Errors costly in 4-3 SDSU loss
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - Mercer (Ga.) took advantage of two Jackrabbit errors in the bottom of the ninth inning to push across the winning run of a 4-3 decision, ending South Dakota State's four-game winning streak Friday afternoon at Bob Warn Field.
Mercer improved to 12-2 overall, while South Dakota State dropped to 8-4.
After the Bears' leadoff hitter in the ninth was thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double, Logan Gaines walked and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. SDSU was on the verge of sending the game to extra innings, but a throwing error by third baseman Andrew Melton gave Mercer runners at the corners. A walk to Nick Backlund loaded the bases before Derrick Workman's fly ball to center field glanced off the glove of Zach Coppola, allowing the winning run to score.
The Jackrabbits took a 1-0 lead by scoring in the top of the first. With two outs, Melton singled and scored on a double by Daniel Telford.
The Bears again tied the game in the fifth on a double by Backlund, then took a 3-2 lead with an unearned run in the seventh.
SDSU knotted the game at 3-all with a run in the eighth. Melton led off with a walk and moved to second on a base hit by Telford. Both runners moved up a base on a sacrifice bunt by Scott Splett, with Daniel Marra plating Melton with the tying run on a sacrifice fly.
Jackrabbit starter Layne Somsen worked the first six innings, allowing two runs on three hits. The senior right-hander struck out four and walked three. Chad Hodges was the hard-luck losing pitcher as he threw the final 2 1/3 innings. He gave up two hits, walked three and struck out a pair.
Telford and Machbitz each tallied two of the Jackrabbits' seven hits. SDSU committed five errors in the game.
David Teasley picked up the win in relief for Mercer as he did not allow a hit over the final 1 2/3 innings.
No player tallied more than one hit for the Bears, who totaled five as a team.
Weather and field conditions have altered the remaining tournament schedule. SDSU will again face Mercer at 11 a.m. Eastern Time (10 a.m. Central), followed by a 2:30 matchup with host Indiana State at 2:30 p.m.
MERCER (Ga.) 4, SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 3
SDSU 100 100 010 3-7-5
MER 001 010 101 4-5-0
SDSU: Layne Somsen, Aaron Klatt (7), Chad Hodges (7) and Reid Clary, Sam Pack (9). MER: Brandon Barker, Dimitri Kourtis (7), David Teasley (8) and David Reid-Foley, Austin Barrett (8).