Sioux Falls (11-19, 6-10 NSIC) and Southwest Minnesota State (10-20-1, 5-11 NSIC) split two league games today at North High School in Sioux City, Iowa.
USF took the opener 4-0 and the Mustangs rallied from a 6-1 deficit in the nightcap to earn the split with a 9-6 victory.
USF 4, SMSU 0
Kelbe Beste and Keith Cutler each hit a two-run homer and Derek Fischer twirled a gem to give the Cougars a 4-0 verdict in game one.
The Mustangs kept the game scoreless until the fifth, when Beste jumped ahead in the count and was given the green light to swing away. The former Brookings star obliged and belted his second homer of the season to give USF a 2-0 lead.
In the sixth, Noah Durkin singled and stole second to put a man in scoring position for Cutler. The Cougars’ designated hitter played copy cat and drilled a two-run homer, his third of the year, to extend the margin to 4-0.
The senior also singled and is batting .337 with a slugging percentage of .511
It would be plenty of run support for Fischer (2-6), breezed through seven scoreless innings in 97 pitches. He scattered six hits and got seven ground outs, fanned eight and allowed just one walk.
Noah Coleman went 3-for-3 at the plate. The Cougars tallied nine hits.
SMSU 9 USF 6
USF led 6-1 after three and a half innings, but saw its bats go cold late and the Mustangs rallied for eight unanswered runs to win 9-6.
Corey Vasquez got things going with an RBI base hit in the first and the Cougars tacked on single runs in the second and third innings before SMSU scratched across a run in its half of the third.
Damian Kardas led off the fourth with a triple and trotted home on Michael Vine’s sacrifice. Noah Durkin then worked into a 2-1 count and drilled a ball over the right field fence for his first collegiate home run that gave USF the 6-1 advantage.
Junior southpaw Noah Coleman worked the first three innings and was relieved by Steve Schroer in the fourth. The Mustangs touched Schroer for five runs in the fourth to tie the game at 6-6 and force USF to go back to the bullpen.
In the fifth, SMSU earned back-to-back walks before bookending two right field doubles around a ground out to take a 9-6 lead.
The Cougar bats fell silent, as USF could only muster a pair of two-out ninth innings singles the rest of the way.
USF out-hit the Mustangs, 11-9. Durkin finished 2-for-4 with two RBI while Trevor Crow, Damian Kardas and Vasquez each collected two hits apiece. Only two Cougars struck out in the game, a season-low.
Henry Ojeda (1-4) tossed four innings in relief and was tagged with the loss. He surrendered three runs on three hits with two walks and a pair of strikeouts.
USF travels to Minot State this weekend.
Courtesy: Steph Pendrys, USF