BROOKINGS, S.D.- South Dakota State scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth for a 12-11 victory over Oral Roberts in a Summit League series opener, Friday Erv Huether Field.
With one out and runners on the corners, Hannowski hit a slow roller to third baseman Brett Sowers, who double-clutched before throwing home. Eric Cain slid under catcherBennett Pickar‘s tag to give the Jackrabbits (28-15 overall, 11-6 Summit) the win on what was, in many ways, a miserable afternoon.
Playing in weather conditions which included sub-30 degree wind chills, 35 mph winds and repeated intermittent rain showers, the Golden Eagles (26-19, 13-4) couldn’t hold leads of 3-0, 7-2 and 11-9.
The Golden Eagles jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first. Nick Baligod doubled in Joey Winiecki for the first run and Seth Furmanek followed with a two-run home run, his league-leading 16th of the season.
South Dakota State cut into ORU’s lead with two runs in the bottom of the fourth. Daniel Telford homered for the first run and the second run scored on a ground ball double play.
ORU appeared to gain some distance in the top of the fifth, scoring four runs for a 7-2 lead. Sowers knocked in a run with a sacrifice fly and Colby Price followed two batters later with a three-run homer, his eighth of the season.
But ORU starter Jameson Dunn couldn’t hold the lead in the bottom of the inning. Zach Briggs led off the inning with a solo home run to make it 7-3. Billy Stitz doubled in a run and Telford knocked in a run with a sacrifice fly. Cain blooped a double to centerfield for two more runs as the Jacks pulled within 7-6.
Joel Blake capped the scoring with a two-run single for a 9-7 lead.
The Golden Eagles came right back with four runs in the top of the sixth. Chris Elder connected for a three-run homer and Sowers added a solo home run to make it 11-9.
South Dakota State scratched across a run in the seventh and the game remained 11-10 until the bottom of the ninth.
Sean Johnson (2-2) started the ninth for the Golden Eagles and promptly hit lead-off batter Jesse Sawyer. John Lee moved Sawyer to second with a ground out, and Sawyer scored the tying run on a single by Cain.
Briggs moved Cain over to third with a single, setting up Hannowski’s grounder.
Trever Vermeulen (5-1) earned the win with 1.2 innings of shutout relief. South Dakota State collected 16 hits, with Sawyer and Briggs getting three each.
ORU banged out 12 hits. Nick Baligod, Furmanek, Elder, Sowers and Pickar had two each.