MACOMB, Ill. – The South Dakota State University baseball team was shut out in its Summit League opener Friday at Western Illinois, but battled back in the late innings to force a 2-2 tie in the second game of the day before play was suspended due to darkness at Alfred D. Boyer Stadium.
Action will resume at 11 a.m. Saturday.
In the opener, Western Illinois left-hander Aaron Michel pitched a one-hitter as the Fighting Leathernecks posted a 1-0, seven-inning victory. Michel struck out eight, including the side in the top of the seventh, and walked five.
WIU, 3-15 overall, scored the lone run of the contest in the bottom of the second inning against Jackrabbit starter Adam Bray. Adam McGinnis singled with one out, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on a single up the middle by Brent Turner.
Bray took the loss in a complete-game, six-inning effort. The junior right-hander struck out three and did not walk a batter, while scattering nine hits. Zack Burling, Jameson Henning and Tanner Glore each tallied two hits for the Fighting Leathernecks.
Scott Splett registered the lone hit for the Jackrabbits, a one-out single to center field in the top of the third. SDSU, 11-12 overall, stranded six runners in the contest, including two in the third and two more in the fourth inning following back-to-back walks issued to Aaron Machbitz and Reid Clary to open the frame.
In Game 2, Western Illinois led 2-0 through seven innings before the Jackrabbits scored single runs in the eighth and ninth innings to tie the game.
SDSU loaded the bases with nobody out in the top of the eighth as Clary and Tyler Shannon walked and Eric Danforth dropped a bunt single down the third-base line. Splett then came through with a sacrifice fly to score Clary, but WIU reliever Tyler Owings escaped further damage by retiring the next two Jackrabbit hitters with a strikeout and groundout.
The Jackrabbits tied the game in the top of the ninth when Danforth was hit by a pitch with two outs and the bases loaded, forcing in pinch-runner Zach Holt.
Play was suspended after the 10th inning, but not before one final threat by Western Illinois. The Fighting Leathernecks loaded the bases on an infield hit and pair of walks, but SDSU reliever J.D. Moore got J.J. Reimer to ground out for what proved to be the final out of the day.
SDSU went to extra innings for the third consecutive Friday and fifth time this season,.
WIU took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on a run-scoring double by Glore, who added an RBI single in the sixth inning for the Fighting Leathernecks’ other run.
SDSU starter Joe Erickson struck out two in 5 2/3 innings. Andrew Clemen pitched 2 1/3 innings of scoreless innings of relief with a pair of strikeouts, while Moore struck out two and walked two in two scoreless innings.
Tyler Willman pitched seven scoreless innings for WIU, striking four and walking one.
Following completion of the suspended game Saturday morning, the Jackrabbits are scheduled to close out their weekend road trip Sunday afternoon with a doubleheader at Omaha. First pitch is set for noon at the Ballpark at Boys Town.
Game 1: WESTERN ILLINOIS 1, SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 0 SDSU 000 000 0 0-1-0 WIU 010 000 X 1-9-0 SDSU: Adam Bray and Reid Clary. WIU: Aaron Michel and Adam McGinnis. W-Michel (2-3). L-Bray (3-2). Save-none. HR: none.
Game 2: WESTERN ILLINOIS 2, SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 2 (play suspended after 10 inn.) SDSU 000 000 000 0 2-7-1 WIU 100 001 000 0 2-12-0 SDSU: Joe Erickson, Andrew Clemen (6), J.D. Moore (9) and Reid Clary. WIU: Tyler Willman, Nick Bakeris (8), Tyler Owings (8), Nick Milligan (9) and Adam McGinnis. W-none. L-none. Save-none. HR: none.