Jacks take series finale in dramatic fashion

Photo from www.gojacks.com.

OMAHA, Neb. – Braeden Brown’s fourth hit of the game, a single through a drawn-in infield in the bottom of the 10th inning, plated the winning run as South Dakota State escaped with a 10-9, back-and-forth victory over North Dakota State in a Summit League baseball series finale Sunday afternoon at J.J. Isaacson Field.

By winning the series 2-1, the Jackrabbits improved to 16-14 overall and retained sole possession of second place in the league standings at 9-6. NDSU dropped to 9-17 overall and 7-8 in The Summit League.

NDSU grabbed a 9-7 lead in the top of the 10th on a two-run home run by Jayse McLean before the Jackrabbits put together one final rally. Drew Beazley and Nick Smith drew back-to-back walks to open the home half of the 10th. Gus Steiger followed by bouncing a single through the right side to score Beazley.

Josh Falk, who hit a two-run homer to tie the game at 7-all with one out in the bottom of the ninth, again came through in the clutch by lining a single to center to plate Smith with the tying run and advance Steiger to third. Two batters later, Brown lined a single off the first baseman to drive in Steiger with the winning run.

SDSU led 5-3 after Smith delivered a two-run single in the bottom of the seventh, only to see NDSU take the lead with a three-run eighth. Sean Noel singled in the first run of the eighth and later scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch. The Bison built their lead to 7-5 in the ninth on a sacrifice fly by Peter Brookshaw that scored Jake Malec.

The Bison put together a pair of two-out rallies in the first two innings, sandwiched around a three-run bottom of the first by SDSU. Jack Simonsen drove in the first run of the game with an RBI single, while Bennett Hostetler connected on a two-run homer to left in the second. Both rallies started with two-out walks.

All three Jackrabbit runs in the bottom of the first scored with two outs as Luke Ira doubled in the first run and Brown knocked in two on an infield single behind second base in which both NDSU middle infielders collided.

Both starters settled in from there as Jackrabbit freshman Nic McCay struck out seven over seven-plus innings. NDSU right-hander Ben Smith struck out three, walked one and scattered six hits in six innings.

SDSU matched a season high with 16 hits and was led by Brown, who was 4-for-6 with three runs batted in. Landon Badger and Falk each finished with three hits, while Smith added two hits.

Noel and Simonsen each tallied two of NDSU’s 10 hits.

NOTES – SDSU leads the all-time series, 119-70. ... The Jackrabbits previously posted 16 hits in the Feb. 15 season opener against UT Martin and in the first game of a March 9 doubleheader at UA Little Rock. ... Austin Suhr made his first appearance of the season and was credited with the win after recording the final out in the top of the 10th. ... Brady Stover came on in relief in the ninth inning for his first appearance since a March 1 start at Central Arkansas. ... McCay took over the team lead in strikeouts with 55. ... Jackrabbit starters have pitched five or more innings in 21 of 30 games this season, including 12 of 15 games in Summit League play. ... Steiger has reached base safely in 25 consecutive games. ... SDSU notched double figures in hits for the 12th time this season. ... Falk’s home run was his team-leading sixth of the year.

UP NEXT

The Jackrabbits are scheduled to return to action Tuesday at Minnesota. First pitch is slated for 6 p.m. at Siebert Field in Minneapolis.

South Dakota State 10, North Dakota State 9, 10 innings

North Dakota State 120 000 031 2    9  10  2

South Dakota State 300 000 202 3    10  16  1

Ben Smith, Alec Holcomb (7), Hunter Koep (8), Parker Harm (10), Jake Drew (10) and Ben Tallman; Nic McCray, Riley McSherry (8), Drew Beazley (8), Brady Stover (9), Korey Kuhlman (10), Austin Suhr (10) and Derek Hackman. W – Suhr (1-0). L – Drew (0-2). 2B: SDSU, Luke Ira, Landon Badger. 3B: SDSU, Nick Smith. HR: NDSU, Bennett Hostetler, Jayse McLean; SDSU, Josh Falk.

Jacks, Bison split Saturday slate

OMAHA, Neb. – South Dakota State and North Dakota traded Summit League baseball victories the two teams spilt a Summit League doubleheader Saturday afternoon at J.J. Isaacson Field. The Jackrabbits won the opener, 5-2, while NDSU responded with a 6-2 victory in the nightcap.

