South Dakota State scored twice in the top of the seventh of game two as the Jackrabbits rallied to complete a doubleheader and series sweep of Valparaiso on Monday at Emory G. Bauer Field. The Jackrabbits won a pitchers' dual 2-0 in the opener and 8-7 in the nightcap.
In the opener, Valpo's Kyle Obenauf (Salem, Wis./Westosha Central H.S.) was solid over six innings, allowing just two runs and six hits but the Crusader bats could never get on track. Danny Klous allowed just two hits, walked three, and struck out three in the seven-inning complete game victory for the Jackrabbits.
South Dakota State scored its only runs in the sixth. An RBI double by Tyson Fisher with two outs brought home the first run and he scored on a delayed double steal attempt for the game's only other run.
Game two saw Valpo jump out to a quick 3-0 lead in the first inning, all on unearned runs. A dropped pop-up off the bat of Matthew Augustine (Muskego, Wis./Muskego H.S.) with two outs brought home Kevin Kutansky (Schererville, Ind./Munster H.S.) with the game's first run. Zach Rodeghero (New Lenox, Ill./Providence Catholic H.S.) followed with a run-scoring single. Augustine then stole home on a delayed double steal.
The Jackrabbits posted one run in the top of the third but Valpo answered with another in the bottom of the frame without a hit as three walks loaded the bases and Jon Rupno (Green Bay, Wis./Pulaski H.S.) was hit by a pitch to force in a run.
Back-to-back RBI singles by Jake Rogers and Tyson Fisher in the fourth cut Valpo's lead to 4-3, but Michael Arensdorff (Park View, Iowa/North Scott H.S.) and Ryan Manthei (Kenosha, Wis./Tremper H.S.) both homered in the bottom of the inning to increase the lead back to three.
South Dakota State tied the game in the sixth with three runs but the Brown and Gold retook the lead in the bottom of the inning. Manthei walked and pinch runner Alex Halstead (Brookfield, Wis./Milwaukee Lutheran H.S.) stole second and advanced to third when the throw went into centerfield. He then scored on a fielder's choice off the bat of Augustine.
The Jackrabbits rallied with two outs in the seventh to earn the win though, handing Valpo its seventh straight defeat. A walk and a single by Jake Rogers put runners at the corners with two outs. Rogers stole second and Fisher's single brought home both runners.
Jake Angier earned the win for South Dakota State (6-10) in relief while Dallas Cawiezell (Long Grove, Iowa/North Scott H.S.) suffered the loss out of the bullpen for the Crusaders. Fisher went 3-for-4 with four runs batted in for the Jackrabbits in game two while Manthei went 2-for-2 with three runs scored for Valpo.
Valparaiso (2-12) will look to snap its losing skid on Tuesday as the Crusaders head to Notre Dame for a 4:05 p.m. game against the Fighting Irish. The game will be carried live on WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso) and online at www.valpo.edu/athletics.