Jacks Bats Explode To Even Series With Leathernecks

SDSU With Season High In Runs In 18-8 Win

BROOKINGS, S.D. – South Dakota State scored at least three runs in four different innings en route to posting a season high for scoring in a an 18-8 victory over Western Illinois in a Summit League baseball game Saturday afternoon at Erv Huether Field. The game was called by the 10-run rule in the eighth inning.

With the win, the Jackrabbits improved to 18-22 overall and 11-12 in The Summit League. Western dropped to 18-24 overall and 12-9 in league play.

SDSU jumped out to an early lead, scoring three unearned runs in the bottom of the first inning. Matt Johnson plated Nick Smith with the first run on a single to right field. Freshman Jake Thompson doubled in Johnson for the second run of the frame, with Newt Johnson coming across for the final run of the inning on the second Leatherneck error of the game.

The Jackrabbits sent 10 men to the plate in the third inning, scoring five times. Thompson notched his second run-scoring hit of the game, which was followed by a squeeze-bunt single and RBI by Josh Kunzmann and a two-run single by Skyler Wenninger. The last run of the inning scored on a sacrifice fly by Smith.

After pitching three shutout innings, SDSU starter Hunter Even ran into trouble in the top of the fourth. Drue Galassi and Adam McGinnis opened the frame with back-to-back homers. Mitch Ellis greeted Jackrabbit reliever Brady Stover with a run-scoring single and the Leathernecks made it a five-run inning after the third pitcher of the inning, Derek Feige, issued consecutive walks to Steve McShane and Galassi to force in runs.

SDSU countered with a five-run inning of its own in the bottom of the fifth, highlighted by four run-scoring doubles. Two-baggers by Smith, Luke Ringhofer and Newt Johnson each plated one run, while Tony Kjolsing‘s double to right field knocked in two.

Roman Visintine and Ellis each tallied run-scoring doubles for WIU in the top of the seventh to cut the deficit to 13-8, but Kjosling stemmed the tide once again with a solo homer to left-center. Kjolsing was one of three Jackrabbits with three hits, ending the game 3-for-4 with a season-best three runs batted in.

The Jackrabbits ended the game an inning early by scoring four times in the home half of the eighth. Newt Johnson led off the inning with his second home run of the season and Wenninger recorded his third RBI of the game with a single to center field. Smith then delivered the game-ending hit, a two-run single to left that scored both Landon Badger and Kunzmann.

Smith was 3-for-4 with a career-high four RBI, with Thompson adding three of SDSU’s 18 hits in the contest.

Feige was credited with the win after pitching 3 1/3 innings of relief. He struck out four and walked three en route to his team-leading fourth win of the season.

WIU starter Connor Rektorski pitched only one inning and was followed by three different relievers. Fighting Leatherneck pitchers combined to strike out only four batters and walked six.

Ellis finished with three of Western’s 10 hits and ended the day with three RBI.

The decisive game of the three-game series is scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday.

* Western Illinois leads the season series, 3-2
* The Jackrabbits’ previous season high for runs scored was 15, at Omaha on March 18
* SDSU’s five doubles were a season high
* Smith recorded his team-best 20th multi-hit game of the season
* Wenninger played for the first time since being injured April 4 at Iowa
* Newt Johnson posted his team-leading 10th multi-RBI game of the season and took over the team lead in doubles with 13
* Matt Johnson moved into a tie with Tim Hanigan (2005-08) for 10th place in career games played at SDSU with 191

WIU 000 500 30 8-10-3
SDSU 305 050 14 18-18-1
WIU: Connor Rektorski, Ben Sellers (2), Jimmy Perkins (3), Matthew Sturchio (5) and Adam McGinnis, C.J. Schaeffer. SDSU: Hunter Even, Brady Stover (4), Derek Feige (4), Quinn Reimers (8) and Luke Ringhofer.
W-Feige (4-2). L-Rektorski (0-3). Save-none.
HR: WIU-Drue Galassi (7), Adam McGinnis (4); SDSU-Tony Kjolsing (2), Newt Johnson (2).

Categories: College Sports, Colleges – South Dakota State, Sports, Sports Top Story

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