The Southwest Minnesota State baseball team used a five-run rally in the bottom of the eighth inning to power past St. John's University (Minn.) 6-2 Thursday morning in Tucson, Ariz.
SMSU's Kyle Young hit a two-run, two-out go-ahead single in the eighth inning. Tyler Flattum had two hits, an RBI and a run scored, while Jeff Watson added two RBIs for the Mustangs, who improve to 6-3 on the season.
The Johnnies committed three errors in the game which led to six unearned runs for SMSU. SJU starter Hayden Zimmerman pitched six innings, striking out two batters and giving up just two hits.
SMSU head coach Paul Blanchard said his team's slow start offensively was mostly due to great pitching.
"The pitcher they threw had a very good game. Their coach said he's been a very good pitcher for them for four years and he was solid today," Blanchard said. "He had good control and struck out a lot of our guys and really kept us in check."
Brandan Alfson got his first-ever start fot the Mustangs in the game and went 5 2/3 innings, giving up two runs on eight hits with one strikeout. He didn't walk a single batter in the game. Eric Giddings, Max Zwart and Dylan Shoemaker pitched the remainder of the game and didn't allow a run. Shoemaker earned a save, his first of the season.
"We played a lot of young players today to give ourselves a chance to evaluate some more guys," Blanchard said. "We gave a lot of guys a chance to play to see what roles they may be able to solidify for us later in the season."
SMSU continues action today against Concordia-St. Paul, with the first pitch scheduled for 12 p.m. CU has won two of three meetings this week between the two schools.
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SJU-Hayden Zimmerman, Justin Thompson (7). SMSU-Brandan Alfson, Eric Giddings (6), Max Zwart (9), Dylan Shoemaker (9). 2B: SJU-Max Forster, Luke Larson, Justin Thompson. LOB: SJU 5; SMSU 3.