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Ninth-Inning Rally Lifts Jacks

Daniel Telford, South Dakota State Jackrabbits
Mike Janes Photography for South Dakota State University

GREELEY, CO — South Dakota State rallied for four runs in the top of the ninth inning to defeat Northern Colorado 11-8 in non-conference baseball action Saturday afternoon at Jackson Field.

The Jackrabbits improved to 12-8 overall, while UNC dropped to 7-13. SDSU will go for a sweep of the three-game series Sunday afternoon, with first pitch slated for noon Mountain Time (1 p.m. Central).

Trailing 8-7, Andrew Melton started the ninth-inning rally with a single through the left side. Scott Splett followed with a walk and Daniel Telford loaded the bases with a bunt single. A walk to Aaron Machbitz forced in the tying run and Splett scored the go-ahead run when Reid Clary’s fly ball to right field was dropped. Daniel Marra provided a pair of insurance runs with a two-run single to center that scored both Telford and Machbitz.

Sophomore closer J.D. Moore struck out the side in the bottom of the ninth inning to record his fifth save of the season. Moore has yet to allow a run in nine appearances this season and has struck out 14 batters in 10 1/3 innings.

SDSU took an early 2-0 lead with a solo home run by Splett in the first inning and run-scoring single by Telford in the third inning.

UNC got on the board in the third inning on a Nick Miller RBI single before the Jackrabbits extended their lead to 4-1 in the fifth inning on run-scoring singles by Telford and Machbitz. Telford was 4-for-5 with three RBI and two runs scored, raising his batting average to .485 (16-for-33).

The Bears tied the game in the home half of the fifth and took a 7-4 lead with three more runs in the sixth. Joe Love opened the scoring in the sixth with a home run off Jackrabbit starter Stephen Bougher, with Jensen Park adding a run-scoring single before the final run of the frame scored on one of six Jackrabbit errors on the day.

The Jackrabbits came back to tie the game with three runs on only one hit in the seventh. Melton walked to lead off the inning and scored on a triple by Telford down the right field line. Telford later scored on a groundout, and Paul Jacobson plated the tying run on a wild pitch.

UNC regained the lead in the bottom of the seventh as D. Baum reached on an error and pinch-runner L. Moseley scored on Dylan Banach’s base hit to left field.

Only three of the seven runs Bougher allowed in 5 2/3 innings were earned as the senior right-hander struck out four and did not walk a batter. Talon Jumper struck out two batters in a scoreless eighth inning to earn the victory.

Hits were even at 13 apiece. Melton was 3-for-4 and scored four times, while Zach Coppola added a pair of hits for the Jackrabbits.

Banach, Park and Miller all tallied three hits for UNC.

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Courtesy:  South Dakota State University

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