Jackrabbits edge SUU, 9-8
Beau Hanowski's base hit with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning drove in Andrew Phelan with the game-winning run, lifting South Dakota State to a 9-8 victory over Southern Utah Friday afternoon at Erv Huether Field.
The Jackrabbits won their ninth consecutive game and 18th in their last 19 outings, improving to 21-10 overall and 8-1 in The Summit League. SUU dropped to 15-19 overall and 4-5 in league play.
SDSU recovered to win after it squandered a 7-3 lead through four innings. The Thunderbirds made it a one-run game with a three-run sixth inning against Jackrabbit reliever Austin Busse, and took an 8-7 lead on Austin Hunt's two-run home run - his first of the season - off Shane Kraemer in the seventh.
The Jackrabbits tied the game with an unearned run in the home half of the seventh as Zach Briggs advanced to second on a throwing error to lead off the frame and slid just under the tag on a close play at the plate after a base hit by Joel Blake.
Phelan started the game-winning rally with a single to center field to open the Jackrabbit eighth inning. Andrew Melton moved Phelan to second with a sacrifice bunt, before pinch hitter Daniel Telford popped out to shortstop. Hanowski then stepped to the plate and delivered an opposite-field single to left to plate Phelan.
SDSU reliever Trever Vermeulen worked the final two innings to pick up his first victory of the season. Vermeulen worked around a leadoff walk in the top of the ninth, but struck out one in two hitless innings.
Neither starting pitcher factored in the decision. SDSU starter Stephen Bougher pitched the first five innings, allowing three runs on seven hits, while walking three and striking out four.
Thunderbird starter David Headley left due to an apparent injury in the fourth inning. The right-hander allowed seven runs - five earned - and walked five in three-plus innings.
Zach Rhodes delivered a three-run double in the second inning to give SDSU an early 4-0 lead. SUU cut the deficit in half as Tyson Weber led off the third inning with a base hit and came around to score on a triple to left-center field by Taylor Shaw. Shaw also scored on the play as the throw to third base sailed into the Jackrabbit dugout.
The Jackrabbits scored three more times in the fourth inning to build their 7-3 lead. Hanowski opened the frame with a triple and scored on an infield single by Billy Stitz. Rhodes knocked in his fourth run of the game with a single to greet reliever D.J. Andrade, and the final run of the inning scored on an error.
Andrade was saddled with the loss despite pitching well in relief for the Thunderbirds. He struck out two and walked one in five innings, scattering eight hits.
Jesse Sawyer was 3-for-4 to lead the Jackrabbits' 14-hit attack. Five other players had two hits each.
Weber tallied three of SUU's 13 hits.
The two teams are scheduled to play a doubleheader Saturday, starting at noon at Erv Huether Field.
SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 9, SOUTHERN UTAH 8
SUU 002 103 200 8-13-4
SDSU 130 300 11X 9-14-3
SUU: David Headley, D.J. Andrade (4) and Taggart Lunceford. SDSU: Stephen Bougher, Austin Busse (6), Shane Kraemer (7), Trever Vermeulen (8) and Zach Briggs, Nick Andrews.
W-Vermeulen (1-2). L-Andrade (0-1). Save-none.
HR: SUU-Austin Hunt (1).