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Jackrabbits swept in Omaha

Courtesy: SDSU Sports Info
Release: 03/30/2014 19:50:32

OMAHA, Neb. – Dylan Casey singled home the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning, lifting Omaha to a 7-6 victory over South Dakota State in the second game of a Summit League baseball doubleheader Sunday afternoon and a sweep at the Ballpark at Boys Town.

The Mavericks, who won the opener, 10-2, improved to 12-9 overall and 2-0 in league play. SDSU dropped to 12-14 overall, 1-3 in The Summit League.

Omaha battled back from 3-0 and 6-4 deficits in Game 2. SDSU scored in the top of the first as Scott Splett led off with a double and later crossed home plate on a groundout by Michael Finocchiaro. Sam Pack started a two-run rally in the second with a leadoff double. Pack scored on a sacrifice fly by Cody Sharrow and Jordan Varga added a run-scoring single after Splett’s second double of the game.

The Mavericks tied the game with three unearned runs in the home half of the third. Clayton Taylor doubled in the last two runs of the third inning, then gave Omaha the lead with a solo home run in the fifth.

An Eric Danforth sacrifice fly in the sixth tied the game at 4, and the Jackrabbits took a 6-4 lead on a two-run home run in the seventh by Aaron Machbitz – his second of the day.

Omaha answered with a pair of runs of its own in the home half of the seventh on an RBI double by Taylor and run-scoring single by Caleb Palensky.

Palensky, who was 4-for-4, started the game-winning rally with a leadoff double to open the Omaha ninth, then advanced to third on the third Jackrabbit error of the game. After a pair of intentional walks to load the bases was followed by a strikeout, Casey entered the game as a pinch-hitter and lined a single to right field to drive in Palensky.

Taylor was 3-for-4 and drove in four runs for Omaha, which held a 12-11 advantage in hits. Machbitz was 3-for-5 to lead the Jackrabbits, while Splett and Jake Ratz each notched a pair of hits.

In the opener, both of the Jackrabbits’ runs came on solo home runs. Machbitz tied the game at 1 with his fourth home run of the season with two outs in the fourth inning, and Omaha native Michael Finocchiaro hit his first collegiate home run to lead off the sixth.

Between the two SDSU home runs, however, the Mavericks took control of the game, scoring three times in the bottom of the fourth inning and four more times in the fifth, the latter rally highlighted by a two-run homer by Palensky. Taylor added a two-run home run to cap the scoring in the sixth inning.

Sam Pack was the lone Jackrabbit with a two-hit effort in the opener as Omaha held an 11-7 advantage in hits.

Omaha starter Tyler Fox struck out six and walked two in six innings. SDSU left-hander Chris Anderson allowed seven runs – six earned – in 4 1/3 innings. He struck out four, but did not walk a batter.

The Jackrabbits are slated to open the home season Friday with a 1 p.m. doubleheader at Erv Huether Field against North Dakota State.

Game 1: OMAHA 10, SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 2
SDSU   000     101     0          2-7-2
UNO    010     342     X          10-11-1
SDSU: Chris Anderson, Ethan Kenkel (5) and Sam Pack. UNO: Tyler Fox, Josh Bullock (7) and Collin Leif.
W-Fox (4-1). L-Anderson (1-3). Save-none.
HR: SDSU-Aaron Machbitz (4), Michael Finocchiaro (1); UNO-Clayton Taylor (3), Caleb Palensky (1).

Game 2: OMAHA 7, SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 6
SDSU   120     001     200       6-11-3
UNO    003     010     201       7-12-0
SDSU: Chad Hodges, Blake Fiedelman (4), Tyler Shannon (6), Talon Jumper (7), Andrew Clemen (7) and Sam Pack, Reid Clary (8). UNO: Zach Williamsen, Sam Murphy (6), Zach Eden (8), Anthony Falcone (9) and Justin Threlkeld.
W-Falcone (1-1). L-Clemen (0-1). Save-none.
HR: SDSU-Aaron Machbitz (5); UNO-Clayton Taylor (4).

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