Game 1

• South Dakota State 5, North Dakota State 2

Tyler Olmstead pitched seven strong innings to lead the Jackrabbits to a win in the series opener.

SDSU grabbed the lead for good with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third. Logan Holtz started the rally with a single and scored on Derek Hackman’s double to the gap in right-center field. Two batters later, Hackman scored on a two-out single to left by Gus Steiger.

The Jackrabbits tacked on two more runs in the fourth as Holtz delivered a two-run single to left that scored both Josh Falk and Luke Ira.

NDSU, which scored the first run of the game on a wild pitch in the top of the third, pulled to within 4-2 in the top of the sixth with an unearned run. Brock Anderson reached on an error to lead off the frame and later came around to score on a base hit by Jack Simonsen.

SDSU answered with a run in the home half of the sixth. Ira led off the inning with a single, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Braeden Brown and scored when Landon Badger greeted reliever Blake Tritch with a single up the middle.

Olmstead struck out six and walked only one while scattering five hits - all singles - over his seven innings of work. Jackrabbit closer Bret Barnett walked the first batter he faced to lead off the eighth, but retired the next six NDSU batters in succession to earn his fourth save of the season.

Ira and Holtz each tallied two of the Jackrabbits’ eight hits. Jayse McLean led NDSU with a pair of hits.

South Dakota State 5, North Dakota State 2

North Dakota State 001 001 000    2  5  1

South Dakota State 002 201 00x    5  8  2

Zach Smith, Blake Tritch (6) and Ben Tallman; Tyler Olmstead, Bret Barnett (8) and Derek Hackman. W – Olmstead (2-2). L – Smith (1-3). Sv – Barnett (4). 2B: SDSU, Derek Hackman. 

Game 2

 North Dakota State 6, South Dakota State 0

The Bison jumped out to an early 4-0 lead and starter Max Loven took a shutout into the seventh inning as NDSU salvaged a split of the twinbill.

SDSU starter Ryan Froom walked the leadoff batter in each of the first two innings and both came around to score. NDSU scored a pair of unearned run in the top of the first on only one hit, taking advantage of the leadoff walk to Bennett Hostetler, a dropped pop fly and hit batter. The first run came across on a groundout, with the second scoring on an infield single by Jayse McLean.

NDSU knocked out Froom in the top of the second as Carter Thompson and Jake Malec opened the frame by drawing walks before both scoring on a single to left field by Anderson.

The Jackrabbit bullpen did its part to keep the team within striking distance. Alex Marro retired all eight batters he faced after taking over for Froom, while Brett Mogen gave up only one run over the final four innings.

Charley Hesse plated the fifth Bison run of the game with an RBI single off Korey Kuhlmann in the fifth, while Thompson doubled off Mogen to start the sixth and scored on a single by Peter Brookshaw.

Trailing 6-0, the Jackrabbits got on the board with a pair of runs in the seventh. Brown walked and Ryan McDonald singled to chase Loven. An infield single by Holtz off reliever Jordan Harms loaded the bases before Drew Beazley was hit by a pitch to force in a run. Steiger later added a sacrifice fly for what proved to be the final margin.

NDSU’s Parker Harm shut the door, allowing only two baserunners over the final two innings.

Anderson and McLean each tallied two of the Bison’s eight hits. Holtz and Ryan McDonald each collected two of the Jackrabbits’ six hits.

Loven struck out three and walked two in six-plus innings to pick up the victory.

Marro notched the only three strikeouts in the game by SDSU pitchers.

NOTES – Jackrabbit head coach Rob Bishop coached his 1,000th collegiate game in the opener and has 608-392-1 overall record in 20 seasons. ... SDSU is 11-1 this season when leading after six innings. ... Ira recorded his team-leading 13th multi-hit game of the season in the opener. ... Steiger walked in the top of the ninth of Game 2 to reach base safely for the 24th game in a row. ... Marro’s 2 2/3 innings marked his longest outing of the season. ... Mogen tied his season high with four innings pitched.

North Dakota State 6, South Dakota State 2

North Dakota State 220 011 000    6  8  1

South Dakota State 000 000 200    2  6  1

Max Loven, Jordan Harms (7), Parker Harm (8) and Sean Noel; Ryan Froom, Alex Marro (2), Korey Kuhlman (5), Brett Mogen (6) and Ryan McDonald. W – Loven (1-2). L – Froom (3-3). 2B: NDSU, Carter Thompson.

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