MITCHELL, S.D. - After four hours and 45 minutes nine-inning baseball game Friday evening at Drake Field, Dakota State scored four times in the top 11th inning to earn an 18-14 comeback victory over in-state rival Dakota Wesleyan. The Trojans trailed by six runs before mounting a late rally to earn their fifth straight meeting victory over the Tigers.
Dakota State ended their four-game losing streak and improved their overall record to 10-27. Dakota Wesleyan, a member of the Great Plains Athletic Conference, lost their ninth game in the last 11 games to dip their overall record to 21-23.
The Trojans gained the first lead of the game in the top second inning. Ryan Bourcier opened with a double. He advanced to third base by DWU's wild pitch. Kevin Madera hit an RBI ground out to score Bourcier to give DSU a 1-0 lead.
Erik Nockleby and Tyler Waddle hit back-to-back singles in the bottom second frame. Tyler Johnson recorded an RBI sacrifice fly to score Nockleby as the Tigers tied the game at 1-1.
DWU exploded for four runs in the bottom third to earn a 5-1 lead, thanks to Cole Wenande and Michael Lukkason back-to-back RBI singles along with Nockleby's 2-RBI single.
The Tigers' lead grew to 7-1 after Wenande hit an RBI single and Kirk McBreen recorded an RBI sacrifice fly in the bottom fifth inning.
The Trojans ended their scoring drought in the top sixth inning. Danny Flahie reached on base by a walk. Madera hit an RBI single to score Flahie to reduce DWU's lead to 7-2.
After Nockleby tripled with one out in the bottom sixth for DWU, Tyler Waddle hit an RBI single to give Tigers an 8-2 lead. McBreen added an RBI sacrifice fly to extend Dakota Wesleyan's lead to 9-2.
Dakota State mounted a huge comeback to tie the game in the top seventh frame with seven runs scored. Evan Tufvesson was hit-by-pitch with one out. Chaz Palmer reached on base by a walk and advanced Tufvesson to second base. Kyle Holland hit a single to set up a bases loaded situation for the Trojans. Rays Roman recorded an RBI walk to score Tufvesson as DSU reduced DWU's lead to 9-3. Flahie hit a 2-RBI double to score Palmer and Holland as the Trojans came within four runs (9-5 DWU). Bourcier hit a 3-run home run as the Trojans cut their deficit to 9-8. DSU tied the game as Madera scored by DWU's wild pitch.
Dakota Wesleyan issued a total of five walks in the top seventh inning to allow the Trojans tie the game at 9-9.
The Tigers regained their lead in the bottom seventh frame with four runs scored. Nockleby had an RBI single to give DWU a 10-9 lead. Sam Schumacher hit a 3-run home run to extend Tigers' lead to 13-9.
Madera and Andy Lee hit back-to-back RBI singles in the top eighth inning as Dakota State trimmed their deficit to 13-11. Kyle Braun added a 2-RBI triple as the Trojans tied the game at 13-13. Braun scored on a passed ball as DSU regained their lead at 14-13.
Toby Kaplan hit a double with one out for the Tigers in the bottom ninth inning. Neil Nagle hit an RBI single to score Kaplan to tie the game at 14-14. Dakota State extended the game into extra inning after DWU left a bases loaded when the bottom ninth inning ended.
Both teams were unable to score in the 10th inning.
Dakota State scored four times in the top 11th inning to earn an 18-14 lead. Holland reached on base by a walk with one out. Rays Roman hit a single to advance Holland to third base. Flahie produced an RBI single to score Holland for a 15-14 lead in favor of DSU. Bourcier hit an RBI double to score Rays Roman to make it 16-14 in favor of DSU. Madera added an RBI single to score Flahie to extend DSU's lead to 17-14. Lee recorded an RBI sacrifice fly to score Bourcier to give the Trojans a four-run lead.
DSU ended the game in the bottom 11th inning as the Tigers left one runner on base.
Bourcier had a home run, two doubles and produced four RBIs for DSU. Madera added three singles and four RBIs. Flahie had a double, a single and recorded three RBIs. Holland had a double and a single. Braun blasted a triple, a single and had two RBIs. Lee had a hit and two RBIs. Palmer added a single.
Holland and Bourcier each had three walks for the Trojans. Rays Roman, Flahie and Tufvesson each added two walks.
Nockleby smashed five hits in seven plate appearances for the Tigers. He recorded three RBIs. McBreen added four singles. Wenande had two hits. Schumacher produced three RBIs.
DWU outhit the Trojans 25-15 in the game.
DSU's offense reached on base by a walk 15 times compared to the Tigers' three walks.
Dakota Wesleyan left 18 runners on base while the Trojans left 10 runners on base.
Austin Weber started the game for Dakota State. He pitched 3 1/3 innings and allowed five runs on eight hits. Drew Sweeter worked 2 2/3 innings in relief and gave up four runs on eight hits. Evan Steemken worked for 2/3 innings and allowed four runs on five hits. Seth Spears tossed 1 1/3 innings shutout innings in relief. Madera worked in the ninth inning and allowed one run on three hits. Jamie Jorgensen (1-1) picked up the victory as he pitched two scoreless innings. He limited DWU to one hit.
Kevin Hatcher was the starting pitcher on the mound for DWU. He worked for 6 1/3 innings and allowed five runs on six hits. Lucas Schultz could not get out of the jam as he gave up three runs on two hits after facing three batters in the seventh inning. Josh Wagner pitched 1/3 inning and one run, but issued three walks to DSU. Nick Pecha tossed one inning and allowed five runs (one unearned) on three hits. Logan Risse pitched 1 1/3 innings and recorded three walks. Darin Hager (0-1) picked up the loss in relief as he worked for 1 1/3 innings. He allowed four runs on four hits. Mickey Grant pitched 2/3 shutout innings.
Dakota State concludes their regular-season action on Saturday afternoon. The Trojans face the third different team from South Dakota. DSU plays a single nine-inning game at the Ronken Field versus NCAA Division II Augustana, a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. First pitch is slated for 12 noon.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director