Big Inning Rallies Air Force Past South Dakota State, 11-7

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USAF ACADEMY, Colo. For the second straight day, Air Force baseball (4-8) rallied back for a win over South Dakota State (2-10), winning 11-7 in non-conference action Wednesday afternoon at Falcon Field. A seven-run fifth inning lifted the Falcons to its third-straight win and head coach Mike Kazlausky moved into a tie for the second most wins at Air Force.

Trailing 7-3 after South Dakota State had just put up six runs in the top of the inning, Air Force came right back in the bottom of the fifth with the seven-spot. Highlighting the inning was a bases loaded three-run RBI by designated hitter Rob Dau. Catcher Travis Wilkie drove in the go-ahead run on a ground out.

The win gave Kazlausky 152 for his career, tying him with his mentor Paul Mainieri, who is currently the head baseball coach at LSU.

Air Force tied a season-high with 15 hits in the game. Dau continues to swing a hot bat, going 4 for 5 with two runs and three RBIs. Ryan Robb went 3 for 5 with a run scored. Daniel Jones homered and scored two runs. Colby Brown went 2 for 5 with a double and triple. Wilkie and Drew Wiss had two hits each.

Luke Chilcutt (1-0) picked up the win in relief for Air Force. Starter Joer Kincart went 4.1 innings. Shawn Kelley provided the Falcons with clutch relief pitching, tossing three scoreless innings, while striking out four. Jake Gilbert closed out the game with a scoreless ninth.

South Dakota State had eight hits. Leadoff hitter Gus Steiger went 2 for 5 with a run and RBI. Byce Johnson (0-1) took the loss in relief. Starting pitcher Brett Mogen allowed three runs in four innings pitched.

The Jackrabbits led 1-0 after a run in the first. The Falcons tied it up with a run in the third and went ahead 3-1 after two runs in the fourth.

South Dakota State went back up 7-3 with the big top of the fifth, before Air Force rallied back with the seven runs. Jones hit a solo shot down the left field line in the eighth to provide an insurance run.

Air Force gets Thursday off before starting at three-game conference series at San Diego State Friday.