Jacks take two from Bison
The South Dakota State University baseball team moved two steps closer to locking up a berth in the upcoming Summit League tournament, sweeping a doubleheader from North Dakota State Saturday afternoon at Erv Huether Field.
With their 8-5 and 12-1 victories, the Jackrabbits improved to 30-12 overall and 16-3 in The Summit League. SDSU also maintained its two-game lead over Oral Roberts as the Jackrabbits won for the 27th time in their last 30 games. The Jackrabbits also reached the 30-win plateau for the 10th time in program history.
In the opener, SDSU scored the final six runs of the game en route to the 8-5 victory.
Each team scored a run in the first inning before NDSU scored three times off Jackrabbit ace Blake Treinen in the top of the second. The first run of the frame scored on an error, which was followed by run-scoring singles by Tyler Steen and Nick Colwell.
SDSU pulled back to within 4-2 on an RBI single by Andrew Melton in the home half of the second, but the Bison took advantage of a Jackrabbit error to get the run back in the top of the third.
The Jackrabbits tied the game at 5-all in the bottom of the third. Joel Blake led off with a double and later scored on a wild pitch. After a walk to Eric Cain, Jesse Sawyer hit the game-tying two-run homer to left field to contribute to an early exit for NDSU starter Mark Hermes.
The Jackrabbits went to their bullpen in the sixth, but left-hander Shane Kraemer walked all three batters he faced to load the bases without recording an out. Austin Busse then wriggled out of the jam by inducing Zach Heidmann to ground into a pitcher-to-home-to-first double play and later coax a groundout from Tim Colwell to end the threat.
Trever Vermeulen pitched two scoreless innings to earn his eighth save and the Jackrabbits added a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth. Stitz tripled in Beau Hanowski with the first run and Blake plated Stitz with a base hit to center.
Blake was 3-for-4 to lead the Jackrabbits' 13-hit attack. Hanowski and Stitz each tallied two hits. Nick Colwell was 3-for-4 for NDSU.
Treinen struck out five, walked two and gave up seven hits in five innings as he was credited with the victory, improving to 5-2 on the season.
In the nitecap, the Jackrabbits scored early and often as they rolled to the 12-1 win.
SDSU scored twice in the first inning on a run-scoring single by Eric Cain and a wild pitch. The Jackrabbits notched six singles to score four runs in the second inning and knock out NDSU starter Zach Wentz after the right-hander recorded only five outs. Hanowski drove in the first run of the frame on a base hit, with Blake adding a two-run single two batters later. Cain came through with his second run-scoring single of the game to close out the scoring in the inning.
The Jackrabbits plated a pair of unearned runs in the third inning and continued the onslaught with four runs in the fifth inning to go up 12-0. Sawyer hit his second home run of the day and 11th of the season, a three-run shot, and Andrew Phelan added a RBI triple for SDSU's only extra-base hits of the game.
Alex Oberle pitched five shutout innings before giving up a run in the sixth as Wes Satzinger doubled to lead off the inning and Blake Turbak delivered a two-out base hit. Oberle allowed only three hits, walked three and struck out one in evening his record at 4-4.
Marcus Heemstra pitched a scoreless seventh inning to finish off the Jackrabbit victory.
The two squads will conclude their four-game series Sunday with a 1 p.m. matinee at Erv Huether Field.
Game 1: SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 8, NORTH DAKOTA STATE 5
NDSU 131 000 000 5-8-0
SDSU 113 010 02X 8-13-3
NDSU: Mark Hermes, John Straka (3), Kyle Kingsley (8) and Tyler Steen. SDSU: Blake Treinen, Shane Kraemer (6), Austin Busse (6), Trever Vermeulen (8) and Zach Briggs.
W-Treinen (5-2). L-Straka (1-2). Save-Vermeulen (8).
HR: SDSU-Jesse Sawyer (10).
Game 2: SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 12, NORTH DAKOTA STATE 1
NDSU 000 001 0 1-5-2
SDSU 242 040 X 12-12-0
NDSU: Zach Wentz, Bryant Larson (2), Mark Schroeder (3), Glenn Parker (5) and Tyler Steen, Tanner Adam. SDSU: Alex Oberle, Marcus Heemstra (7) and Zach Briggs, Nick Andrews.
W-Oberle (4-4). L-Wentz (2-6). Save-none.
HR: SDSU-Jesse Sawyer (11).