Baseball Upended by Jacks' Late Rally
USF dropped to 10-29 while South Dakota State moved to 13-24-1.
"I'm not upset at all," said head coach Matt Guiliano. "We played much better in the field and had 12 hits, but also had two pitchers with bad outings and that sums up the final score."
"We played well and had fun playing against a good baseball team, but it's unfortunate that we weren't able to leave Brookings with a win," he added.
Freshman Eric Brothers started for USF and recorded one of his best outings of the season, scattering four hits in seven innings with six walks and one strikeout in the no-decision. Derek Fischer (5-3) took the loss, giving up four runs on three hits with one walk. Andrew Christensen and Chris Nichols combined for four runs on three hits in 0.2 innings of relief.
"Brothers threw a great game," Guiliano said. "He got out of jams and battled when he was tiring; we couldn't have asked for a better start."
Senior third baseman Jimmy Maxwell led the Cougars at the plate, going 3-for-5 with one RBI to improve his season batting average to .345.
Brothers was in a tight spot in the bottom of the first after two base on balls put runners on first and second with one out, but the Cougar defense lifted their hurler up with a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.
After a quiet second frame, the Cougars touched SDSU's Talon Jumper for two runs on three hits. Back-to-back base hits by Zach Ireland and Maxwell put ducks on the pond for Noah Coleman, who won the battle on a 3-2 count and laced a single to left, scoring Ireland. Maxwell would touch home when interference was called on the Jacks' third baseman to put the Cougars up 3-0.
Brothers breezed through the third and fourth innings and junior Damian Kardas rewarded his efforts with a two-run shot in the top of the fifth to extend the Cougars' lead to 5-0.
Things looked bad for Brothers in the seventh as the Jackrabbit nine had the bases loaded with two outs and top hitter Phil Paquette (.328) at the plate, but the lanky righty induced a pop fly to Maxwell to end the threat.
Brothers was relieved after seven solid innings, but the Jacks' lineup wiped the sleep from their eyes and tagged a trio of Cougar relievers for eight runs on six hits to kill the visitors' momentum as they surged in front 8-5.
J.D. Moore sent the Cougars' down 1-2-3 in the top of the ninth to preserve the come from behind win for the Jacks.
The Cougars will travel west this weekend for a four game series versus Montana State-Billings.