BROOKINGS, S.D. — Junior Jackson Boyce had three hits and three RBIs, and senior Brandon Soat added two hits and three RBIs, as well, to lead IPFW to a 7-5 Summit League baseball road win at South Dakota State University Saturday afternoon at Erv Huether Field in Brookings, South Dakota. The visiting Mastodons (22-24, 7-16 Summit League) evened the series against the host Jackrabbits (18-27, 12-11 Summit League), and the two teams will play the finale of the three-game weekend series on Sunday, May 8, at 2 p.m. ET in South Dakota.
IPFW scored a run in the first inning, three runs in the second and another run in the fourth inning to lead 5-0. SDSU got on the scoreboard with three runs in the sixth inning and added two more runs in the seventh to tie the game at 5-5. The Mastodons, however, scored the go-ahead and winning runs in the eighth inning for the two-run victory and an opportunity to take the road series with another triumph in the finale.
In the first, IPFW loaded the bases with no outs on walks drawn by both Soat (2-4, 3 RBIs) and senior Kendall Whitman (0-4), while redshirt-senior Greg Kaiser (1-4) was hit by a pitch. Redshirt-senior Shane Trevino (0-3, RBI) plated Soat with the game’s first run via a sacrifice fly RBI to center field. In the second, redshirt-sophomore Shannon Baker (1-4) singled to open the frame and scored when Boyce (3-4, 3 RBIs) followed with a run-scoring triple to right center field. Soat promptly followed Boyce’s at bat with a two-run home run to right field, his fourth homer this season. In the fourth, the Mastodons got back-to-back doubles to right field from Boyce and Soat, the latter improving Soat to a perfect 8-8 with nine RBIs through his first nine plate appearances in the series (one walk).
After the Jackrabbits managed to knot the contest at 5-5 through seven innings, IPFW battled for the road win with its two runs in the eighth. Trevino walked to open the at bat, while redshirt-sophomore Brock Logan (0-2) was hit by a pitch, before senior Evan VanSumeren (0-0) entered and pinch-ran for Logan. A one-out walk to senior Sean Herberger, pinch-hitting, loaded the bases, and after a strikeout, Boyce provided the clutch game-winning hit … a two-run single to right center field that scored both Trevino and VanSumeren with the decisive runs.
Senior Trevor Storie, the reigning Summit League Pitcher of the Week, started for IPFW and pitched the first 5.2 solid innings, scattering four hits and three runs, all earned, with two strikeouts and four walks. Sophomore Damian Helm walked the only batter he faced, before junior Mitchell Ley (2-2) came in and tossed 1.1 innings of relief for the mound win, yielding two hits and two runs, one earned with no strikeouts and no walks. Redshirt-sophomore Brandon Phelps (1) pitched the final 2.0 scoreless innings for the save, allowing just one hit with no strikeouts and no walks.
Through the first two games of the series, Soat (8-10, 9 RBIs) and Boyce (6-9, 4 RBIs) have combined to go 14-19 (.737) with 13 RBIs. Soat has a home run and three doubles, while Boyce has a triple and a double heading into Sunday’s action.
SDSU was led offensively by Jesse Munsterman (2-4, 2 RBIs) with two hits and two RBIs, while Joe Erickson (2-1) faced two batters in defeat … allowing two runs, both earned, with no strikeouts and one walk.