SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - The Dakota State University baseball team faced a third different South Dakota team this week Saturday afternoon at Karras Park. Augustana, a member of NCAA Division II and Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC), jumped to an 8-0 lead and cruised past the Trojans 13-4.
Dakota State's overall record stands at 10-28 before heading to postseason play next week. The Vikings won their 13th consecutive game and improved their overall record to 29-15.
Augustana earned a 1-0 lead in the opening inning. Jake Peterson was hit-by-pitch in the bottom first inning. He swiped to second base and advanced to third base by a wild pitch. Tony Viger hit an RBI sacrifice fly to give AC their first lead of the game.
The Vikings made it 2-0 in the bottom second frame after Jack Goihl recorded an RBI ground out to score Kyle Winter (opened with a double).
AC added two runs in the bottom third inning to extend their lead to 4-0.
The Vikings' lead grew to 5-0 in the fourth inning after DSU committed a defensive error.
Winter hit an RBI sacrifice fly in the bottom fifth inning to expand Vikings' lead to 6-0. Nate Hewes added a 2-run home run to give AC an eight-run lead.
Dakota State got on board in the top sixth frame with two runs scored. The Vikings' defense committed two straight errors to open the inning. Danny Flahie hit an RBI single to score Kyle Holland for the Trojans' first run of the game. Kevin Madera added an RBI sacrifice fly to score Rays Roman as DSU trimmed AC's lead to 8-2. The Trojans could not add more runs as they left three runners on base.
The Vikings answered back in the bottom sixth with five runs scored to earn a 13-2 lead.
DSU added two runs in the top seventh inning. Chaz Palmer and Holland recorded back-to-back singles to open the inning. Roman was hit-by-pitch to set up a base loaded situation for the Trojans. Flahie reached on base by Vikings' defensive miscue and scored Palmer to cut AC's lead to 13-3. The Trojans added a run by Ryan Bourcier's RBI ground out to score Holland to reduce DSU's deficit by nine runs.
Dakota State went three-and-out in the final inning as the Vikings secured the victory.
Palmer had two singles for the Trojans. Holland, Roman, Flahie, Madera and Seth Spears each had a single. Flahie, Bourcier and Flahie each produced an RBI.
Roman swiped one base, extending the DSU school career record in stolen bases with 43.
Hewes had a home run, a double and four RBIs for the Vikings. Alex Fink had three hits and two RBIs. Petersen and Marcus O'Neill each had two hits. Viger recorded three RBIs.
Peterson swiped three bases for Augustana. Brian Duxbury added two stolen bases.
The Vikings outhit the Trojans 12-7 in the game. AC committed five defensive errors compared to the Trojans' one error.
DSU left nine runners on base. Augustana left five runners on base.
Michael Crain (1-4) recorded the loss on the pitching mound for the Trojans. He allowed five runs (one unearned) on four hits in three-plus innings. Crain struck out four AC's batters. Josh Caven worked for two innings and allowed three runs on three hits in relief. Luke Gassman pitched 2/3 innings and gave up four runs on three hits. Seth Rockafellow tossed 1 1/3 innings and allowed one run on one hit. Josh Grissom pitched a scoreless eighth inning in relief.
Sam Gotham (6-1) pitched five innings, limiting the Trojans to two hits in victory for Augustana. Michael Letkewicz tossed two innings in relief. He allowed four runs (two unearned) on three hits. Eric Docken pitched in the eighth inning and gave up two hits. Joran Clute closed the game in the ninth inning.
Dakota State starts their postseason play on May 1 in the NAIA's unaffiliated tournament, hosted by Jamestown College (N.D.). The pairings for the tournament will be announced Monday. The tournament will be held at the Jack Brown Stadium in Jamestown, N.D. and runs through May 4.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director