PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - South Dakota State overcame a 5-0 deficit, rallying for nine runs over the final three innings, en route to a 12-7 victory over St. Bonaventure (N.Y.) in the final game of the Jackrabbits' Florida trip Sunday afternoon.
The Jackrabbits improved to 4-2 overall in splitting their four games in the Sunshine State. St. Bonaventure dropped to 0-2.
The Bonnies used an SDSU error to their advantage to score four times in the bottom of the first inning against Jackrabbit starter Stephen Bougher. A single, walk, wild pitch and sacrifice fly led to the first SBU run before the Jackrabbit miscue allowed the second run of the inning to score. Bret Heath plated the final two runs of the frame with a double.
SBU tacked on a run in the second before the Jackrabbits cracked the scoring column on a two-run triple by Scott Splett. SDSU pulled to within 5-3 on an RBI double by Andrew Melton in the top of the fifth, but the Bonnies got an unearned run in the home half of the inning.
The Jackrabbits knotted the game at 6-all with three runs in the top of the seventh. Splett and Aaron Machbitz delivered consecutive sacrifice flies before Al Robbins came through with a two-out single to plate Melton with the tying run.
The lead was short-lived, however, as the Bonnies came back with a run against Jackrabbit reliever Adam Bray in the bottom of the seven on a sacrifice fly by Heath.
SDSU took the lead for good with a four-run eighth inning. Eric Danforth knocked in pinch-runner Zach Holt with the tying run and Splett followed two batters later with a two-run double. Daniel Telford added a two-out double later in the frame to drive in Splett.
Melton capped the scoring with a two-run double in the ninth inning for his fourth hit of the game. The senior third baseman was 4-for-6 with three runs batted in and two runs scored. Splett was 2-for-5 with a double, triple and five RBI, while Danforth and Telford also registered two hits each for the Jackrabbits, who held a 13-11 advantage in hits.
Closer J.D. Moore pitched two scoreless innings for his first save of the season. Bray earned the victory in relief, striking out two and walking one in three innings. Bougher worked the first four innings, recording two strikeouts and two walks, along with allowing seven hits.
Joel Rosencrance suffered the loss in relief for the Bonnies. Jason Radwan was 3-for-3, while Heath went 2-for-4 and drove in four runs.
The Jackrabbits return south later this week, opening their Spring Break trip with a three-game series March 1-3 at Mississippi Valley State.
SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 12, ST. BONAVENTURE (N.Y.) 7
SDSU 002 010 342 12-13-2
SBU 410 010 100 7-11-1
SDSU: Stephen Bougher, Adam Bray (5), J.D. Moore (8) and Sam Pack, Steven Autenrieth (8), Reid Clary (9). SBU: Eddie Gray, Joel Rosencrance (6), Drew Teller (8), Robert Nalepa (9) and Nick Lohrer.
W-Bray (2-0). L-Rosencrance (0-1). Save-Moore (1).