FARGO, N.D. - South Dakota State scored 13 consecutive runs between the second, third and fourth innings and held on for a 15-12 victory over North Dakota State in non-conference baseball action Tuesday night at Newman Outdoor Field.
In winning for the 28th time in their last 32 games, the Jackrabbits improved to 31-13 overall. NDSU dropped to 17-25 on the season.
The Bison got out of the gates quickly, building a 5-1 lead in the first inning. With two and two out, NDSU strung together four consecutive run-scoring hits, including a two-run single by Max Casper, to send Jackrabbit starter Shane Kraemer to an early shower.
Marcus Heemstra took over on the mound and held the Bison scoreless for the next four innings, allowing four hits and two walks while striking out three as he improved to 3-0 on the season. It didn't take long for the Jackrabbits to play catch-up as they struck for three runs in the second inning and put together their biggest inning of the season, scoring seven times in the third.
Aaron Machbitz drove in the first run of the second inning and Joel Blake added a two-run single later in the frame to pull SDSU to within 5-4. The Jackrabbits sent 12 batters to the plate in the third inning, with Andrew Phelan delivering the big blow, a three-run triple off reliever Bryant Larson that gave SDSU an 8-5 advantage. Zach Rhodes delivered his second run-scoring hit of the game to continue the onslaught, and Daniel Marra plated the final two runs with a single up the middle.
The Jackrabbit outburst continued with three unearned runs in the fourth inning. Blake singled home the first run and Rhodes followed with a two-run home run to right field as he finished the game 3-for-4 with four runs batted in.
Blake, who also notched three hits and four RBI, capped the Jackrabbit scoring with a run-scoring double in the eighth. Marra tied season and career highs with three hits.
NDSU broke through against Heemstra with a pair of runs in the sixth on RBI by Zach Wentz and Tanner Adam, and made things interesting with five runs in the ninth against Jackrabbit relievers Matt Spinar and Deon Entringer. Kirk Kenneally plated two runs with a base hit and pinch-hitter Ben Herauf doubled in the final two runs of the game before Entringer got Zach Wentz to line out to second base with the tying run on deck to end the game.
Wentz led NDSU with three hits. Each team notched 14 hits in the game.
The Jackrabbits move on to Tulsa, Okla., for a four-game series against Oral Roberts Friday through Sunday in a battle of the top two teams in The Summit League. SDSU holds a two-game lead on the Golden Eagles entering the opener, which is set for a 6:30 p.m. start Friday at J.L. Johnson Stadium on the ORU campus. All four games will be broadcast locally on KJJQ 910 AM, with audio coverage also available through the Jackrabbit Extra subscription service at GoJacks.com.
NOTES: SDSU won the regular season series, 4-1 ... the Jackrabbits lead the all-time series by a 93-47 count ... shortstop Eric Cain had his consecutive starts streak end at 125, dating back to the final 22 games of the 2009 season ... SDSU also played without regular starters Billy Stitz and Zach Briggs ... Heemstra's previous long outing was 3 1/3 innings in a win at Western Illinois on April 10 ... Spinar made only his second appearance of the season and first since March 7 at Tennessee-Martin
SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 15, NORTH DAKOTA STATE 12
SDSU 137 300 010 15-14-0
NDSU 500 002 005 12-14-2
SDSU: Shane Kraemer, Marcus Heemstra (1), Alex Oberle (7), Matt Spinar (9), Deon Entringer (9) and Joel Blake, Nick Andrews. NDSU: Simon Anderson, Bryant Larson (3), Mark Schroeder (3), Glenn Parker (5), Parker Trewin (8) and Tanner Adam.
W-Heemstra (3-0). L-Larson (0-1). Save-none.
HR: SDSU-Zach Rhodes (6).