Jackrabbit baseball wins two out of three against Omaha

Dennis Hubbard photo

OMAHA, Neb. – South Dakota State scored multiple runs in three consecutive innings to defeat Omaha, 8-3, in the decisive game of a three-game Summit League baseball series Sunday afternoon at Tal Anderson Field.

The Jackrabbits improved to 18-19 overall and 9-7 in league play. Omaha dropped to 21-24 overall and 11-7 in The Summit League.

SDSU carried a 1-0 lead into the sixth inning after Luke Ira’s team-leading 10th home run of the season to lead off the fourth. The Jackrabbits padded their lead with two runs in each of the sixth and seventh innings, and put the game away with three more runs in the eighth.

Following a pair of one-out walks, pinch runner Reece Anderson scored the first run of the sixth inning on a wild pitch, while Nic Nelson added a run-scoring double that plated Henry George. George also factored into the seventh-inning runs by driving a single to center field that brought home both Derek Hackman and Anderson to push the SDSU advantage to 5-0.

After Omaha got on the board with a pair of runs in the home half of the seventh, SDSU countered with three runs in the top of the eighth. Thatcher Kozal hit the Jackrabbits’ second home run of the day and his third of the season for the first run, and Hackman added an RBI double later in the frame. The final run of the inning came across on a balk.

The Mavericks put together a rally in the ninth inning against a tiring Bret Barnett, pulling to within 8-3 after an RBI single by Jack Lombardi.

Ryan Bourassa then entered for the Jackrabbits and turned in his second dominant relief appearance of the weekend by striking out all three hitters he faced to close out the Jackrabbits’ 12th win in their last 16 games.

Owen Bishop worked out of a couple jams to throw five shutout innings en route to his third win of the season. The sophomore right-hander scattered five hits, struck out three and did not walk a batter. Barnett worked three-plus innings, giving up two earned runs along with recording a pair of strikeouts and walking three.

The Jackrabbits held a narrow 11-10 advantage in hits, with Hackman leading the way by going 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles, and George adding two hits.

UP NEXT

SDSU is scheduled to close out the regular season with six consecutive home games over the next two weekends, starting with a matchup Friday against St. Thomas. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. at Erv Huether Field.

Saturday

Game Two

 Omaha 8, SDSU 3

Omaha put together a pair of three-run innings and went on to defeat South Dakota State, 8-3, in the middle game of a three-game Summit League baseball series Saturday night at Tal Anderson Field.

Omaha’s first three-run frame came on one swing of the bat in the bottom of the third inning as Noah Greise connected on a three-run homer to left field off SDSU starter Cody Carlson that gave the Mavericks a 4-1 lead.

UNO pushed its lead to 7-2 with three more runs in the fifth inning. Jack Lombardi plated the first run with a two-out double. Lombardi later scored on the back end of a wild pitch when the throw home trying to get Harrison Denk was off line, allowing two runs to score.

Denk’s RBI single in the sixth inning provided the final tally for the Mavericks, who held a 12-10 advantage in hits. Lombardi was 3-for-5 to pace Omaha.

SDSU took a 1-0 lead two batters into the game as Henry George led off with a single, moved to second on a balk and scored on Luke Ira’s single to left field. 

Derek Hackman pulled the Jackrabbits back to within 4-2 with a run-scoring single in the fifth inning, with the final SDSU run coming in the seventh when Hackman scored on a wild pitch.

Ira and Hackman were two of four Jackrabbits with two hits apiece, along with Ryan McDonald and Drew Beazley.

Carlson took the loss for the Jackrabbits after allowing four runs on eight hits with three walks in 3 2/3 innings. He struck out one. Five others pitched out of the bullpen for SDSU.

Tyler Mattingley earned the win in relief for Omaha after striking out six over 4 2/3 innings of relief. He did not allow an earned run.

Friday

Game One

 SDSU 5, Omaha 2

Ryan McDonald plated the go-ahead run with a single in the top of the seventh inning and added a solo home run in the eighth to supply the offense, while Nic McCay and Ryan Bourassa combined to strike out 15 batters as South Dakota State opened a three-game Summit League baseball series with a 5-2 victory Friday night at Tal Anderson Field.

With the game tied at 2-all, Henry George started the Jackrabbits’ seventh-inning rally with a ground-rule double to left field to lead off the inning. McDonald, who was 3-for-4 on the night, followed with a single up the middle that brought home George. McDonald took second on the throw home, moved to third on a passed ball and scored on a groundout off the bat of Dawson Parry to give SDSU a 4-2 lead. 

McDonald connected on his eighth home run of the season with two outs in the eighth for what would be the final run of the night.

SDSU reliever Ryan Bourassa closed out the Jackrabbit victory with three dominant innings of relief. The final eight outs the right-hander recorded were all via the strikeout as he allowed one walk and one hit en route to his fourth save of the season.

Jackrabbit starter Nic McCay fanned seven Mavericks over six innings. He allowed two runs, the first on an RBI single by Harrison Denk that gave Omaha a 1-0 lead in the second inning, with the other run scoring on a solo home run by Eduardo Rosario in the sixth.

Reece Anderson gave SDSU a 2-1 lead with a two-run single in the fourth that scored both Luke Ira and Drew Beazley. Ira tallied three of the Jackrabbits’ 12 hits, with Anderson and George each collecting a pair of hits.

Mike Boeve hit a pair of doubles to lead Omaha’s seven-hit effort.

Four Maverick pitchers combined to notch 15 strikeouts, led by starter Caleb Riedel and Joey Machado with six each. Machado took the loss after allowing the two seventh-inning runs.

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