South Dakota State closed out an abbreviated home baseball schedule by splitting a Summit League doubleheader with Western Illinois Sunday afternoon at Erv Huether Field. The Jackrabbits won the opener, 13-7, then had a late rally fall short in a 9-6 defeat.
The Jackrabbits, who were led by Anthony Schneider
's 8-for-10 day at the plate in the two games, ended the day 16-27 overall and 14-10 in league play. Western Illinois moved to 15-26 overall and 12-11 in The Summit League. Game 1: SDSU 13, Western Illinois 7
Schneider homered twice and drove in a career-high seven runs as the Jackrabbits prevailed 13-7.
After Western Illinois grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the second, the Jackrabbits grabbed the lead with a five-run home half of the frame. Newt Johnson
tied the game with his team-leading seventh home run to lead off the inning before SDSU tacked on four unearned runs, three of which scored on Schneider's double to the right-center gap with the bases loaded. Schneider scored the final run of the inning on the back end of a double steal. Landon Badger
and Skyler Wenninger
tallied run-scoring singles in the third inning to push the SDSU lead to 7-1. Schneider made it an 8-1 game with a home run to lead off the fourth.
Western Illinois drew to within 8-3 in the top of the fifth, but the Jackrabbits pushed the lead back to seven runs at 10-3 on a two-run single by Tony Kjolsing
in the bottom of the inning.
Schneider capped the scoring for SDSU with a three-run home to right field in the seventh.
Jackrabbit starter Korey Kuhlmann
limited Western Illinois to three runs over 5 2/3 innings. The junior left-hander struck out four, walked two and scattered seven hits.
Schneider was 3-for-5 as all three of hits went for extra bases. Kjolsing, Badger and Wenninger each added two of SDSU's 12 hits. Game 2: Western Illinois 9, SDSU 6
Western Illinois scored five times in the top of the seventh and held off the Jackrabbits for a series-clinching 9-6 victory.
Trailing 4-2, the Leathernecks tied the game in the sixth with a pair of unearned runs. C.J. Schaeffer hit a one-run single and moved to third on a two-base error when Steve McShane's hard-hit grounder to second base was misplayed. Schaeffer later scored on a wild pitch and McShane scampered home on a groundout by Drue Galassi.
Dillon Sears led off the seventh with a triple to the right-center gap off Jackrabbit starter Bryce Johnson
. Johnathan Fleek's sacrifice fly scored Sears with the go-ahead run and the Leathernecks added four more runs in the frame against the SDSU bullpen on five more hits, including a two-run single by Alex Dorethy and two-run double by Galassi.
A bases-loaded walk to Gus Steiger
forced in a run for SDSU in the seventh to cut the deficit to 9-5.
The Jackrabbits brought the winning run to the plate in the ninth after stringing together three consecutive two-out singles, the last a run-scoring single up the middle by Steiger, to pull to within 9-6. Schneider started the rally with his fifth hit of the game.
After a pitching change, Newt Johnson
drew a walk to load the bases. However, Leatherneck reliever Austin Emanuel struck out Josh Falk
to end the game.
SDSU stranded 17 men on base, leaving the bases loaded on four occasions.
The Jackrabbits took a 2-1 lead in the third inning on an RBI groundout by Newt Johnson
and run-scoring triple by Landon Badger
After Western Illinois tied the game on a Galassi sacrifice fly, SDSU regained the lead in the fourth on an RBI double by Schneider. SDSU added a run in the fifth on an RBI single by Steiger, who was 3-for-5 with three runs batted in as the two squads collected 13 hits each. Philip Jacobson
added two hits for SDSU, while four different players each notched two hits for the Leathernecks.
Jack Carberry, who pitched three innings of one-run baseball, earned the win for Western Illinois. Bryce Johnson
took the loss in his longest outing of the season for SDSU as he struck out four and walked one in six-plus innings. UP NEXT
The Jackrabbits close out the regular season with a three-game Summit League series Thursday through Saturday at North Dakota State. Thursday's opener is set for a 6:30 p.m. first pitch at Newman Outdoor Field in Fargo. NOTES
- The Jackrabbits and Western Illinois split the season series at two games apiece
- SDSU finished the season with a 4-2 record in games at Erv Huether Field
- Schneider became the first Jackrabbit to drive in seven runs in a game since Joel Blake on May 22, 2010, versus Western Illinois
- Schneider recorded the first five-hit game by a Jackrabbit this season and the first since Nick Smith tallied five hits in Game 2 of a doubleheader at Western Illinois on April 15, 2017
- Schneider has reached base safely in 22 consecutive games
- Steiger took over the team lead in multi-hit games with 15
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