Jacks move on to championship
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - South Dakota State advanced to the finals of the Summit League Baseball Championship for the third consecutive year, holding off North Dakota State, 13-10, in an elimination game Saturday afternoon at Sioux Falls Stadium.
The Jackrabbits, who dropped a 7-1 decision to Oral Roberts in semifinal action earlier on Saturday, moved to 37-19 overall. SDSU will again face the Golden Eagles at 11 a.m. Sunday, with an if-necessary game to determine the tournament champion immediately following.
In Saturday's opener, Oral Roberts, 35-20 overall, used aggressive base running to take an early 3-0 lead. The Golden Eagles executed a double steal with Joey Winiecki stealing home for the first run of the game in the top of the first. In the second, Jared Schlehuber singled to lead off the frame and scored on a base hit by Spencer Barnett. T.J. Bennett also scored on the play after Barnett was caught in a rundown in which the Jackrabbits did not record an out.
ORU starter Alex Gonzalez settled into an early groove as retired the first seven batters he faced, including six consecutive swinging strikeouts. Andrew Melton broke the swing for the Jackrabbits with a solo home run that would prove to be SDSU's lone run of the game.
Jackrabbit hurler Alex Oberle also found a rhythm before the Golden Eagles put the game out of reach in the top of the seventh, scoring four unearned runs on only one hit. Joey Winiecki led off the inning by reaching on an error and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Cam Schiller. Jared Schlehuber delivered the final blow with a three-run home run to left that pushed the margin to 7-1.
Gonzalez finished his complete-game effort with 10 strikeouts, allowing three hits and four walks. Oberle also notched a complete game, surrendering 10 hits and four walks to go along with five strikeouts.
Schiller was 3-for-4, while Winiecki and Schlehuber each collected two hits for.
SDSU scored multiple runs in six consecutive innings to build a 13-1 against North Dakota State in the second game of the day before the Bison put together a comeback in the late innings as the Jackrabbits staved off elimination with a 13-10 victory.
NDSU took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI double by Blake Turbak that scored Tim Colwell.
The Jackrabbits broke into the scoring column with two runs in the third inning. Joel Blake notched his first hit of the tournament, a run-scoring single and Andrew Phelan came through with a two-out double down the left-field line that scored Billy Stitz with the go-ahead run.
Stitz gave SDSU a 4-1 lead with a seeing-eye single through the left side in the fourth inning and Phelan pushed the advantage to 6-1 by lining a pitch over the wall in left an inning later for a two-run home run.
Stephen Bougher made the lead stand up as he kept NDSU off the board for the next six innings and SDSU continued to add to its lead with three runs in the sixth, including an RBI single by Phelan, who ended the game 4-for-4 with four runs batted in. Beau Hanowski added his first career home run, a two-run shot in the seventh, and Erik DeJong capped the Jackrabbit scoring with a pinch-hit two-run double in the eighth.
The Bison began their comeback in the eighth inning, knocking out Bougher after the sophomore right-hander allowed four singles and a sacrifice fly to open the inning. Wes Satzinger's bases-clearing three-run double brought NDSU to within 13-6 entering the ninth.
In the ninth, NDSU scored four more times and had the tying run deck before Jackrabbit closer Trever Vermeulen struck out Satzinger looking to end the game.
The Jackrabbits tallied 19 hits in the game - one shy of their season high. Blake doubled twice among his four hits, with Hanowski and Stitz each tallying two. Eleven different Jackrabbit batters recorded a hit in the game.
Max Casper was 4-for-5 as the Bison notched 16 hits in the game. Satzinger doubled twice for NDSU, which ended its season at 22-32 overall.
Bougher improved to 6-4 on the season after scattering nine hits and four walks. The sophomore right-hander struck out one in 7 1/3 innings. Luke Anderson took the loss for NDSU.
Game 1: ORAL ROBERTS 3, SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 1
ORU 120 000 400 7-8-1
SDSU 001 000 000 1-3-0
ORU: Alex Gonzalez and Bennett Pickar. SDSU: Alex Oberle and Zach Briggs.
W-Gonzalez (8-5). L-Oberle (4-5). Save-none.
HR: ORU-Jared Schlehuber (2); SDSU-Andrew Melton (2)
Game 2: SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 13, NORTH DAKOTA STATE 6
SDSU 002 223 220 13-19-0
NDSU 100 000 054 10-16-1
SDSU: Stephen Bougher, Deon Entringer (8), Shane Kraemer (9), Trever Vermeulen (9) and Zach Briggs, Nick Andrews. NDSU: Luke Anderson, Kyle Kingsley (6), Glenn Parker (8), Mark Schroeder (9) and Tyler Steen, Tanner Adam.
W-Bougher (6-4). L-Anderson (2-3). Save-none.
HR: SDSU-Andrew Phelan (2), Beau Hanowski (1).
T: 3:14. A-863.