GREENVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi Valley State rallied for three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, edging South Dakota State, 4-3, in the opening game of a three-game baseball series Friday afternoon at Legion Field.
The Delta Devils improved to 2-9 on the season. SDSU dropped to 4-3 overall despite a career-high 12 strikeouts from starting pitcher Layne Somsen.
The MVSU rally in the eighth came against Jackrabbit reliever Talon Jumper. Edward Cox opened the inning with a walk, stole second and moved to third on a base hit by Edmund Cheatham. Seth Millorn followed with a run-scoring single that scored Cox and moved Cheatham to third. After a walk to Trey Lacy loaded the bases, German Hays delivered the tying and go-ahead runs with a single to center field.
SDSU threatened in the top of the ninth as Reid Clary led off with a single and pinch-hitter Al Robbins followed with a walk. However, the Jackrabbits eventually left the tying run at third as MVSU reliever Lostra retired the final three hitters. SDSU stranded nine runners in the game.
The Delta Devils opened the scoring with an unearned run in the bottom of the third. With two outs, Cheatham walked, stole second and scored on a throwing error.
The Jackrabbits knotted the game in the fifth inning on a run-scoring single and took a 3-1 lead with two runs in the sixth as Daniel Marra and Shannon plated runs with base hits.
Somsen, who tied a Division I-era team record with his 12 strikeouts, fanned the side in both the fourth and seventh innings before exiting. He became the fifth Jackrabbit pitcher - and the first since Blake Treinen in 2010 - to register a dozen strikeouts since 2005. The right-hander surrendered three hits and walked four.
Reigning Summit League Player of the Week Andrew Melton continued his hot hitting by going 3-for-5 to lead the Jackrabbits' 11-hit attack. Marra, Shannon and Clary all added two hits each.
The two teams are scheduled to play again at 1 p.m. Saturday.
STATE 4, SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 3
SDSU 000 012 000 3-11-1
MVSU 001 000 030 4-6-2
SDSU: Layne Somsen, Talon Jumper (8) and Reid Clary. MVSU: Montana Killier, Corwin Buchanon (6), David Lostra (7) and German Hays.
W-Lostra (1-2). L-Jumper (0-1). Save-none.