OMAHA, Neb. – South Dakota State scored in each of the first four innings and freshman Brady Stover pitched six shutout innings to help lead the Jackrabbits to a 5-2 victory over Omaha in the Summit League baseball opener for both teams Friday at Issacson Field.
With the win, the Jackrabbits improved to 7-7 overall. Omaha dropped to 2-15 on the season.
SDSU led wire to wire, scoring twice in the top of the first inning. Anthony Schneider reached on an error, advanced to third on a double by Luke Ringhofer and scored on Newt Johnson's double that also plated Ringhofer.
The Jackrabbits added unearned runs in each of the second and third innings as Omaha committed six errors in the first three frames and seven in the entire game. Phil Velez scored the second-inning run on a Maverick miscue, while Josh Kunzmann's infield single in the third plated Newt Johnson, who reached on an error to lead off the inning.
The SDSU lead grew to 5-0 in the fourth as Nick Smith slashed a triple to center field and Schneider followed with a single to right. Smith led the Jackrabbits' 11-hit attack with a 3-for-5 day at the plate, while Kunzmann added a pair of hits.
That would prove to be more than enough offense for Stover. The left-hander from Huxley, Iowa, struck out a career-high eight batters, including two in each of the second, third and fourth innings. Stover scattered five hits and walked two in winning his second consecutive start.
When Omaha did get runners on base, more times than not a potential rally was snuffed out by a double play. SDSU turned four twin-killings in the game - the most by a Jackrabbit squad in the Division I era.
The Mavericks' two runs scored on a double error in the seventh inning. With two outs, Jack Kalina walked and Marcus Ethen singled, putting runners at first and second. Jackrabbit reliever Derek Feige's attempted pickoff throw to second base was off the mark and the ball was mishandled in the outfield, allowing both runners to score.
Quinn Reimers pitched a scoreless eighth inning and Chris Halbur shut the door in the ninth for his fourth save of the season.
Grant Suponchick was 3-for-4 to pace the Mavericks' eight-hit effort.
Corey Binger took the loss for Omaha as he allowed five runs (two earned) in five innings. Payton Kinney followed with three shutout innings.
NOTES – Omaha leads the all-time series, 80-69-1. ... Jackrabbit first baseman Matt Johnson singled in the fifth inning to extend his hitting streak to 14 games. ... Halbur moved into 10th place in career saves at SDSU with six. ... Halbur has yet to allow a run in eight appearances (10 innings) so far in 2017. ... Smith recorded his seventh multi-hit game of the season. ... Ringhofer has reached base safely in 62 of 63 games dating back to last season. ... Ryan Froom (2-1, 4.03 ERA) is the Jackrabbits' scheduled starter on Saturday
The Jackrabbits and Omaha are scheduled to play the middle game of their three-game weekend series at 2 p.m. Saturday.
SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 5, OMAHA 2
SDSU 211 100 000 – 5 11 2
UNO 000 000 200 – 2 8 7
SDSU: Brady Stover, Derek Feige (7), Quinn Reimers (8), Chris Halbur (9) and Luke Ringhofer. UNO: Corey Binger, Payton Kinney (6), James Smith (9) and Nate Mallott. W–Stover (2-1). L–Binger (1-4). Sv–Halbur (4).