Brian Ness hit a two-run homer in the top of the ninth inning to lift the Southwest Minnesota State baseball team to a 2-1 win over Upper Iowa in the second game of a Sunday doubleheader in Fayette, Iowa.
It was the fourth time in two days the Peacocks and Mustangs played each other. SMSU won both games of a doubleheader on Saturday, earning a 6-3 11-inning victory in Game 1 and a 6-2 win in Game 2 behind a complete-game effort by Aaron Johnson, the fourth of his career.
The Peacocks took the first game of Sunday's twinbill 6-2 behind a strong pitching performance by Mario Madera, who gave up just two runs on seven hits in a complete-game victory.
It looked like the Mustangs may go back home with a split as they trailed 1-0 through eight innings of Game 2, but Ness blasted a homer to score Adam Thygesen and put SMSU up 2-1 heading into the bottom of the ninth. SMSU pitcher Derek Skovbroten shut down the the Peacocks in bottom of the inning to preserve the victory.
Skovbroten gave up one hit and no walks in 1 2/3 inning of work, coming on for Jeremy Schmidt. Schmidt had a strong outing for the Mustangs, giving up one unearned run on five hits with two walks and three strikeouts.
"Jeremy Schmidt threw a great game for us. They scored one run in the second inning and that was it," said SMSU head coach Paul Blanchard. "He kept us in position where we could hopefully get a couple of runs late and Brian Ness came up with a big home run for us in the ninth. That's probably the biggest hit of the year for us so far."
SMSU 000 001 100 04-6 8 2
UIU 100 100 000 01-3 9 1
SMSU-Nate Dickhausen, Corby McGlauflin (8). UIU-Matt Treybig, Cole Hanson (7), Blake Seehusen (11). WP-McGlauflin. LP-Hanson. HR: SMSU-Adam Thygesen. 2B: SMSU-Ben Korger. SB: SMSU-Thygesen, Jon Ellis; UIU-Tyler Adams. LOB: SMSU 10, UIU 11.
SMSU100 320 0-6 8 2
UIU100 001 0-2 4 0
SMSU-Aaron Johnson. UIU-Brett Westra, Daniel Riggs (5), Miguel Hulguera (7). WP-Johnson. LP-Westra. 2B: SMSU-Korger, Thygesen, Brian Ness, Kyle Young; UIU-Rudy Casillas. SB: SMSU-Thygesen, Chris Eichten; UIU-Casillas. LOB: SMSU 6, UIU 2.
SMSU000 002 0-2 7 2
UIU030 012 X-6 8 1
SMSU-Bryce Rippentrop, Steven Wehr (5), Landon Gacke (6), Chris Koep (6), Dylan Shoemaker (6). UIU-Mario Madera. WP-Madera. LP-Rippentrop. 2B: SMSU-Korger, Steven Kremer, Doug Mead; UIU-Adams, Mikey Henrichs. SB: UIU-Casillas. LOB: SMSU 8, UIU 7.
SMSU 000 000 002-2 6 2
UIU 010 000 000-1 6 0
SMSU-Jeremy Schmidt, Derek Skovbroten (8). UIU-Tyler Beck, Miguel Helguera (9). WP-Skovbroten. LP-Beck. HR: SMSU-Brian Ness. 2B: UIU-Taylor Brecht. SB: SMSU-Thygesen, Eichten; UIU-Patrick Arnston. LOB: SMSU 6, UIU 5.
In the first game on Sunday, SMSU fell behind early and could never catch up. Upper Iowa scored three runs in the top of the second against SMSU's Bryce Rippentrop, and that was enough for Madera, who was on his game.
"We didn't play particularly well in the first game," Blanchard said. "Their pitcher did a good job of throwing strikes and we just couldn't string anything together against him in that first game.
"We just got beat that first game. Their pitcher was very good and they made all the plays."
The Peacocks needed that win after dropping two games to the Mustangs on Saturday. In Game 1, Upper Iowa held a 2-0 lead after five innings before SMSU rallied with single runs in the sixth and seventh. The game was tied at 2 until the 11th when SMSU pushed four runs across the plate with two outs. Ben Korger had a two-run double to break the tie, and Thygesen had a two-run homer to extend SMSU's lead to 6-2.
Nate Dickhausen pitched the first seven innings of the game, giving up two runs on nine hits with a walk and strikeout. Corby McGlauflin pitched the last four innings and got the win, holding the Peacocks hitless over that stretch. He hit one batter and had three walks with two strikeouts.
Johnson kept the momentum going in SMSU's favor in the second game Saturday with a strong performance on the mound. In seven innings of work, he gave up two runs (one earned) on just four hits with nine strikeouts.
Ness had two hits, two RBIs and scored two runs to lead the Mustang offense in the 6-2 victory.
The three wins over the weekend push SMSU's record to 13-6 overall and 3-1 in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. UIU drops to 8-15 overall and 4-4 in NSIC play.
"To come out on a road series in this league and win three of four, that's a good accomplishment for our squad," Blanchard said.
SMSU continues its NSIC schedule Tuesday with a doubleheader against St. Cloud State in St. Cloud. The Huskies are 21-6 overall and 6-2 in NSIC action.