College baseball: Summit League honors nine Jackrabbits
SIOUX FALLS — Led by first-team catcher Ryan McDonald, nine South Dakota State players were honored Tuesday as members of the all-Summit League Baseball Team. Selections were determined by a vote among the league’s seven head coaches.
A senior from Prior Lake, Minnesota, McDonald batted .466 (27-for-58) in 17 league games with eight home runs and 21 runs batted in before suffering a season-ending injury in late April. He also posted a 1.000 slugging percentage in conference play and continues to lead all NCAA Division I players with a .929 overall slugging percentage entering postseason play.
McDonald moved up to the first team after earning second-team honors as a utility player in 2022.
Receiving second-team recognition were outfielder Drew Beazley and second baseman Cade Stuff. A senior from Johnston, Iowa, Beazley earned all-league honors for the third time after previously being selected as a first baseman (2019) and a pitcher (2021). During the 2023 league slate, Beazley batted .264 with six home runs, six doubles and 20 RBIs.
Stuff, a junior from Great Falls, Montana, led the Jackrabbits in doubles during league play with nine, while contributing a .301 batting average with three home runs and 12 RBIs.
The remainder of the Jackrabbits’ starting infield - first baseman Dawson Parry, shortstop Luke Ira and third baseman Nic Nelson - were among SDSU’s six honorable mention selections.
Parry posted a .268 batting average in starting all 24 league games. The Highland, Utah, native hit three home runs and drove in 14 runs after earning second-team honors as a first baseman last season.
Ira, a senior from Iowa City, Iowa, shared the team lead in both home runs (8) and RBIs (23) during Summit League action, while batting .252. Two of his home runs were grand slams.
Nelson tied for the team lead in hits (27) and RBIs (23) during league play, while ranking third with seven home runs. A senior from Apple Valley, Minnesota, Nelson tied an SDSU single-game record with three home runs in the second game of a May 14 doubleheader against Northern Colorado.
Junior outfielder Reece Anderson also was an honorable mention selection after batting .274 in league play with 16 runs batted in. All five of Anderson’s home runs this season have been against league foes as the Johnston, Iowa, native moved into the leadoff spot late in the season.
Rounding out the Jackrabbits’ honorable mention picks were pitchers Jake Goble and Eli Sundquist. Goble led the pitching staff with eight league starts, compiling a 3-3 record, including a combined shutout April 23 against St. Thomas. The sophomore right-hander from Rapid City struck out 27 and walked only 10 in 32 2/3 innings.
Sundquist, a junior from Chisholm, Minnesota, posted a 1-0 record against Summit League competition while pitching in nine games in relief. He held the opposition to a .080 batting average and struck out 26 batters in only 16 innings while serving as the Jackrabbits’ primary setup man.
South Dakota State, 22-26 overall and 13-11 in league play, is seeded third for this week’s Summit League Baseball Championship at Newman Outdoor Field in Fargo, North Dakota. The Jackrabbits open the four-team double-elimination tournament by facing host and No. 2 seed North Dakota State at 6 p.m. Wednesday