BROOKINGS, S.D. - Air Force baseball split its doubleheader with South Dakota State Saturday afternoon at Huether Field. The Falcons dropped game one, 2-1, in 10 innings and won game two, 4-2, in seven innings.
In game one, Air Force (10-25) allowed the go-ahead run in the 10th inning to drop a close pitchers’ duel. Center fielder Zach Coppola singled in shortstop Tyer Shannon for the game-winning run for the Jackrabbits (16-17).
The loss overshadowed a strong outing by starting pitcher Griffin Jax. Jax went eight innings, allowing just one run off five hits. The freshman from Greenwood Village struck out four. Ben Yokley (1-2) was saddled with the loss. Nathan Stanford also pitched in relief.
The Falcons were held to two hits in the game. Third baseman Noah Pierce and center fielder Coleman Poje had AFA’s hits. Right fielder Spencer Draws scored the Falcons’ run in the second inning on a sacrifice bunt by shortstop Russell Williams.
South Dakota State tied the game in the eighth. The Jackrabbits had seven hits in the game. Right fielder Scott Splett and Coppola had two hits each. Starting pitcher Chris Anderson allowed one run in eight innings pitched, striking out three. Reliever J.D. Moore (3-2) picked up the win.
In game two, Steven Trojan (2-5) held South Dakota State to one run in six innings pitched and Stanford closed out the game for his third save of the season. Trojan allowed four hits and struck out six. Stanford worked the seventh to pick up his second save of the series.
After the Jackrabbits scored a run in the first, the Falcons tied it up in the second with a run. Air Force took a 2-1 lead in the fourth inning with a leadoff home run by first baseman Seth Kline. The Falcons added two insurance runs in the sixth. South Dakota State scored a run in the seventh.
The Falcons had seven hits in the game by seven different players. Second baseman Adam Groesbeck doubled for AFA’s other extra base hit. Pierce, Kline, Travis Neubeck and Poje scored runs in the game.
South Dakota State had five hits in the game. Left fielder Paul Jacobson had two hits to lead the way. Starting pitcher Chad Hodges (4-3) took the loss for the Jackrabbits, allowing four runs in 5.1 innings pitched.
Air Force returns to action Tuesday, April 15, hosting Adams State. First pitch is 3 p.m.