Jacks, Bears split twinbill
GREELEY, Colo. - Northern Colorado scored twice in its last at-bat to win the opener, 8-7, but South Dakota State responded with a 7-3 victory in Game 2 to split a college baseball doubleheader Saturday afternoon at Jackson Field.
UNC moved to 7-11 on the season, while the Jackrabbits ended the day with a 6-11-1 overall record.
SDSU couldn't deliver the knockout blow in the opener, leaving the bases loaded three times and stranding 16 runners in the seven-inning game.
The Jackrabbits scored three unearned runs on only one hit in the second inning to take an early lead. With two outs, Aaron Machbitz reached on an error, moved to third on a double by Andrew Melton and scored when Daniel Marra was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Melton later scored on a passed ball and third run of the frame scored when Phil Paquette was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
UNC trimmed the deficit to 3-2 in the home half of the second and took a 4-3 lead in the third by taking advantage of two walks, a passed ball, a balk and sacrifice fly.
SDSU regained a 5-4 lead in the fourth as Marra scored on an error and Paquette drove in a run with a base hit. The Jackrabbits led 6-4 after Zach Briggs and Andrew Phelan opened the sixth inning with back-to-back doubles.
The Bears knotted the game at 6-all on a two-run single by pinch hitter Brooks Schneider in the home half of the sixth, but SDSU again took the lead with a run in the top of the seventh. Eric Cain led off with a walk, moved to second on a Paquette single and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Zach Briggs. Freshman Eric Danforth then stepped to the plate and delivered a sacrifice fly to score Cain.
Jackrabbit reliever Shane Kraemer couldn't hold the lead in the bottom of the seventh. After retiring the leadoff batter, Kraemer walked the next three UNC batters and then hit Adrian Schenk to force in the tying run. Tony Crudo followed with a single to right center to score Ryan Yamane with the winning run.
SDSU held a 12-7 advantage in hits, with Paquette going 3-for-4 with a pair of RBI and Melton also going 3-for-4.
Layne Somsen pitched the first five-plus innings for the Jackrabbits, walking three and striking out one. UNC reliever Chris Hammer pitched the final 1 2/3 innings to earn the victory.
SDSU built a 5-0 lead in the nitecap and worked out of a bases-loaded situation in the bottom of the ninth to salvage a split with a 7-3 victory.
Briggs put the Jackrabbits on the board with a solo home run in the second and Marra added a sacrifice fly in the third. The Jackrabbit lead grew to 5-0 in the fourth on an RBI double by Andrew Phelan and two-run triple by Zach Rhodes.
UNC got on the board with a run in the home half of the fourth and closed to within 5-3 with two runs in the fifth, taking advantage of a Jackrabbit error.
The Jackrabbits added a pair of insurance runs in the top of the ninth. Marra walked to lead off the inning and Cain followed with a triple down the right-field line. Cain later scored on a sacrifice fly by Phil Paquette, who was 3-for-4 in the game.
SDSU starter Adam Bray worked into the ninth, but gave up back-to-back singles to open the innings. Reliever J.D. Moore hit the first batter he faced to load the bases, but got Adam Hilker to line into a double play and induced a groundout by the cleanup hitter Schenk to put the finishing touches on his first collegiate save.
A freshman, Bray struck out six, walked four and surrendered nine hits in earning his first collegiate victory.
The two teams are scheduled to conclude their four-game series at noon Mountain Time on Sunday.
Game 1: NORTHERN COLORADO 8, SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 7
SDSU 030 201 1 7-12-0
UNC 022 002 2 8-7-3
SDSU: Layne Somsen, Shane Kraemer (6) and Zach Briggs. UNC: Jake Johnson, Michael Wilkes (5), Chris Hammer (6) and Derek Baum.
W-Hammer (2-0). L-Kraemer (0-3). Save-none.
Game 2: SOUTH DAKOTA
STATE 7, NORTHERN
SDSU 011 300 002 7-9-2
UNC 000 120 000 3-9-1
SDSU: Adam Bray, J.D. Moore (9) and Zach Briggs. UNC: Casey Coy, Dan Talley (5), Kevin Willman (9) and Harrison Lambert.
W-Bray (1-2). L-Coy (0-1). Save-Moore (1).
HR: SDSU-Zach Briggs (3).