April 14, 2007
Mitchell, South Dakota - Utah Valley jumped out to an early lead, but South Dakota State scored seven consecutive runs during the middle innings on its way to an 8-4 win over the Wolverines. With the win, SDSU has won the first two of the three-game set with the series finale coming tomorrow at 11am MT.
Jace Brinkerhoff was 2-for-3 on the day and scored twice while Eli Slesk, Derrick Thomas and Keiki Albino also had two hits each. The Wolverines outhit the Jacks 13-11 but stranded nine runners and were thrown out on the basepaths twice.
Nick Adams had three hits and Tim Hanigan had two hits and drove in a pair for SDSU, who have now won four straight games.
It was a pitcher's duel early between UV starter and South Dakota native Dan Christensen and Caleb Thielbar. Neither team could get anything going offensively until the top of the fifth when the Wolverines played small ball to get on the board.
Brinkherhoff led off with a bunt single and was sacrificed to second by Kevin Arendse. Dick Bargewell drove Brinkerhoff home with a single and moved from first to third when Albino followed him with another single.
Tyler Garretson then drove in a run on a sac-bunt, giving UV a 2-0 advantage.
South Dakota State answered right back though in the bottom of the inning with three runs, the first coming on a bases-loaded walk to Hanigan with nobody out.
Matt Zabel picked an RBI on an unlikely way when he fouled out to first base and first baseman Austin Heaps fell into the Wolverine dugout, allowing all the baserunners to move up a bag.
Jake Rogers capped the scoring in the fifth with a sac-fly to right that scored Craig Parry.
The Jacks tacked on four more runs in the sixth with the big blow coming on Hanigan's two-run single that allowed two unearned runs to cross the plate.
The Wolverines threatened in the seventh when Thomas came to the plate as the tying run with the bases loaded and two out in a 7-3 game, but Jack reliever Dalton Decker got Thomas to fly out to right to end the inning.
After Adam Openshaw singled home Brinkerhoff in the eighth to trim the lead to 7-4, Utah Valley again had the tying run at the plate. Once again though the SDSU staff made the pitch it needed with Kevin Morsching induced a 4-6-3 double play off the bat of Albino.
Christensen (2-5) suffered the loss after lasting 4 1/3 innings and allowing three runs on five hits. Thielbar (5-2) lasted six innings and allowed two runs on seven hits in earning the win.
In addition to clinching the weekend series, SDSU also clinched the season series, having won four of the first five games this season.