SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - The South Dakota State offense provided early run support and senior right-hander Blake Treinen allowed one run in 7 1/3 innings as the Jackrabbits opened the Summit League Baseball Championship, presented by American Airlines with a 4-1 victory over North Dakota State Thursday night at Sioux Falls Stadium.
The second-seeded Jackrabbits improved to 36-18 overall and will meet top-seeded Oral Roberts in semifinal action at 3 p.m. Friday. NDSU, seeded third, dropped to 21-31 overall and will face Western Illinois in an elimination game at 11 a.m. Friday.
The Jackrabbits broke out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning after Beau Hanowski and Billy Stitz began the game with back-to-back singles. Joel Blake grounded into a double play to plate Hanowski with the first run. After a walk to Zach Rhodes, Eric Cain homered into the wind to right-center field off Bison starter Colby Tognetti.
SDSU squandered a couple other scoring chances in the early innings before tacking on another run in the fourth. Zach Briggs doubled with one out, moved to third on a base hit by Hanowski and scored on a groundout off the bat of Stitz.
Treinen, who escaped a first-and-third situation with one out in the first inning without giving up a run, settled into a groove. The Osage City, Kan., native retired 16 consecutive batters before allowing a single to Tyler Steen with two outs in the sixth inning.
The Bison finally solved Treinen in the seventh inning, taking advantage of a hit by Zach Wentz, two walks and a sacrifice fly by Max Casper to score their only run.
Jackrabbit closer Trever Vermeulen entered with one out in the eighth and retired all five batters he faced to match his own single-season school record with his 10th save.
Treinen struck out five, allowed six hits and walked two in improving to 7-3 on the season.
For NDSU, Tognetti recorded his second complete game of the season against the Jackrabbits, retiring the final 14 men he faced in a losing effort. Tognetti, 4-6 on the season, scattered nine hits, walked two and fanned three.
Hanowski, Stitz and Cain each collected two hits for SDSU. Tim Colwell tallied two of NDSU's six hits.
NOTES: SDSU improved to 5-4 in Summit League Baseball Championship games, while NDSU was playing its first tournament game ... the Jackrabbits hold a 5-1 advantage in the season series ... Vermeulen upped his career-record save total to 23 ... Treinen moved into a tie with Peter Torgerson (1989) for fourth place on the Jackrabbit single-season strikeout chart with 84 and also moved into fourth place for career strikeouts with 166, passing Steve Mousel (163 strikeouts from 1971-75) ... time of the game was two hours, six minutes ... attendance was 1,493
SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 4, NORTH DAKOTA STATE 1
NDSU 000 000 100 1-6-1
SDSU 300 100 00X 4-9-0
NDSU: Colby Tognetti and Tyler Steen. SDSU: Blake Treinen, Trever Vermeulen (8) and Zach Briggs.
W-Treinen (7-3). L-Tognetti (4-6). Save-Vermeulen (10).
HR: SDSU-Eric Cain (2).