Courtesy: SUU Media Relations
CEDAR CITY, Utah, May 10 –Thunderbird pitcher Chase Rezac tossed a complete game shutout to help Southern Utah take a 14-0 win over visiting South Dakota State in the first game of its final home series on Thursday. The junior right-hander also collected his fourth homerun of the season while going 3-for-4 at the plate with three RBI and three runs scored.
The entire SUU lineup contributed on offense as the team finished the day with 14 runs on 16 hits, while putting up a score in every inning. Lead off batter Brad Royer got things going with a triple in the team’s first at bat and then put Southern Utah on the board by reaching home on a ground out RBI from David Headley.
“I felt like we took advantage of their mistakes, we ran the bases well, made plays on defense,” commented SUU interim head coach Clayton Carson. “If we play like that every time we will be a very tough team.”
The Thunderbirds kept the offense going in the subsequent inning as DJ Andrade drew a bases loaded walk to score a run and a wild pitch allowed Kevin Kline to reach home before Royer added a sac fly RBI to set the score at 4-0 at the end of two innings of play.
Three more runs in the bottom of the third pushed the advantage to 7-0 as Mitchell Kauweloa, Taggart Lunceford and DJ Andrade all got into the scoring mix with RBI singles. Four more scores in the following inning would then see Southern Utah take a commanding 11-0 lead. Rezac, Lunceford and Marcus Romero each chipped in an RBI and a fourth run in the frame on a wild pitch put the T-Birds in control for good.
Rezac’s blast over the wall in left center with a runner on and Kline’s first homerun as a Thunderbird accounted for the final three runs as SUU went on to win by a final score of 14-0 in a run-shortened seven inning game.
In addition to the scoring efforts of its pitcher, Southern Utah picked up an RBI or run from each batter in the starting lineup. Lunceford and Andrade were right behind Rezac, driving in two RBI apiece. Eric Cain and Steven Autenrieth would be the only two Jackrabbits to record a hit in the contest.
Rezac improves to 3-7 with the win while Southern Utah edges closer to a postseason bid with a Summit League record of 10-6 and improves to 16-29 overall. Junior starter Layne Somsen (1-6) took the loss for South Dakota State, which falls to 14-30-1 on the year and 3-11 in conference play.
“Chase has been solid in his last few outings,” explained Carson. “He is hitting his stride at just the right time.”
The Thunderbirds and Jackrabbits will be back on the diamond tomorrow for a doubleheader set to get underway at 12 p.m. (MT)