The South Dakota State University baseball team will be in search of a return to its winning ways as it prepares for the 2019 season.
“We are excited about the variety and quality of the 2019 schedule,” said Rob Bishop, who is entering his third season as head coach of the Jackrabbits. “Each year with the schedule we hope to provide a great experience for our student-athletes and a challenge that will prepare our team for the Summit League season. I feel like we have definitely accomplished that goal.”
SDSU finished the 2018 season with an 18-32 overall record and finished fourth in The Summit League with a 14-13 record. The Jackrabbits went on to reach the title game of the Summit League Baseball Championship.
Once again, the Jackrabbits will spend the first half of the season on the road, starting the 2019 campaign with a four-game series Feb. 15-17 at UT Martin.
From there, SDSU will head farther south to the Snowbird Classic in Port Charlotte, Florida, Feb. 22-24. Opponents for the four games have yet to be determined.
The Jackrabbits are scheduled to spend the first 10 days of March in the state of Arkansas, playing eight games against three different squads. The road trip begins with a three-game set at Central Arkansas March 1-3. Following a single game March 5 at Arkansas-Pine Bluff, SDSU moves on to UA Little Rock for a four-game series March 8-10.
The 30-game Summit League portion of the schedule gets under way March 15 at Western Illinois, kicking off a three-game series. Road series at Oral Roberts (March 22-24) and Purdue Fort Wayne (March 29-31), sandwiched around a March 20 game at Creighton, close out the string of 26 consecutive games away from home.
The Jackrabbits are scheduled to play at Erv Huether Field for most of the month of April, starting an eight-game homestand with the April 3 home opener against Dakota State. The homestand also includes three-game Summit League series against Omaha (April 5-7) and North Dakota State (April 12-14).
An April 9 game against Dakota Wesleyan rounds out the slate for the first half of April.
The first of two matchups at defending Big Ten Conference champion Minnesota is set for April 16, with the Jackrabbits and Golden Gophers also scheduled to play May 7 at Siebert Field in Minneapolis.
SDSU’s home-heavy schedule in April continues with a three-game series against Western Illinois (April 19-21) and a nonconference home date versus the University of Sioux Falls (April 23).
After a series April 26-28 at Omaha, the Jackrabbits wrap up the 18-game home slate with Summit League series against Purdue-Fort Wayne (May 3-5) and Oral Roberts (May 10-12).
League play concludes with a three-game series May 16-18 at North Dakota State.
The top four teams will advance to the Summit League Baseball Championship May 22-25 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Jackrabbits have qualified for the Summit League Baseball Championship in nine of the 10 years they been eligible for postseason play.