Wayne State split a Northern Sun Conference baseball doubleheader Friday evening against the University of Sioux Falls at Sioux Falls Stadium as the host Cougars won the opener 12-6 followed by a 3-1 Wildcat win in the second game. WSC remains in fourth place in the NSIC with a 21-15 league mark and 26-22 overall while the host Cougars are now 19-29 and 16-22 in NSIC games.
The opener saw the host Cougars take a 5-0 lead after three innings and Sioux Falls cruised to a 12-6 win in the first game.
USF chased Wildcat starter Aiden Breedlove after three innings as the Cougars took a 5-0 lead. WSC got on the board with two runs in the fifth as Bodie Cooper doubled and scored on a Peyton Barnes RBI single with the second run coming on a Jackson Petersen RBI groundout that scored Tandon Dorn (walk).
The Cougars put the game out of reach with three runs in the fifth and four more in the sixth for a 12-2 lead.
WSC produced four runs in the top of the seventh to make the final score 12-6. David Janes belted a three-run homer while Petersen had another RBI groundout to score Barnes (walk).
USF held a 13-7 edge over WSC in hits. Janes ended 2 for 4 with a homer and three RBI while Cody Jenkins was 2 for 4 with a double. Cooper added a double while Aaron Krier and Barnes each singled.
Breedlove (5-4) suffered the pitching loss, charged with five runs on four hits over three innings of work. Tegan Nissen pitched the next two innings and allowed three runs on five hits. Spencer Johnson worked 1/3 inning and gave up three runs on two hits with Gabe Hoogers recording the final two outs yielding one run on two hits.
The second game saw three Wildcat pitchers limit the Cougars to just one run as WSC gained a split with a 3-1 win.
WSC scored two runs in the third as Aaron Krier led off the inning with a homer for a 1-0 Wildcat lead. The ‘Cats made it 2-0 on a Kyle Thompson RBI single that brought home Cody Jenkins (walk).
After USF used a pair of doubles to score a run in the fourth to make the score 2-1, WSC pushed the lead to 3-1 in the top of the fifth on a Tanner Simons RBI single to score Jackson Petersen (walk).
That was all the scoring as starter Taner Ledezma and relievers Keenan Breen and Kyle Kennebeck shut down the Cougars the rest of the way as WSC won 3-1.
Both teams had seven hits in the game. Krier was 2 for 5 with a homer. Simons and Thompson each had RBI singles while Petersen, Janes and Jake Lemar all singled.
Ledezma worked six strong innings to earn the pitching win, now 4-2 on the year. He gave up just one run on six hits with five strikeouts and no walks. Keenan Breen pitched the seventh inning and gave up one hit with one strikeout while junior lefthander Kyle Kennebeck worked the final two innings and did not allow a hit while notching one strikeout to earn his eighth save of the season.
Wayne State and Sioux Falls meet again Saturday in a noon doubleheader at Sioux Falls Stadium.