SIOUX FALLS -- South Dakota State scored five times in the top of the second inning, staving off elimination from the Summit League Baseball Championship with a 6-3 victory over Fort Wayne on Friday.
The top-seeded Jackrabbits improved to 28-28 overall and will face either North Dakota State or Western Illinois in another elimination game at 7 p.m. Friday at Sioux Falls Stadium. The winner of the NDSU-Western Illinois matchup will advance to Saturday's championship.
Trailing 1-0, SDSU batted around in the five-run second inning. Zach Holt and Reid Clary drew back-to-back walks to open the inning, and Cody Sharrow followed with a bunt single to load the bases. Tyler Shannon then walked to force in the tying run. Scott Splett gave the Jackrabbits the lead with a two-run single and Paul Jacobson added a two-run, bad-hop single to cap the scoring.
Fort Wayne, which scored a run in the first on a two-out single by Shane Trevino, pulled to within 5-2 in the third on a sacrifice fly by Trevino.
Jackrabbit starter Chad Hodges blanked the Mastodons for the next five innings before exiting after allowing a leadoff double to Evan VanSumeren to lead off the ninth. VanSumeren later scored on a base hit by Malcolm White, but reliever Andrew Clemen prevented further damage to seal the SDSU win.
Clary capped the scoring for SDSU with a sacrifice fly in the top of the eighth that scored pinch runner Mitch Foster.
Hodges, who improved to 8-5 on the season, struck out three, walked two and scattered nine hits in eight-plus innings.
Splett and Sharrow were each 2-for-4 for SDSU, which tallied six hits in the game but drew nine walks.
Mastodon starter Nate White recorded only three outs, walking five of the 10 batters he faced. Dane Davis allowed only one run in 6 2/3 innings of relief.
Courtesy: SDSU Jason Hove