A late South Dakota State rally came up just short as the Jackrabbit baseball team fell 4-3 to North Dakota State in the regular season finale for both teams Saturday afternoon at Newman Outdoor Field.
The Bison improved to 22-24 overall and 10-12 in The Summit League. SDSU dropped to 27-27 overall and 11-11 in league play. The two teams will meet again in the opening round of the Summit League Baseball Championship at 7 p.m. Thursday in Sioux Falls. SDSU is the top seed in the double-elimination tournament, while the Bison are the fourth seed.
Trailing 4-0 through seven innings, the Jackrabbits batted around in the top of the eighth against the NDSU bullpen. Aaron Machbitz doubled in Eric Danforth with the first run of the inning and later scored on Zach Holt’s two-out single. Sam Pack and Cody Sharrow followed with hits off Jay Flaa, with Sharrow’s single scoring Holt to pull the Jackrabbits to within a run. Brian VanderWoude then entered for the Bison and hit Al Robbins to load the bases before inducing a fly ball off the bat of Scott Splett to end the threat as the Jackrabbits left the bases loaded for the second consecutive inning.
SDSU put the tying run in scoring position against VanderWoude in the ninth, but the Jackrabbits could not come up with a final clutch hit to tie the game.
NDSU scored a run against Jackrabbit starter Ryan Froom in the bottom of the first on a run-scoring single by Wes Satzinger. Satzinger, who was 3-for-4, doubled in two runs as part of a three-run home half of the seventh for the Bison, who tacked on an unearned run later in the frame.
Bison starter Reed Pfannenstein shut out SDSU for seven innings, scattering five hits, walking one and striking out six. VanderWoude recorded strikeouts on three of the four outs he recorded in picking up his first save of the season.
Froom took the loss for SDSU, allowing one run on four hits in three innings. Marcus Heemstra followed with three scoreless innings, striking out two.
The Jackrabbits held a 10-7 advantage in hits as Danforth, Machbitz and Pack all tallied two hits each. Tim Colwell added three hits and scored twice for the Bison.
Courtesy: Jason Hove, Assistant AD-Sports Information, South Dakota State University