EMERSON, Ga. – Freshman Ismael Herrera tallied career highs of three hits and three RBI to help NSU rally for a 7-5 win in game 1 as the Spartans earned a split of Monday’s doubleheader with IPFW at the Perfect Game Lake Point South complex.
The Mastodons (8-3) won game 2, 12-4. The Spartans, who played four games in a little more than a 24-hour span after playing none for 15 days, are now 3-4 on the season.
NSU trailed 5-0 after six innings of the opener before scoring three times in the seventh and four more in the eighth to overtake IPFW. Kyla Vaas drew a bases-loaded walk to force in NSU’s first run in the seventh, and Herrera later added a two-out, two-run single to bring the Spartans within 5-3.
The Spartans carried that momentum into the eighth. Denathan Dukes led off with a single and later scored when IPFW mishandled Roger Hall’s grounder. Hall eventually scored the tying run on a wild pitch. Herrera then gave the Spartans their first lead of the game with another RBI single and Robbie Hiser tacked on one of his own to push the Spartans’ lead to 7-5.
Freshman right hander Michael Parmentier (1-0) earned the win in relief for NSU. He pitched the final three innings and did not allow a hit. He walked one and struck out two in his first collegiate appearance.
Evan VanSumeren led off the game with a solo homer for IPFW, but NSU starter Stephen Butt settled down to toss four straight scoreless innings thereafter. But the Spartans struggled to get much going off IPFW starter Evan Miller, who fanned 10 in 6.2 innings of work. The Mastodons then scored four runs thanks to three hits and two NSU errors in the sixth, stretching their lead to 5-0 and chasing Butt from the game.
After dropping a pair of games they either tied or led in the latter innings Sunday, NSU turned the tables on IPFW on Monday. It started with a two-out rally in the seventh, with Andre’ Moore reaching on an infield single and Hall drawing a walk. A wild pitch and a hit batter preceded the walk to Vaas, then Herrera had the big hit of the inning to cut the lead to 5-3.
Moore, Hiser and Dukes each had two hits in game 1 for NSU.
Both teams had big innings in the nightcap, but IPFW’s eight-run fourth proved to be too much for NSU. The Mastodons scored twice in the second and eight more times in the fourth. The fourth inning included an RBI double by Greg Kaiser, who went 3-for-3 in the game, and a two-run triple by Brandon Soat.
The Spartans surged back with four runs of their own in the fifth. Pinch hitter Syeed Mahdi singled and stole second before scoring on an RBI single by Hall. Hiser added a two-run single and Alex Mauricio also drove in a run with a single in the frame.
IPFW tacked one single runs in the fifth and sixth to wrap up the scoring.
Herrera went 4-for-8 on the day, Hiser was 3-for-6 with three RBI and Dukes went 3-for-7. Mauricio, Mahdi and Hall had two hits each in the nightcap.
The Spartans are slated to host Ohio University in a four-game series at Marty L. Miller Field this Friday through Sunday, field and weather conditions permitting.