Smith’s Double Leads Jackets to Eighth Inning Win (4/28/06)
BILLINGS, MT – The Montana
State-Billings baseball team split wins with St. Mary’s
University Friday at Cobb Field. The Jackets allowed the
Rattlers two big innings to take the 7-2 win in game one with
the Jackets earning the twinbill split in game two with a late
rally, winning 5-4 in the eighth. The Jackets are 14-30 overall
and 12-22 in the Heartland Conference while St. Mary’s is 32-15
overall and 23-11 in league play.
The first inning made
Yellowjacket fans nervous as the Rattlers jumped out with a
three-run lead. Stitching up the wound, the
Jackets held the Rattlers to just one run over the next five
innings. Kyle Pryor (Jr., Billings, MT) walked and a double by Luke
Sansaver (Jr., Wolf Point, MT) advanced Pryor to third.
That would be the closest the Jackets would get to home plate
through the sixth inning as the St. Mary’s defense did their job
denying the Jackets the chance to start an offensive game.
Roberts (Jr., Terry, MT) came in to relieve hurler Nathan
Herbig (Jr., Noxon, MT) after 6 1/3 innings pitched. The
Rattlers’ John Alvarez, Cory Jacobi and Cody Pyle each hit
singles in the top of the seventh inning to load the bases.
Jason Davila hit a double driving in three RBI for the 7-0
lead. Certainly down but not out, the Jackets’ Matt
Kaklecik (Fr., Great Falls, MT) was walked with pinch runner
Mike Cease (Fr., Deer Lodge, MT) advancing to second on an
error. Doug Longfellow (Jr., Lewistown, MT) reached on a fielder’s
choice and a Willie
Crtalic (Jr., Billings, MT) single brought in Cease and
Longfellow for two RBI. The game ended on a ground out to
Herbig (2-7) took the loss for
the Jackets, allowing seven runs off nine hits and striking out two,
while teammate Crtalic went 2-for-4 with two RBI.
Zack Kucera (6-3) pitched to
the win giving up two runs off six hits, striking out five
batters. Pyle went 2-for-3 with one run and four RBI. Both
Jacobi and Alvarez each scored two runs.
John Alvarez put the early
pinch on the Jackets drilling a home run down the left field line to
start game two which was promptly followed by another home run
in the third by teammate Ryan Femath. Femath’s homer brought in
two RBI for the 3-0 Rattler lead.
The Jackets got their
confidence back in the fourth. Mike
Wardell (So., Billings, MT) was
walked and advanced to second on a single by Nick Hoskyn (Jr., Oelwein, IA). On the next at bat, Kyle Slater (Jr., Missoula, MT) bunted, advancing both Hoskyn and Wardell. Jake
Samuelson’s (Jr., Helena, MT) single up the middle brought
in two RBI. One Rattler wild pitch and a passed ball later
Slater came in tying the game at three runs apiece.
Smith (So., Flagstaff, AZ) came in for Slater at the top of
the sixth which arguably won the game for the Jackets two
innings later. In the bottom of the seventh inning Hoskyn
reached first on a fielder’s choice. Smith stepped up to hit his first double of the season
brining in Hoskyn for an RBI and forcing the game into extra
McBride (Jr., Billings, MT) did what he does well, pitch
consistently. McBride and his Jacket defense kept the Rattlers
to one hit in the eighth with no runs setting the Yellowjackets
up for the win. Longfellow was walked and Pryor’s sacrifice
bunt advanced Longfellow to second. Sansaver grounded out to
second base to move Longfellow to third. Crtalic stepped up
looking for the single and the win but he didn’t even need to
hit the ball. A wild pitch by the Rattlers allowed Longfellow
to turn his wheels over getting the run and the win.
“Kyle pitched a great ball
game again,” said Yellowjacket head coach Chris Brown. “He
showed poise and confidence and gave us a chance to win.
Offensively we plugged away. We missed a couple of
opportunities, but we were able to make it happen when it counted
most. We want to carry over the positive momentum from
and hopefully good things will happen for us tomorrow.”
Hoskyn went 2-for 4 in the
late game with two runs scored. Samuelson went 1-for-3, driving
in two RBI. McBride pitched his fifth complete game and is 5-4
on the season. McBride allowed four runs off six hits and
struck out five Rattlers. Tommy Vrzal (3-4) took the loss
for the Rattlers giving up three runs in 5 1/3 innings.
These two teams will tangle
again Saturday at Cobb Field with the doubleheader beginning at
3:00 p.m. The Jackets wrap up their season May 5-6 against
University of the Incarnate Word. The tentative start time for
that doubleheader is 2:00 p.m. May 6th also
represents senior day. The Yellowjackets will graduate lone
senior, pitcher David
Ducharme (Sr., Hamilton, MT).