Schroer’s Gem Paves Way for Cougars Split with Wildcats
SIOUX FALLS, SD — The Sioux Falls baseball team (10-18, 5-9 NSIC) notched its fifth-straight league split on Saturday afternoon at Harmodon Park in Sioux Falls.
Steve Schroer struck out six and Derek Fischer fanned two of the three batters he faced as the Cougars prevailed 2-1 in a game one pitcher’s duel against Wayne State.
The Wildcats (16-8, 8-2 NSIC) scored early and often in the nightcap to knock off USF, 10-4. The teams split the weekend four-game series that also served as the Cougars home opener.
In the top of the first, Corey Vasquez laced a two-out single up the middle and advanced to third when Keith Cutler reached base on an error by the Wildcat first baseman.
Three pitches into Kelbe Beste’s at bat, Cutler broke for second and the first baseman threw in that direction, which prompted a back-and-forth until the first baseman dropped the ball and Cutler slid back in safely. Vasquez crossed home plate during the poorly executed rundown to put the Cougars up 1-0.
Jeremy Varner led off the bottom of the second with a right field single and Damian Kardas doubled him home for a 2-0 margin.
Wayne State starter Eric Schwieger (1-1) settled into a groove and held the Cougars to two hits over the next four innings. The senior southpaw racked up 10 K’s and did not issue a walk.
Steve SchroerSenior Steve Schroer (2-2) twirled a gem for the Cougars. The Coon Rapids (Minn.) native faced the minimum until a fourth inning error by the Cougar shortstop.
A hit by pitch and wild pitch were the catalysts for the Wildcats lone run in the fifth, but Schroer followed it up with a strikeout and 1-3 groundout to get out of the jam.
Derek Fischer took over for Schroer after the Wildcats broke up his no-hitter with a lead-off single in the top of the seventh inning. The Cougars’ ace got a sacrifice bunt and rang up the next two batters to earn his first save of the year.
USF gave up too many big inning and lost to the Wildcats 10-4 in the final game of the four-game series.
Wayne State struck first with Brett Keim’s two-run homer in the second inning. An outfield error in the third frame paved the way for the Wildcats’ third tally and WSC leftfielder Brandon Lalk had a one-out single to give the visitors the 4-0 lead after two innings of play. The Wildcats combined two singles and a stolen base to scratch across their fifth run in the top of the fourth.
USF came back with one run in the bottom of the fourth when Kelbe Beste’s sacrifice bunt plated Vasquez, who led off with a base hit to deep right field.
But Wayne State scored two runs in the fifth and eighth and one more in the ninth to seal the win.
Henry Ojeda (1-3) took the loss, yielding seven runs on eight hits with two strikeouts. Andrew Christensen and James Rader combined for three innings of relief.
Veterans Ryan Fobes (1-for-3, two RBI) and Vasquez (2-for-4, one run scored) were the top hitters for the Cougars. Beste and Trevor Crow each finished 1-for-3. The Cougars struck out 10 times and left five men on base.
USF is scheduled to travel to Northern State on Wednesday.
Courtesy: University of Sioux Falls