Jackrabbits end road swing with four-game series at Evansville

SDSU Sports Information photo

After testing the waters of Summit League play the last two weeks, the South Dakota State University baseball team goes back out of conference this weekend with a four-game series at Evansville.

The series opener is slated for 6 p.m. today at Charles H. Braun Stadium in Evansville, Indiana, followed by a doubleheader Saturday and series finale on Sunday. Action on both Saturday and Sunday is set to begin at 1 p.m. All four games are scheduled to be broadcast on the ESPN+ streaming platform.

This weekend’s series also is scheduled to mark the last of 24 consecutive games away from home to start the season for the Jackrabbits, who enter the weekend 7-13 overall and 2-6 in The Summit League. SDSU won the opener of its four-game league series at Western Illinois last weekend in Macomb, Illinois, but dropped the final three games, including the last two by one run each.

Evansville is 12-11 overall, including a 1-3 mark in the Missouri Valley Conference. In their most recent action, the Purple Aces won the final three games of a four-game home series against Big East foe Xavier, March 26-28.

SUMMIT LEAGUE SUCCESS

South Dakota State has been a consistent winner in The Summit League since it became a league member more than a decade ago. In 13 seasons as a member of The Summit League, the Jackrabbits have compiled a 182-143 (.560 winning percentage) in regular season conference games. SDSU has posted a .500 or better record in league play nine times and has qualified for the four-team postseason tournament 10 out of the 11 years it has been eligible.

The Jackrabbits shared a Summit League regular season title in 2010 and won the Summit postseason tournament in 2013.

SHORT HOPS

Following are a few quick notes about the Jackrabbits heading into this weekend’s series:

• SDSU had scored only one first-inning run through the first 16 games of the season before putting three runs on the board in the first inning of their March 26 series opener at Western Illinois.

• Drew Beazley became the first Jackrabbit with a four-hit game this season, setting a single-game career high in the March 26 opener at Western Illinois and tying a single-game personal best with four runs batted in;

• Freshman Drake Frazier earned starts in the outfield in the final two games of the Western Illinois series and responded with a pair of two-hit games;

• As a team, SDSU set season highs in the March 26 opener with 15 hits and five doubles;

• The Jackrabbits are 2-4 in series-opening games so far this season;

• True freshman position players Jess Bellows (17), Jordan Sagedahl (13), Garrett Stout (11) and Avery Mellman (8) have combined for 49 starts so far this season;

• Cody Carlson has pitched at least five innings in all five of his starts this season;

• Freshman left-hander Clay Odenbach pitched a scoreless sixth inning in Game 2 of the March 26 twinbill for his fourth consecutive appearance without allowing a run, lowering his season ERA to 1.93.

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