LENNOX, S.D. - Dakota State's Anyelo Roman blasted a pair of 3-run home runs Friday afternoon at the Westerman Park versus Mayville State (N.D.), but it was not enough as the Comets held on to a 6-5 and 6-4 Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) conference baseball victories.
Dakota State dropped their overall record to 5-16 and 0-2 A.I.I. conference record. Mayville State, receiving votes in the first NAIA Baseball Coaches' Top 25 national poll, raised their overall record to 15-1-1 and 2-0 A.I.I. conference record.
The four-game series were originally scheduled to be played at the Flynn Field in Madison, S.D., but wet field conditions forced the series to be relocated in Lennox.
Game 1 - Mayville State (N.D.) 6, Dakota State (S.D.) 5 - 8 innings - BOX SCORE
Trailing 5-0 through five-and-half innings, Dakota State mounted a comeback in the sixth and seventh innings to tie the game and extended the game in extra inning. The Comets scored once in the top of the eighth inning and held on to the victory in the first game of the doubleheader.
Mayville State opened the game by scoring four runs. With bases loaded and one out situation for the Comets, Dillon Lundin recorded an RBI walk to give Comets their first lead of the game at 1-0. Zach Mihic added a 2-RBI single to extend MSU's lead to 3-0. John Pistulka hit an RBI ground out to make it 4-0 in favor of the Comets.
Bryan Jacklitch reached on base by DSU's defensive error with one out in the top of the sixth frame. He swiped for second base. Phillip Steer hit a bunt single and advanced Jacklitch to third base. Kurt McCallum recorded an RBI sacrifice bunt to score Jacklitch to expand Comets' lead to 5-0.
Dakota State broke their scoring drought in the bottom half of the sixth inning. Kyle Holland opened the inning with a single. Rays Roman hit a ground out and advanced Holland to second base. Ryan Bourcier recorded a single to advance Holland to third base. Danny Flahie hit an RBI single to score Holland as DSU earned their first run of the game, cutting MSU's lead to 5-1.
The Trojans opened the bottom seventh inning with three consecutive walks by Drew Sweeter, Riley Bullington and Rays Roman to set a bases loaded and no out situation. Holland hit an RBI sacrifice fly to score Sweeter to trim their deficit to 5-2. Anyelo Roman hit a game-tying 3-run home run (20th career home run at DSU) on a 1-2 count with one out (to tie the game at 5-5). DSU was unable to score another run as they left one runner on base as the game was extended into extra innings.
With one out in the top of the eighth inning, Spencer Mallonee recorded a walk for Mayville State. He advanced to second base after Jacklitch hit a ground out. Mallonee scored caused by DSU's defensive miscue to give MSU a 6-5 lead.
Dakota State went three-and-out in the bottom eighth frame as the Comets secured the victory.
Holland was 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI for the Trojans. Flahie added two hits and an RBI. Anyelo Roman had a home run and produced three RBIs. Rays Roman, Holland, Anyelo Roman, Sweeter and Nathan Wieneke each had a run scored. Rays Roman recorded three walks in the game.
Rays Roman, Holland and Chaz Palmer each swiped one base for DSU.
Jacklitch, Steer, McCallum, Mihic, Pistulka and Spencer Kidder each had a single for Mayville State. Mihic recorded two RBIs. McCallum, Lundin and Pistulka each added an RBI.
The Comets left nine runners on base. DSU had seven runners left on base.
Dakota State committed three defensive errors in the game compared to MSU none.
Josh Caven started the game on the mound for the Trojans. He tossed seven innings and allowed five runs (two unearned) on six hits. Caven recorded four strikeouts. Anyelo Roman (0-2) took the loss in relief. He pitched the eighth inning and gave up an unearned run.
Victor Sokolofsky worked the first six innings for the Mayville State. He allowed a run on five hits. Sokolofsky struck out 10 DSU's batters. Aaron Dick pitched the first two batters in the bottom sixth inning and allowed two walks. After blowing the save in the seventh inning, Duell Higbe (2-0) picked up his second victory of the season as he pitched a shutout eighth inning. He allowed two runs on two hits.
Game 2 - Mayville State (N.D.) 6, Dakota State (S.D.) 4 - BOX SCORE
McCallum hit a solo home run in the opening inning to give Mayville State a 1-0 early lead.
Sam Thielen recorded a 2-RBI single in the top second frame to extend Comets' lead to 3-0. The Comets added a run caused by DSU's defensive error to make it 4-0 in favor of MSU.
The Trojans ended their scoring drought in the bottom fourth inning. Rays Roman started the inning with a single. He advanced to second base by a wild pitch by MSU's RJ Page. Holland hit a single and advanced Rays Roman to third base. Anyelo Roman hit second 3-run home run of the day as DSU trimmed Comets' lead to 4-3.
Anyelo Roman extended the DSU's school record career home runs with 21 (his fourth home run this season).
After Steer reached on a walk in the top fifth inning, McCallum hit an RBI double to score Steer to give MSU a 5-3 lead. Lundin added an RBI sacrifice fly to score Aaron Miller (pinch runner for McCallum) to expand Comets' lead to 6-3.
Bourcier hit a solo home run, his third home run of the season, in the bottom sixth inning as DSU cut Mayville State's lead to 6-4.
Dakota State was unable to score in the final inning as they went three-and-out. The Comets recorded their ninth straight victory.
Anyelo Roman was 1-for-3 at the plate with a home run and produced three RBIs for DSU. Bourcier added a home run and an RBI. Rays Roman and Holland each had a single and a run scored.
MCallum recorded a double and a single with two RBIs for the Comets. Pistulka added a double. Didder had a single and two RBIs. Higbe recorded a hit. Jacklitch and Steer each had a stolen base.
MSU left seven runners on base compared to DSU one runner left on base.
The Trojans committed three errors in the game. Mayville State had no defensive errors.
Seth Rockafellow (1-1) took the loss on the pitching mound for the Trojans. He tossed five innings and allowed six runs (two unearned) on three hits. Kevin Madera worked the final two innings in relief and gave up two hits.
Page (2-0) pitched a complete game victory for the Comets. He allowed four runs on four hits. Page recorded eight strikeouts.
Dakota State and Mayville State will play another A.I.I. conference doubleheader on Saturday. The first game is slated to start at 12 noon at the Westerman Park in Lennox, S.D.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director