed by a Kristian Gayday RBI single. After a catch in foul territory was ruled to have occurred out of play, Greg Kaiser doubled in Gayday with the final run of the frame.
The Jackrabbits cut the deficit in half with a two-run bottom of the fourth inning. Jake Ratz led off with a double and scored on a single by Eric Danforth. Al Robbins scored the other SDSU run of the inning on the back end of a double steal with Danforth.
However, Fort Wayne built the lead back to four runs with single runs in both the fifth and sixth innings. Kevin Wirth doubled in the run in the fifth, while White delivered a run-scoring single in the sixth.
SDSU again drew to within two with a pair of runs in the sixth. Machbitz scored the first run on a double play grounder, with Reid Clary adding a run-scoring single later in the frame. Clary plated the final run of the game for the Jackrabbits with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth.
Fort Wayne capitalized on a Jackrabbit error and passed ball to score twice in the eighth and added another unearned run in the ninth for the final margin.
The first two Jackrabbit batters of the bottom of the ninth drew walks, but Mastodon reliever Connor Lawhead struck out all three batters he faced to earn the save.
Wirth and VanSumeren each tallied three hits to lead Fort Wayne’s 12-hit attack. Danforth was 3-for-4 to pace the Jackrabbits’ eight-hit effort.
SDSU continues its homestand Tuesday by hosting Mount Marty in a 3 p.m. contest at Erv Huether Field.
Game 1: SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 2, FORT WAYNE 1
IPFW 001 000 0 1-7-1
SDSU 001 100 0 2-3-2
IPFW: Nate White and Steve Lowden. SDSU: Adam Bray, J.D. Moore (7) and Reid Clary.
W-Bray (4-2). L-White (1-4). Save-Moore (4).
Game 2: FORT WAYNE 9, SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 5
IPFW 103 011 021 9-12-2
SDSU 000 202 010 5-8-3
IPFW: Steve Danielak, Kyle Sorensen (5), Cody O’Neal (6), Kevin Kimball (8), Connor Lawhead (9) and Steve Lowden. SDSU: Chris Anderson, Joe Erickson (5), Talon Jumper (7), Andrew Clemen (8), Blake Fiedelman (8) and Reid Clary.
W-Sorensen (1-1). L-Anderson (1-4). Save-Lawhead (5).