USF Bats Fall Silent In Doubleheader Loss To St. Cloud State
The wins give SCSU (25-6, 14-3 NSIC) a sweep of the season’s four-game series with the Cougars (14-19, 8-12 NSIC). USF managed just five hits in the twinbill and saw its team batting average fall to .240. The Cougars were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position.
Husky Chris Kubitz, a senior lefty from Shakopee, Minn., stifled the Cougars’ line-up, throwing one-hit ball and striking out a season-high 12 batters in seven complete innings.
Kubitz fanned five of the first six Cougars at the plate and faced just one batter over the minimum in the 80-pitch gem. He fell behind only three of the twenty-two hitters he faced and completed the one-hitter by striking out pinch-hitter Wesley Kroupa on three pitches.
SCSU gave him plenty of support early, batting around in the first inning with three straight RBI hits off USF freshman southpaw Elijah Thornquist before a sacrifice fly made it 4-0 in favor of the Huskies.
Anthony Lopez singled to lead off the third for USF before Kubitz retired the final 15 batters.
SCSU tacked on single runs in the third and fourth frames to create the final margin.
Kubitz improved to 4-1 on the year, while Thornquist (1-4) took the loss, allowing six runs on nine hits in five innings, walking three and striking out two. Jordan Jeske tossed one inning of hitless relief.
Husky Garrett Harrison continued the Cougars’ offensive woes in the series finale. The sophomore southpaw (1-1) tossed a four-hitter and allowed one over six-plus innings before Reese Gregory shut down USF the rest of the way for his fifth save of the year.
USF’s icy bats wasted a solid effort from senior Noah Coleman (1-3), who went eight innings and allowed three runs on three hits, walked three and fanned four.
The game was scoreless until the bottom of the fourth, when the Huskies opened the frame with back-to-back doubles before a sacrifice fly gave SCSU a 2-0 lead.
In the seventh, Cole Sweeney drew a one-out walk and advanced to third with Brandon Truesdell’s single to right field. Gregory was summoned from the Husky bullpen and committed a balk on his very first pitch, which allowed Sweeney to score and moved Truesdell into scoring position with two outs. But Gregory diffused the threat by inducing Michael Downs into an infield pop-out.
Gregory, who started the game at third base, laced a lead-off two-bagger in the bottom of the seventh and scored on Max Ditty’s suicide squeeze to account for his mound misstep and make it 3-1 ballgame.
The Cougars went quietly in the final two frames to extend their conference losing streak to eight in a row.
Noah Durkin, Trevor Crow, Truesdell and Downs each tallied a hit.
USF will host Southwest Minnesota State on Wednesday with first pitch of the twinbill set for 1:30 p.m.
Courtesy: University of Sioux Falls