Locals Help Jackrabbits Walkoff Fort Wayne

SDSU Wins 1-0 In 11 Innings

BROOKINGS, S.D. – Landon Badger scored the lone run of the game on a squeeze bunt by Skyler Wenninger in the bottom of the 11th inning, lifting South Dakota State to a 1-0 series-opening win over Fort Wayne Friday afternoon at Erv Huether Field.

With their second consecutive 1-0 victory, the Jackrabbits improved to 11-10 overall and 4-3 in The Summit League. Fort Wayne dropped to 5-18 overall and 1-6 in league play.

The Jackrabbits scored the game-winning run in the 11th without the benefit of a hit. Badger drew a leadoff walk and moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Philip Jacobson. Badger later moved 90 feet away on a wild pitch. On the very next pitch by Fort Wayne reliever Dru Sebastian, Wenninger dropped down a punt between home plate and the mound and Badger slid in ahead of the tag.

SDSU’s winning rally came after both teams squandered several opportunities. The Mastodons stranded two runners on base in four different innings in regulation, including a second-and-third, one-out situation in the third inning. However, Jackrabbit starter Brady Stover struck out the next two Fort Wayne hitters to keep the Mastodons off the board.

A freshman left-hander, Stover exited with two outs in the top of the seventh with a pair of runners on base. However, reliever Derek Feige ended the seventh with a flyout and pitched a perfect eighth inning.

Stover struck out seven, walked four and scattered five hits in his longest collegiate outing.

Twice the Jackrabbits loaded the bases with one out only to come up empty. In the home half of the fifth, Luke Ringhofer grounded into a 1-2-3 double play to end the frame. SDSU hit into three double plays in the game.

Ringhofer started an SDSU threat in the eighth with a single and moved to third base two batters later on a ringing double to right field by Matt Johnson. After an intentional walk to Anthony Schneider loaded the bases, Mastodon reliever Brandon Phelps struck out the next two Jackrabbit batters.

Chris Halbur earned the victory after pitching three scoreless innings. He gave up two hits, striking out three.

Fort Wayne starter Jake Weber gave up three hits, walked four and struck out three in six shutout innings.

Hits were even at seven each. Wenninger and Matt Johnson each tallied two hits for SDSU, while Jackson Boyce was the lone Mastodon with a pair of hits.

Game 2 of the series is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday.

NOTES
* SDSU leads the all-time series, 42-13, since the programs first met in 2006
* The Jackrabbits posted their third shutout of the season
* SDSU has pitched back-to-back shutouts for the first time since blanking North Dakota State by scores of 2-0 and 1-0 in the championship series of 2013 Summit League postseason tournament
* Jackrabbit pitchers extended their scoreless innings streak to 22 1/3 innings
* Ringhofer extended his hitting streak to 13 games
* Halbur has yet to allow a run this season in 10 appearances, covering 15 innings

SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 1, FORT WAYNE 0 [11 inn.]
FW 000 000 000 00 0-7-3
SDSU 000 000 000 01 1-7-0
FW: Jake Weber, Brandon Phelps (7), Dru Sebastian (11) and Zak Kellogg. SDSU: Brady Stover, Derek Feige (7), Chris Halbur (9) and Luke Ringhofer.
W-Halbur (1-0). L-Sebastian (0-1). Save-none.
HR: none.

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