MADISON, S.D. - Dakota State and Mayville State teams piled up runs in a slugfest Association of Independent Institutions baseball doubleheader at Flynn Field in a beautiful, breezy Sunday afternoon. The Comets won the first game 21-19 in eight innings. The Trojans used a six-run second inning (including Jason Hershfield's school record breaking in most home runs in a single season), and held off Mayville State's comeback as DSU ended their losing skid with a 9-7 game two victory.
Dakota State currently stands at 16-19 overall record and 3-5 in A.I.I. conference record after the victory. The Trojans snapped their five-game losing streak. Mayville State dropped to 20-9 and 5-2 A.I.I. after loss in game two. The Comets' five-game winning streak was snapped.
Game 1 - Mayville State (N.D.) 21, Dakota State 19 - 8 innings
Mayville State scored its first run of the game by DSU's defensive error for a 1-0 quick lead.
Kyle Holland opened the bottom of the first frame with a double for the Trojans. Rays Roman hit a single to advance Holland to third base. DSU tied the game with Holland's score caused by Comets' defensive error. Ryan Steffensen added an RBI ground out to score Rays Roman to give DSU a 2-1 lead. The Trojans added a run by Ryan Bourcier's RBI double to score Chaz Palmer (courtesy runner for Hershfield).
Kurtis McCallum hit a 2-run home run as MaSU tied the game tied the game at 3-3 in the top of the second inning.
The Trojans produced six runs in the bottom of the second inning to gain a 9-3 lead, highlighted by Bourcier's 2-RBI double.
Mayville State exploded for nine runs in the top of the third frame to overtake the lead at 12-9. Duell Higbe and Dillon Lundin each hit a 3-run home run.
DSU answered back with five runs scored in the bottom of the third inning to take the lead back. Drew Sweeter opened the inning with a double, followed by Holland's single. Rays Roman hit a 3-run home run (his first home run of the season) to tie the game at 12-12. Kyle Braun added a 2-RBI single to give the Trojans a 14-12 lead.
MaSU tied the game at 14-14 with two runs scored caused by Trojans' defensive error in the top of the fourth inning.
Hershfield hit a 2-run home run in the bottom fourth frame as DSU regained their lead at 16-14. Bourcier (his sixth home run of the season) added a 2-run home run to extend Trojans' lead to 18-14.
The Comets responded back with four runs scored in the top of the fifth inning. Zachary Mihic hit an RBI sacrifice fly to reduce DSU's lead to 18-15. Ricky Alvernaz added a 2-RBI double and Lundin added a solo home run to tie the game at 18-18.
Dakota State could not convert their scoring opportunity in the final inning as they left two runners on base as the game was extended into extra innings.
Higbe hit a 3-run home run in the top of the eighth inning to earn a 21-18 lead.
Steffensen hit his first home run of the season in the bottom of the eighth inning to trim their deficit to 21-19. DSU could not complete their rally with one runner on base as the Comets sealed their fifth straight victory.
Bourcier led the Trojans with a home run, two doubles, single and produced five RBIs for the Trojans. Rays Roman added a home run, a double, two singles, four runs scored and three RBIs. Braun had three singles. Holland, Steffensen and Sweeter each had two hits. Palmer had two stolen bases.
Higbe had two home runs, a double and recorded six RBIs for MaSU. Lundin added two homers, a double and five RBIs. Alvernaz had two doubles, single and four RBIs. McCallum had a home run and two singles.
Both teams committed six errors in the game and 11 runners left on base.
Hershfield started the game for DSU. He worked for two-plus innings and gave up seven runs (two unearned) on nine hits. Max Garza pitched 1/3 inning in relief and allowed five runs (one unearned) on five hits. Seth Rockafellow (0-4) took the loss as he worked five innings. He allowed nine runs (two unearned) on nine hits. Rockafellow struck out four MaSU's batters. Beau Behrend pitched 2/3 shutout innings in relief.
Victor Sokolofsky tossed the first 1 1/3 innings for Mayville State. He gave up nine runs (four unearned) on five hits. Trevor Lishanko worked for one inning in relief and allowed five runs (two unearned) on two hits. Greg Weinhagen pitched 2 1/3 innings and gave up four runs on five hits. Russell Kennedy (2-2) notched the win as he tossed three shutout innings. He limited DSU to four hits. Higbe recorded his fourth save of the season as he worked the final inning. He gave up one run on two hits.
A total of 419 pitches were thrown in the game - 224 by DSU and 195 by Mayville State.
Game 2 - Dakota State 9, Mayville State 7
McCallum hit a one-out solo home run to give Mayville State a 1-0 early lead in the top of the first inning.
The Comets would expand their lead to 4-0 in the top of the second frame with three runs scored.
Dakota State produced six runs in the bottom of the second inning, highlighted by Anyelo Roman's grand slam (his eighth home run of the season) as DSU grabbed a 6-4 lead.
MaSU scored a run in the top third inning caused by DSU's defensive error to cut DSU's lead to 6-5.
Hershfield hit a 2-run home run in the bottom third inning as the Trojans extended their lead to 8-5. He hit his 11th home run of the season, which is a new DSU school record for most home runs in a single season (previously set by Josh Tiede in 2010 and Evan Hogan in 2003 - each with 10 home runs).
Holland hit a one-out triple to deep left-center in the bottom of the fifth frame for DSU. Rays Roman hit an RBI sacrifice fly to score Holland to give Trojans a 9-5 lead.
Higbe recorded a 2-RBI single as the Comets trimmed their deficit to 9-7 in the top of the sixth inning.
The Trojans secured the victory in the final inning as they recorded a double play, followed by a fly out by Comets' pinch-hitter Joe Ferria.
Anyelo Roman recorded a grand slam and four RBIs for Dakota State. Holland had a triple, a single and three runs scored. Holland and Rays Roman each had two walks. Garza added two singles. Hershfield recorded a home run, two runs scored and produced two RBIs. Steffensen and Bourcier each had a single.
Higbe had a single and two RBIs for Mayville State. McCallum had a home run. Brad Ferraro and Travis Ahlgren each had two hits. Phillip Steer had a double. Ferraro, Steer, Ahlgren and Dusty Brend each swiped one base.
Brandon Womack (4-2) recorded the victory for the Trojans. He tossed 5 1/3 innings and gave up seven runs (three unearned) on six hits. Sweeter notched his first save of the season as he pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings in relief. He limited Mayville State to two hits.
Todd Leavitt started the game for the Comets. He pitched 1 1/3 innings and gave up two runs on two hits. He walked four DSU's batters. Mitch Lacher worked the second inning and allowed two runs after allowing two walks. Aaron Dick (1-2) recorded the loss as he pitched 2/3 innings and allowed two runs on three hits. Kennedy tossed three innings and gave up three runs on three hits. McCallum pitched a shutout sixth inning.
Dakota State concludes their 12-game home stand (currently 5-5 on current home stand) on Tuesday night. The Trojans welcome their in-state rival Mount Marty in a doubleheader. First game is set for 5:30 p.m. at Flynn Field.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director