Jackrabbits fall twice
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — The South Dakota State University baseball team wrapped up its Spring Break trip with a pair of losses Saturday.
The Jackrabbits, who dropped to 8-6 overall, opened the day with a 10-2 defeat at the hands of No. 28 Mercer (Ga.). SDSU closed the weekend with a 5-4 loss to host Indiana State.
Mercer scored the first 10 runs of the game, putting up three runs in each of the first two innings and adding four runs in the fourth. Derrick Workman put the Bears on the board in the first inning with a three-run home run off Jackrabbit starter Stephen Bougher.
Nick Backlund stroked a two-run double in the second inning and added a run-scoring single in the fourth. Austin Barrett closed the scoring for Mercer with a two-run single.
Workman and Backlund each tallied three of Mercer's 12 hits. Scott Splett and Marra were both 3-for-4 to pace the Jackrabbits' 10-hit effort.
D.J. Johnson, the first of six Bear pitchers, struck out four and walked one in five innings to pick up the victory.
SDSU's bullpen allowed only one unearned run in 5 1/3 innings. Freshman Joe Erickson allowed only one hit in three shutout innings.
In the nitecap, the Jackrabbits surrendered a 3-0 lead and had a late comeback bid come up short in a one-run loss at Indiana State.
SDSU scored three times in the bottom of the top of the first inning on only one hit. Leadoff hitter Paul Jacobson singled to open the game and both Scott Splett and Nick Andrews were hit by pitches to load the bases. Sycamore starter Jeff Degano then issued three consecutive walks to force in runs before being pulled.
ISU reliever Devin Moore worked out of the jam without further damage en route to 4 2/3 innings of scoreless pitching. He struck out 10, walked two and gave up three hits in earning the victory.
The Sycamores scored twice in the bottom of the second inning on a sacrifice fly by Taylor Steen and a double by Landon Curry, then tied the game on a run-scoring single by Casey McCurdy in the third.
ISU gained a 5-3 lead in the home half of the fifth, scoring the go-ahead run on an error before an RBI single by Jeff Zahn.
In the ninth, SDSU left stranded the tying run at third base. Daniel Telford led off with a single. Pinch-runner Eric Danforth took third on a base hit by Steven Autenrieth with two outs before Robbins grounded out to shortstop to end the game.
Hits were even at eight apiece. Curry and Zahn each tallied two for the Sycamores, while Clary and Robbins led SDSU with a pair of hits.
Jackrabbit starter Adam Bray suffered his first loss of the season, allowing all five runs - three earned - in 4 1/3 innings. He walked two and struck out two. Talon Jumper finished on the mound for SDSU with 3 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.
SDSU returns to action Friday, opening a three-game series at Saint Louis (Mo.).
Game 1: MERCER (Ga.) 10, SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 2
MER 330 400 000 10-12-1
SDSU 000 020 000 2-10-2
MER: D.J. Johnson, Morgan Pittman (6), David Teasley (7), Corey Kafka (7), Mitchell Wade (8), Stephen Glaze (9) and David Reid-Foley. SDSU: Stephen Bougher, Nick Young (4), Joe Erickson (6), Blake Fiedelman (9) and Sam Pack.
W-Johnson (3-0). L-Bougher (2-1). Save-none.
HR: MER-Derrick Workman; SDSU-Aaron Machbitz (1).
Game 2: INDIANA STATE 5, SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 4
SDSU 300 000 010 4-8-3
INS 021 020 00X 5-8-0
SDSU: Adam Bray, Talon Jumper (5) and Reid Clary, Steven Autenrieth (8). INS: Jeff Degano, Devin Moore (1), Tyler Fehringer (6), Josh Dove (8) and Taylor Steen.
W-Moore (2-0). L-Bray (2-1). Save-Dove (2).