Cool but calm


The weather may have cooled off, but the Jackrabbits’ bats have not.

SDSU (16-10) fired up their bats early, building a 5-1 lead and riding their hot hitting to a 8-2 victory over border rival North Dakota (1-19) at Erv Huether Field Wednesday.

The Jackrabbits scored a run in six of their eight innings at the plate and every SDSU starter had a hit on the chilly afternoon. Even though the Jacks had success at the plate and pounded out 11 hits, 10 of them went for singles in what would be more than enough production at the dish.

“I thought we made a good adjustment to the elements. With the wind blowing in, it didn’t do any good to try to hit the ball over the outfielder’s head, so guys shortened up their swing and we had a lot of good at-bats,” said SDSU head baseball coach Ritchie Price.

The Jacks were bolstered by a strong start from Austin Busse, making his first start of the season and rising to the occasion. He delivered six quality innings, allowing one run on six hits  – not allowing a runner past second base until the fourth inning.

“I didn’t throw a lot of off-speed pitches today and when you can spot your fastball inside and outside, most of the time you’ll get the job done,” Busse said. “A .300 hitter will get himself out seven out of 10 times, so I just tried to use the numbers, spot the fastball and let the batter get himself out.”

SDSU scored in the first after a Zach Rhodes RBI groundout. Zach Sawyer delivered a two-RBI single in the third and after a UND run in the top of the fourth, Beau Hanowski and Andrew Phelan each singled in runs in the bottom half. That boosted the lead to 5-1. Nick Andrews singled in two more in the fifth inning and the rout was on, delivering the Fighting Sioux their 12th loss in a row.

“I thought we played pretty well. With the weather, all you’re going to get is singles and  we just got up to the plate and got things done,” Phelan said.

Alex Oberle and Deon Entringer combined to keep the Sioux off the board in the final three innings and locking down the victory for the Jackrabbits.

Sitting in second place in the Summit League, SDSU will have a chance to take command in the conference if things go to plan against last-place Centenary.

“This is a big weekend for us. We feel that if we can go and take care of business, that we’ll be in the driver’s seat, with four of the final five conference series at home,” Price said.