SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KWSN) - The University of Sioux Falls baseball team split its two-game midweek series and home opener with intrastate rival Northern State today at Harmodon Field in Sioux Falls, S.D.
The Cougars (13-10, 7-3 NSIC) took the opener, 3-1 but dropped game two 2-1 when Clayton Nutting scored the game-winning run on a wild pitch to secure the split for Northern State (10-10, 4-6 NSIC).
Junior righty Eric Brothers (1-2) had his best outing of the season in the opener, tossing 6 2/3 innings and allowed no earned runs, three hits and three walks while striking out two.
The Wolves got on the scoreboard first when Derek Tymesen singled to lead off the second and advanced to third on a base hit before a two-out Cougar fielding error allowed him to score.
USF answered with two runs in the home half of the inning. Dylan Dwyer tapped a one-out base hit before Austin Goodenow battled back from a 1-2 deficit to draw a base on balls to put two men on for Cole Sweeney. The former high school teammates pulled off a double-steal and both scored when the NSU first baseman mishandled Sweeney’s bunt.
The Cougars tacked on an insurance run when Gunner Peterson doubled to lead-off the bottom of the fifth and was plated with Noah Durkin’s RBI single.
Brothers held the Wolves to one hit the rest of the way but pitched his way into a jam in the seventh, walking three of four batters to juice the bases with two outs. Head coach Matt Guiliano brought in his ace and Derek Fischer notched a three-pitch strikeout to secure his second save of the week.
John Eckstein lasted 4 1/3 innings was charged with the loss. He gave up three runs on four hits, fanned four and walked one. Adam Thompson recorded three strikeouts in 1.2 innings of scoreless relief.
Durkin, Dwyer and Peterson each went 2-for-3 and accounted for six of the Cougars’ eight hits.
Connor Gibson allowed just one run in the nightcap, but the Cougars couldn't get the offense going in a 2-1 defeat to Northern State.
The freshman allowed one earned run, six hits and three walks while striking out three over 6 1/3 innings of work in a no-decision.
Northern State grabbed the early lead on a nice piece of hitting by Nutting, who doubled to center field to score Eric O' Bryan. The Cougars tied it with an RBI ground-out from Jeremy Varner that plated Durkin, who opened the inning with a hard ground ball to left field.
In the sixth inning, University of Sioux Falls pushed across its only run of the day on a groundout by Jeremy Varner.
Gibson left with one out in the seventh and Elijah Thornquist (1-2) gave up the winning run on a wild pitch.
Cody Vandever got in done on the bump for NSU, as he went eight-plus innings, allowing just five hits and one unearned run while striking-out seven to improve to 2-2 on the season.
NSU reliever Dillon Lee induced a fly-out and ground-out in the ninth and Buddy Traxler caught pinch runner Michael Downs stealing to close the door on the Cougars' bid for a rally.
USF was limited to five hits and was paced by Durkin’s 2-for-4 outing. Varner, Dwyer and Goodenow each tallied a hit.
The Cougars will travel to Wayne State this weekend.
Courtesy: University of Sioux Falls