SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – In the first elimination game of the 2014 Summit League Championships, the IPFW Mastodons came out on the wrong end of a 6-3 score against the South Dakota State Jackrabbits on Friday afternoon.
The loss ends the season for IPFW with a 19-36 record.
Evan VanSumeren was a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate for IPFW, scoring twice, while Kristian Gayday was 2-for-3 and Malcolm White 2-for-5. Dane Davis pitched 6.2 innings in relief, scattering just three hits, while Connor Lawhead went an inning and a third without allowing a baserunner.
South Dakota State opened the game strong, using a pair of walks and a single to load the bases with no outs; however, a strikeout and a fly-out, throw-out double play to right field ended the threat without a run crossing the plate.
Gayday hit a two-out double in the bottom half of the first inning, before scoring on a Shane Trevino single to center field, pushing the Mastodons to a 1-0 lead.
For the second consecutive inning, the Jackrabbits loaded the bases with no outs, but unlike the first inning, SDSU was able to take advantage, scoring on a walk, before two two-run singles put the Jackrabbits ahead 5-1 through an inning and a half.
IPFW got a run back in the third inning when VanSumeren and White picked up back-to-back singles, before Brandon Soat reached on a bunt single to load the bases. After a strikeout, Trevino hit a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring VanSumeren, and cutting the gap to 5-2.
Neither team would find the scoring column for a four-inning span between the fourth and seventh innings, before the Jackrabbits scored a run without an official plate appearance with a walk, a stolen base, a sacrifice bunt, and sacrifice fly.
The Mastodons would not go quietly in the bottom of the ninth inning, as VanSumeren opened the inning with a double to right field, before advancing to third on a wild pitch. A batter later White singled through the right side to score the sophomore and take the margin to three at 6-3. That would be as close as the team would come, as a double play erased the baserunner, with a Gayday walk providing the only remaining baserunner before a strikeout ended the game.
Nate White picked up the loss, going an inning and allowing five earned runs and walking five, before Davis stepped in and gave up just one run in 6.2 innings of work.
SDSU’s Chad Hodges picked up the win for the Jackrabbits, striking out three and giving up nine hits over his eight innings. Cody Shannon was 2-for-3 at the plate as Scott Splett was 2-for-4.