Summit League Baseball Championship begins Wednesday

Photo from www.gojacks.com.

For the 10th time in 11 years, the South Dakota State baseball team earned a berth in the Summit League Baseball Championship.

The second-seeded Jackrabbits (27-20, 19-10) are scheduled to open tournament play versus four-time defending tournament champion and host Oral Roberts at 6 p.m. Wednesday at J.L. Johnson Stadium in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

ORU enters the tournament with a 26-24 (17-12) record.

No. 1 Omaha (28-21-1, 20-10) takes on No. 4 Western Illinois (22-29, 16-14) in the other first-round game at noon

The four-team, double-elimination Summit League Baseball Championship is scheduled to run through Saturday.

Radio coverage of all Jackrabbit tournament games begins 15 minutes prior to scheduled pitch on Brookings-based KJJQ 910 AM and online at GoJacks.com/Watch. Links to live video and statistics will be available through TheSummitLeague.org, with additional updates available via Twitter (@GoJacksBaseball).

The winner of the 2019 Summit League Baseball Championship will advance to the NCAA Tournament, which begins May 31 at campus sites.

Versus the field

South Dakota State went a combined 9-8 against the three other teams competing in the Summit League Baseball Championship during the 2019 regular season.

The Jackrabbits won season series against Western Illinois (4-2) and Oral Roberts (3-2), but dropped the season series to Omaha by a 4-2 count.

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 12 seasons as a member of The Summit League, the Jackrabbits have compiled a 180-137 (.568 winning percentage) in regular-season conference games. SDSU has posted a .500 or better record in league play nine times and now 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.

Tournament history

The Jackrabbits have found success at the Summit League Baseball Championship, advancing to the title series five of the previous nine times they qualified for the four-team tournament, including winning the tournament title in 2013.

SDSU has won at least one game in all nine of its previous Summit League Baseball Championship appearances. Overall, the Jackrabbits have compiled a 16-17 record in Summit League postseason tournament games.

Short hops

Following are some notes from the Jackrabbits heading into the Summit League Baseball Championship: 

 Four of the five games between SDSU and Oral Roberts during the regular season were decided by one run, with the Jackrabbits winning three;

 SDSU ended the regular season with an 8-6 record in one-run games;

 The Jackrabbits won eight Summit League series, lost one and split one in 2019;

 SDSU’s 19 Summit League victories are tied with the 2010 squad for the second most in a season by a Jackrabbit team since joining the league in 2008 (most: 20 in 2011);

 The Jackrabbit starting rotation of Tyler Olmstead, Ryan Froom and Nic McCay combined to start all 29 of the team’s Summit League games;

 SDSU finished the regular season with a league-best 4.13 ERA and has issued the fewest walks with 179;

 The Jackrabbits limited North Dakota State to five runs (1.38 ERA) and a .148 team batting average in their three-game series to close the regular season.

Golden Eagles

Oral Roberts won 15 consecutive postseason titles between 1998-2012 before leaving the Summit League for the Southland Conference. It won 14 straight regular-season titles between 1999-2012.

The Golden Eagles returned to the Summit League for the 2015 campaign and rattled off four postseason and regular-season titles in a row. Omaha ended the streak of regular-season titles this year.

ORU is 62-3 in the Summit League Baseball Championship. It had a 37-game winning streak between 2000-12.

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