SMSU BASEBALL: USF hits ninth-inning homer to win game two and sweep SMSU
MARSHALL — The University of Sioux Falls’ Ryan Bernardy snapped an 8-8 game with a lead-off home run in the top of the ninth to lift the Cougars to a 9-8 victory in game two and complete a sweep over Southwest Minnesota State in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference baseball on Thursday at Legion Field. Andrew Maslowski fired a complete game four-hitter in the opener as USF pulled away late to earn an 11-2 win.
SMSU has now lost seven straight games and falls to 7-14 overall, 5-13 NSIC. The game two setback was SMSU’s seventh one-run loss this season.
In game two, USF snapped a 4-4 game with a four-run eighth inning, but SMSU rallied with four runs in the bottom half of the frame.
USF jumped to a 3-0 lead after an inning and a half before SMSU rallied back with solo home runs by Jake Hendricks and Derek Smith.
Trailing 3-2 in the fourth, Matt Bezdicek was hit by a pitch and moments later Hendricks launched his second homer of the game to put the Mustangs in front 4-3.
USF (10-13, 6-13 NSIC) would tie the game in the fifth taking advantage of two walks to score an unearned run.
The Cougars scored four runs in the eighth off four hits and one SMSU error, but the lead was short-lived.
Max Kalenburg started the rally with a one-out walk and was followed by a two-run home run by Chase McDaniel to cut the deficit to 8-6. Following a walk to Derek Smith, Kip Gronholz hit a double to put a pair of runners in scoring position. After a strikeout, Brodie Smith came through with a two-run single to tie the game at 8-8. Smith would steal second, but a fly out ended the rally keeping the game tied.
Ansen Dulas started for the Mustangs and pitched 4 1/3 innings allowing four runs (three earned) on four hits with three walks and three strikeouts. Spencer Schroeder, the second of five Mustang relievers, tossed 2 1/3 shutout innings with one strikeout.
Jared Tschetter (1-2) suffered the loss pitching the ninth inning.
Hendricks finished the game 3 for 5 with three RBIs and two runs scored to pace the Mustang offense. Derek Smith and Gronholz both had a pair of hits with Smith scoring two runs.
In game one, Maslowski allowed just five hits and one earned run while striking out two and walking zero. He finished tossing just 66 pitches with 47 for strikes.
USF struck first using a two-out hit by pitch, followed by a two-run home run by Connor King to take a 2-0 lead in the second inning.
USF pushed the lead to 3-0 as Jared Binsfeld hit a two-out solo home run in the third.
SMSU cut into the deficit in the fourth as Brodie Smith and Nathan Kuhn started the inning with back-to-back singles. Following a strikeout, Hendricks bounced an RBI single to right field to cut the lead to 3-1. The Mustangs pushed across another run via a Cougar throwing error to cut deficit to 3-2 after four innings.
USF picked up one of the runs back in the top of the fifth behind a pair of hits and a sac fly to extend the lead to 4-2 and then pushed across two more in the sixth make the score 6-2.
The Cougars blew the game open with a five-run seventh for the final margin.
Jeremiah Van De Steeg (0-3) started on the mound for SMSU and pitched 2 2/3 innings and allowed three runs on three hits with two walks, two hit batters and two strikeouts. Kobe Lovell fired 3 1/3 innings in relief and allowed three runs on five hits.
Kuhn had two of SMSU’s five hits with Brodie Smith, Hendricks, and Derek Smith each with one.
Southwest Minnesota State will wrap-up its homestand this weekend facing Bemidji State in a three-game series. Saturday’s doubleheader will begin at 1:30 p.m. at Legion Field.
— Content courtesy
of SMSU Athletic