BROOKINGS, S.D. – South Dakota State scored runs in bunches, but had to survive some anxious moments in the late innings to come away with a 10-9 victory over North Dakota in non-conference baseball action Tuesday afternoon at Erv Huether Field. With the win, the Jackrabbits returned to the .500 mark for the season at 17-17 overall and ended their eight-game homestand with a 5-3 record. UND dropped to 6-16 overall.
SDSU never trailed in the contest, grabbing a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning. The first run of the game scored on a double play, with Scott Splett adding a run-scoring single later in the frame.
UND broke into the scoring column with a run in the top of the third inning, but Splett extended the Jackrabbit lead to 5-1 with a three-run home run to left that scored Sam Pack and Reid Clary ahead of the senior right fielder who ended the game 3-for-3 with four runs batted in.
The Jackrabbit lead grew to 7-1 in the fifth inning on back-to-back RBI doubles by Al Robbins and Clary against two different UND pitchers.
Taylor Petersen delivered a two-run single in the sixth inning, and UND further cut into the Jackrabbit lead with a three-run top of the seventh aided by three SDSU errors. The last two errors came on the same play, allowing two runs to score and allow UND to pull to within 7-6.
SDSU answered with three runs of its own in the home half of the seven. Eric Danforth was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and Aaron Machbitz added a run-scoring single to center. The final Jackrabbit run scored on a balk.
UND drew to within 10-7 with a run in the eighth and again made it a one-run game with two outs in the ninth as Petersen drove a Talon Jumper pitch over the left-field fence for a home run.
Jackrabbit closer J.D. Moore then entered the game and retired the only batter he face for his fifth save of the season. The save also was the 23rd of Moore’s career, tying him with All-American Trever Vermeulen (23 saves from 2008-11) for the SDSU career record.
SDSU held an 18-9 advantage in hits, highlighted by Paul Jacobson going 4-for-5 at the plate. Clary added three hits in four trips.
Petersen and Patrick Riewer each posted two hits for UND.
SDSU starter Kolton Emery made his first appearance in more than a month, striking out three and walking one before exiting after throwing 30 pitches in 1 2/3 innings. Joe Erickson picked up the win after surrendering only one run over the next 1 2/3 innings.
A.J. Anderson, the second of nine UND pitchers on the afternoon, took the loss after allowing four hits and two runs in the second inning.
The Jackrabbits return to Summit League action with a four-game series Friday through Sunday at league-leading Fort Wayne.
Courtesy: SDSU Jason Hove