SDSU wins slugfest to sweep Gents
SHREVEPORT, La. - As it did throughout its four-game weekend series at Centenary, South Dakota State came up with another late-inning rally to post a 13-10 victory Sunday afternoon at Shehee Stadium and complete a series sweep.
The Jackrabbits won for the eighth straight time and posted their 17th victory in 18 games to improve to 20-10 overall and remain atop the Summit League standings with a 7-1 mark in league play. Centenary dropped to 3-21 overall and 0-8 in league play.
SDSU outscored Centenary, 20-6, from the sixth inning on in the four-game set.
The Gents scored in five of the first six innings to build a 10-6 lead before SDSU began its comeback. The Jackrabbits pulled to within a run with a three-run seventh inning. Billy Stitz tripled with one out and scored on base hit by Joel Blake. Zach Rhodes then stepped to the plate and hit a two-run home run to right field.
Pinch hitter Phil Paquette knotted the game at 10-all with a homer to left to lead off the eighth. The next batters drew walks and Blake loaded the bases with a base hit. Rhodes delivered another clutch hit, a single down the right-field line that scored two. Eric Cain knocked in the final run of the inning with a sacrifice fly.
Jackrabbit closer Trever Vermeulen entered the game to start the bottom of the eighth and worked around two hits in the eighth to record his third save of the series and fifth of the season. The senior right-hander struck out one.
Erik DeJong earned the victory in relief, striking out two in 1 2/3 innings.
SDSU jumped out to an early lead, scoring four times in the top of the first and knocking out Centenary starter Marc Martinez after only one-third of an inning. Blake doubled in the first two runs and Cain added a run-scoring single. The final run of the inning scored on an error.
Centenary countered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning on a two-run home run by Kyle Morton off Jackrabbit starter Kolton Emery. The Gents closed the gap to 4-3 on a home run by Jeff Schaffert, then tied the game with a run in the fourth.
Matt Creamer gave Centenary its first lead of the game with a two-run double as part of a three-run fifth inning off reliever Shane Kraemer. The Gents tacked on three more runs in the sixth, highlighted by run-scoring singles from R.J. Talamantes and Hernandez.
The top five hitters in the Jackrabbit lineup all had at least two hits and accounted for 13 of the team's 14 hits. Blake was 4-for-5 with three runs batted in and three runs scored, while Rhodes was 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles and a home run en route to four RBI.
Centenary's 16-hit attack was paced by Schaffert, Tyler Neporadny and Peter Rajkovich with three hits apiece.
The Jackrabbits return to action Wednesday with a non-conference game at Minnesota. First pitch is set for 3:05 p.m. at Siebert Field on the Minnesota campus in Minneapolis. SDSU is scheduled to play its first home Summit League series April 22-24 against Southern Utah at Erv Huether Field.
SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 13, CENTENARY (La.) 10
SDSU 400 200 340 13-14-2
CC 201 133 000 10-16-3
SDSU: Kolton Emery, Shane Kraemer (5), Erik DeJong (6), Trever Vermeulen (8) and Zach Briggs. CC: Marc Martinez, Nic Parrott (1), Laetten Galbraith (5), Kelby Langston (7), Cole Thompson (8), Ryan Maldonado (8), Sam Martin (9) and Jeff Schaffert.
W-DeJong (2-0). L-Thompson (0-6). Save-Vermeulen (5).
HR: SDSU-Zach Rhodes (4), Phil Paquette (1); CC-Kyle Morton (4), Jeff Schaffert (2).