College Baseball

Errors cost Jackrabbits against Bears


PAPILLION, Neb. — South Dakota State and Northern Colorado combined to hit 11 home runs in the opener of their three-game Summit League baseball series Thursday afternoon, but it was two Jackrabbit errors that proved most costly in a 19-7, eight-inning victory for UNC at Papillion-La Vista South High School.

The Bears, who hit six of the round-trippers while scoring four unearned runs in the sixth inning and nine more in the eighth, improved to 3-22 overall and ran their league record to 3-4. SDSU dropped to 11-13 overall and 4-2 in The Summit League.

Trailing 4-2, UNC grabbed the lead with a six-run sixth inning. Austin Bunn, who was 4-for-4 and drove in six runs, tied the game with a two-run single off reliever Brady Hawkins. An error allowed the go-ahead run to score and Brandon Sanchez followed two batters later with a three-run home run that increased the Bear lead to 8-4.

Bunn pushed the UNC lead to 10-4 with a two-run homer in the top of the seventh, only to see the Jackrabbits counter with three solo shots of their own in the home half of the frame to cut the deficit in half. Jordan Sagedahl led off the bottom of the seventh with his third home run of the season, while Cael Frost and Dawson Parry connected on back-to-back long balls. Frost’s home run was his team-leading 11th of the season while Parry’s second homer of the game upped his season total to 10.

Any momentum the Jackrabbits may have recovered was quickly lost the next half-inning. After the first two Bear hitters reached base in the top of the eighth, reliever Jack Kruger retired the next two batters and was on the verge of ending the threat when he induced a ground ball off the bat of Kai Wagner. However, the throw to first base was off the mark, allowing Wagner to reach and two runs to score.

That miscue opened the floodgates as Garrett Fisher followed with a two-run home run and Bunn hit his second two-run home run in as many innings. Zain Zinicola capped the nine-run inning with the Bears’ third round-tripper of the inning, a three-run opposite-field shot to left field. In all, UNC sent 12 men to the plate in the fateful frame that put the 10-run rule into effect.

Fisher added three of the Bears’ 15 hits in the contest.
Caden Wagner opened the scoring with a home run in the top of the first inning off SDSU starter Arlen Peters. Parry’s first homer of the game was a two-run salvo in the bottom of the first. Parry, Cade Stuff and Luke Luskey each tallied two of the Jackrabbits’ 11 hits.

Freshman third baseman Bryce Ronken gave the Jackrabbits a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the third with his second home run of the season and Reece Anderson added an RBI single in the fourth.

SDSU starter Arlen Peters worked the first five-plus innings, striking out six and walking four in a no-decision. Peters struck out the side in order in the top of the third inning.

The Jackrabbits and UNC are scheduled to conclude their series with a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m Friday. Games will once again be played at Papillion-La Vista South High School.