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Cougars Swept Again By No. 11 Huskies

University of Sioux Falls Cougars baseball
University of Sioux Falls

MINNEAPOLIS, MN — Sioux Falls (4-13) wrapped up its first weekend of NSIC weekend with the same result as Friday, dropping both ends of a double-header to No. 11 St. Cloud State.

The series was contested at the Metrodome due to unplayable field conditions in Sioux Falls and was delayed more than an hour by the two games played earlier in the day. USF was defeated 10-3 in game one and lost the series finale by a 5-2 verdict. The last out of the nightcap was recorded at 4:21 a.m.

Southpaw Andrew Christensen got off to a good start in the opener, as he sent the Huskies down in order after allowing a lead-off single to Phil Imholte.

The Cougars opened scoring with a single run in the bottom of the frame. Ryan Fobes tapped a right field base knock and moved to third with Noah Durkin’s sacrifice and a base hit to left center by Keith Cutler. Cutler then swiped second and Jeremy Varner’s ground-out to first was enough to plate Fobes and advance Cutler to the hot corner. It was all the Cougars would get as a 5-3 left Cutler stranded.

Christensen issued a lead-off walk in the second but still faced the minimum after forcing Cariveau into a 6-3 double play and a fly-out to right field.

The game wa uneventful until the fourth, when the Eric Loxtercamp tied the game for the Huskies. He led-off with a single and later scored on Cariveau’s deep fly ball to right field. SCSU still had runners at the corners but the Cougars’ extinguished the runner at home to end the inning. A wild pitch in the fifth paved the way for the Huskies’ second tally.

Leading 2-1 in the top of the sixth, SCSU exploded for seven runs on four hits and tacked on one more in the seventh to make it three straight 10-run games against the Cougars.

Consecutive one-out hits by Durkin (triple) and Cutler (double) created the final 10-3 margin.

Christensen was saddled with the loss. He scattered two runs (one earned) on three hits with two strikeouts and three walks in 4.2 innings. Steve Schroer, James Rader and Damian Kardas combined for 2.1 innings of relief.

The Cougars tallied five hits to six strikeouts. Keith Cutler was 2-for-3 with an RBI double and a stolen base. Noah Durkin finished 1-for-2 with a run batted in and a run scored. Fobes went 1-for-1 with two runs. Kelby Beste tallied the Cougars’ other hit.

USF left too many runners on base in key situations in game two and the Huskies held on for the 5-2 victory and the series sweep.

SCSU broke through in the top of the second when they loaded the bases by tagging USF ace Derek Fischer for back-to-back singles after a lead-off hit by pitch. The Huskies then strung together two fielder’s choices and a left field double to move in front 3-0.

After a quiet fourth inning, the Huskies batted around and tacked on two insurance runs in the fifth. Fischer was untouchable the rest of the way, as he retired the side in both the sixth and seventh innings and did not surrender another hit. USF added single runs in the sixth and eighth frames but left seven runners stranded. The game ended with a fly out in foul territory.

Fischer took the loss for the Cougars. He worked eight innings and surrendered five runs on nine hits with three strikeouts and a walk. Freshman Matt Thomas tossed a hitless ninth frame on just eight pitches.

Durkin led the Cougars’ effort at the plate, where he went 3-for-4 with an RBI. Fobes, Kardas and Trevor Crow each had a base hit.

The Cougars are scheduled to play Briar Cliff at home on Tuesday. First pitch is slated for 4:30 p.m.

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Courtesy:University of Sioux Falls

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