Avila rallied back in the first game of the doubleheader in a walk-off fashion, defeating Dakota State 4-3 Saturday afternoon, before Eagles held on to defeat the Trojans 3-1 in the second game to earn a 3-1 record in the four-game series.
In game one of Saturday’s doubleheader, the Eagles grabbed the first lead of the game in the bottom of the first inning to lead 1-0. DSU answered with a run scored in the top second, thanks to a pair of defensive miscues by Avila. Seth Altwine reached safely on base after AU’s defensive miscue, allowing Chris Burke to score home as Dakota State knotted the game at 1-1 in the top second inning.
Burke led off the top fourth inning with a single and swiped to second base for DSU. Dawson Portner followed up with an RBI double down the left field line, scoring Burke as Trojans earned a 2-1 lead.
Dakota State extended their lead to 3-1 in the top of the fifth inning, highlighted by Walker Hultgren’s lead off double. Jeremy Green produced an RBI single to score Hultgren to widen the Trojans’ lead by two runs.
Avila mounted a comeback in the bottom sixth inning after producing two runs. Garrett Kalm hit an RBI single with one out to score Bryce Culp as the Eagles trailed 3-2 in the bottom sixth.
Jacob Nevels hit a two-out RBI single to score Kalm as Avila knotted the game at 3-3. Paxton Andrade then hit a walk-off RBI single in the seventh to score Jack Virden to secure a 4-3 victory over the Trojans.
Maon Macaluso finished the game by going 3-of-4 at the plate with a double and two singles. Portner added a double, single, and an RBI. Green had a hit and an RBI. Hultgren tallied two hits and scored a run. Burke scored twice and recorded a hit.
The Eagles outhit the Trojans 13-9 in the game. DSU left eight runners on base compared to AU seven runners left on base.
In the second game on Saturday, the Trojans were unable to score in the opening inning, despite a double by Green.
Avila poured in two runs in the bottom half of the first inning, highlighted by back-to-back RBI doubles by Virden and Kurt Trotter for a 2-0 lead.
The Trojans snapped their scoring drought in the top third inning. Green hit an RBI sacrifice fly to score Ryan McDaniel as the Trojans trailed 2-1 in the top third.
Virden drilled a lead-off double in the bottom fifth inning for the Eagles. Trotter followed up with a single to advance Virden to third base. Andrade produced an RBI single to score Virden as Avila’s lead grew to 3-1 in the bottom fifth with one out.
Dakota State left a runner on base in the top seventh inning when the game ended, securing the victory for the Eagles.
Hultgren was 2-of-3 at the plate with a double, single, and walk for the Trojans. Green added a double and an RBI. Burke, Chase DeWitt, and Jace Pribyl each recorded a hit. Portner registered a hit and a walk.
Virden had two doubles, an RBI, a walk, and scored twice for the Eagles.
Will Clair (L, 0-1) took the defeat after pitching two innings for DSU. He allowed two runs on five hits. Mitsuki Shimonishi worked for 3 1/3 innings in relief, giving up a run on four hits. Alex Swack tossed 2/3 shutout innings.
Chase VanSteenburg (W, 1-0) earned the victory after working for five innings. He allowed an unearned run on four hits. Gaven Mooney (S, 2) earned the save after working two scoreless innings in relief He gave up three hits.
Avila tallied nine hits in the game compared to Dakota State seven hits. The Eagles left 10 runners on base compared to the Trojans nine runners left on base.
Dakota State fell to 1-3 overall record, while Avila improved to 4-7 overall record after registering their third straight win.
The Trojans return to the state of Missouri next weekend for the four-game Joplin Tournament. DSU takes on Morningside at 3pm and William Penn at 5:30pm on Saturday. Dakota State will then face Hastings and Columbia next Sunday.