Jacks earn four-game sweep in Neb.

Chris Mangan

Chris Mangan

The SDSU baseball team made its presence known in their first Summit League games, sweeping a four-game series against Centenary by scores of 6-5, 13-6, 8-1 and 7-1.

The games were supposed to be the home opener for the Jacks and the first game at Heuther field, but the games were moved to Omaha due to poor weather.

“I think anytime you have to move home games it makes it difficult on all involved, from our players, coaches and even our support staff,” head coach Reggie Christiansen said. “But because it was our first conference weekend, our players were very excited to get Summit League play going. We also have become very familiar with Creighton’s field over the last couple of years, so it has kind of become a home away from home for us.”

In the first game, the Jacks (11-16, 4-0) were led by senior first baseman Tyson Fisher. Fisher knocked in four runs, including the game winner in the bottom of the eleventh; Fisher also extended his home run streak to five games. Junior Kirby Morsching got the win for the Jacks on the mound, going three strong innings and not allowing a hit after the first batter he faced.

In the second game of the series, the Jacks trailed 5-3 but rattled off 10 of the final 11 runs, four of which came in the fourth to put the Jacks ahead for good. Junior Caleb Thielbar got the wins of the Jacks, going six innings and giving up five runs. Thielbar wiggled his way out of further damage in the fifth. With the Jacks up 7-5, the Gents loaded the bases, but Thielbar was able to coax an inning ending double play. Fisher extended his home run streak to six with a home run in the eighth, which was followed by a solo shot from senior Craig Parry, his fifth of the year.

“I just think he is finally healthy,” Christiansen said of Fisher. “He played all of last season with a broken bone in his hand, and even early on this year, he struggled with a wrist injury.”

In the nightcap of the doubleheader, Parry got the Jacks off to a good start with a two-out, two-run triple. Junior Jared Koch went the distance on the mound, turning in the first complete game by a Jackrabbit pitcher this year and only giving up one run on four hits. Freshman Billy Stitz added a grand slam for the Jacks, his fourth home run of the year and his first collegiate grand slam.

The Jacks were able to complete the sweep with a five-run third inning. The Jacks went up 1-0 in the first inning when Centenary’s Johnny Noland could not find the strike zone, issuing four free passes with one out. Senior Korby Mintken started the third inning with a solo shot, his fourth of the year, and Parry added a two-run double and Stitz a RBI single.

The Jacks were able to wiggle out of a sticky situation in the fourth. With two outs and the bases loaded, Senior Matt Baerlocher relieved Junior Isaac Johnson on the mound; Baerlocher was able to strike out the Centenary batter to get out of the jam.

The Jacks were scheduled to host Creighton on April 8, but the game has been postponed due to an unplayable field. The Jacks next action will be April 11 through 14 when they go on the road to face Summit League foe Oakland (Mich.) for a four-game series.