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Baseball - Wed, Mar. 9, 2016

March 9, 2016

TUCSON, Ariz. – Dakota State (S.D.) scored three runs in the top sixth inning to break a 3-3 tie ball game into a 6-3 lead Wednesday evening as part of Tucson (Ariz.) Baseball Invitational and held off Dordt (Iowa) ninth-inning rally for a 7-6 victory.

The Trojans bounced back in the winning column after suffering a doubleheader sweep over William Penn (Iowa) Tuesday, raising their overall record to 3-2.  The Defenders, a member of the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC), fell to 7-5 overall record.

DSU grabbed its first lead of the game in the opening inning, thanks to Tony Poncia's RBI double.  Jose Lopez led off the game with a walk and advanced to second base caused by DC's defensive error.  Poncia drilled a double and scored Lopez for Trojans' 1-0 lead.

Dakota State added a run in the top second frame to extend their lead to 2-0.  Jake Harris reached on base by Defenders' miscue.  Jordan Hofer – courtesy runner for Harris – advanced to second base by DC's passed ball.  After Travis Fleming reached on base by a walk, Jacob Artl reached safely on first base by a single and set up a bases loaded situation with no out. 

Tyler Ratkie recorded an RBI fielder's choice to score Hofer as the Trojans maintained a two-run lead in the second inning.

The Defenders scored a run in the bottom third inning to trim DSU's lead to 2-1.

After DSU registered their first two outs of the fourth inning, the Trojans answered with a run scored.  Lopez hit a single and advanced to second caused by DC's error and went to third base on the same play.  Poncia produced an RBI single to score Lopez for 3-1 DSU lead.

Dordt had a pair of doubles in the bottom fourth inning to knot the game at 3-3.  Bryan Wallman led off the bottom half with a double, followed by Colton Van Otterloo's walk.  Josh VanEps hit a 2-RBI double to score Wallman and Van Otterloo.

After a scoreless fifth inning, the Trojans exploded for three runs in the top half of the sixth frame.  Lopez opened the inning with a single and advanced to second base by Defenders' wild pitch.  Poncia reached on base by base-on-balls.  Both Lopez and Poncia advanced one base by another wild pitch committed by Dordt.

Ian Barker reached on base by a walk to set up a bases loaded situation for the Trojans in the top sixth.  Jamie Jorgensen registered a 2-RBI double to score Lopez and Poncia to give DSU a 5-3 lead.  Harris added an RBI ground out to score Barker as the Trojans extended their lead to 6-3.

The Defenders scored twice in the bottom sixth inning to close the gap as the Trojans held on to a one-run lead.  Taylor Neuroth had an RBI single and Jake Thayer added an RBI sacrifice fly to trim DSU's lead to 6-5.

Barker smashed a lead-off home run to put the Trojans up 7-5 in the top eighth inning.

The Defenders mounted a comeback in the bottom ninth inning.  VanEips had an RBI single to reduce DSU's lead to 7-6, but the Trojans secured the victory as DC left two runners on base when the game ended.

Poncia and Lopez each went 2-for-4 at the plate for the Trojans.  Poncia had a double, single, swiped one base and produced two RBIs.  Lopez scored three times.  Jorgensen added a double and two RBIs.  Dylan Colman and Jacob Arlt each had a hit.  Barker had a home run, walked three times, scored twice and collected an RBI.  Harris registered an RBI.

VanEps had a double, single and produced three RBIs for the Defenders.  Van Otterloo had two hits.  Wallman, Trent Roose, Parker Schutt, Connor Leppink and Neuroth each had a hit.  Thayer tallied two RBIs.

Dordt outhit DSU 11-8 in the game.  The Defenders committed four defensive errors compared to the Trojans three defensive miscues.

Dakota State left ten runners on base, while Dordt had eight runners left on base.

Garrison Collier (W, 1-0) earned the victory on the pitching mound for the Trojans.  He worked for five innings and allowed three runs (one unearned) on five hits.  Collier struck out seven DC's batters.  Tyler Pruszynski tossed 1/3 inning in relief and gave up two runs on one hit.  Barker (S, 1) recorded the save as he closed the game in the final 3 2/3 innings.  He allowed one run on five hits.

Brandon Fokkema pitched the first five innings of the game and allowed six runs (one unearned) on six hits.  He recorded five strikeouts, but gave seven walks to DSU.  Austin Fokkema (L, 1-1) recorded the loss in four innings of relief.  He allowed one run on two hits.

Dakota State takes the day off on Thursday and returns back to action on Friday morning in the Tucson Invitational.  The Trojans take on another opponent from the GPAC conference – Concordia (Neb.) – in a doubleheader.  The non-conference doubleheader takes place at Kino Sports Complex with the first pitch set for 9 a.m. (Central Time).

Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director

 
 
 
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