Baseball team clicks in unexpected road games

Kirk Danielson

Kirk Danielson

The re-emergence of winter has not stopped the Jackrabbit baseball team from adding tick marks to its win column.

The team has gone 4-1 the last two weeks, taking two of three on the road against Utah Valley State and sweeping North Dakota State last weekend in Omaha, Neb. The team played a pair against NDSU in Omaha because of cold temperatures in Brookings. They outscored the Bison 16-6 to improve their season record to 14-12.

In the series opener, the Jackrabbits beat NDSU, 6-3, on April 6 at the Creighton Sports Complex. Senior Matt Bowman pitched a complete game, adding a career high 10 strikeouts for SDSU and picking up his third win of the season.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, SDSU put up three runs on RBIs by senior Jake Rogers, junior Korby Mintken and junior Tyson Fisher. The Jacks padded their lead in the sixth inning when sophomore Tony Martin scored on a swinging bunt single by junior Tim Hanigan.

NDSU came to within striking distance in the seventh inning, scoring three runs to bring the score to 4-3. In the home half of the seventh, with the bases loaded, junior Craig Parry plated one with a sacrifice fly. Junior Nick Adams singled home the game’s final run in his next at bat.

On April 7, the Jacks came out swinging and brought out the brooms as they swept NDSU with a 10-3 win. Down 1-0, SDSU scored four runs in the second inning to take the lead for good. Martin tripled to lead off the inning, and registered the only Jackrabbit hit of the inning. With the bases loaded, Hanigan hit a line drive to right field, which bought in two runs on an NDSU error. A RBI ground out by Mintken made the score 3-1. Mintken then stole both second and third bases, and scored on a throwing error to third for the last run of a wild inning.

The Jackrabbits added another four runs in the eighth inning. Up 6-3, Parry started the scoring with a bases loaded walk. Adams’ sacrifice fly brought in another run, and Fisher scored on an NDSU error. Martin tallied his third hit of the game with a RBI single to bring in the game’s final run.

In the game, Hanigan recorded his 100th career hit.

SDSU sophomore pitcher Caleb Thielbar won his fourth straight start, and improved to 4-2 on the year. Thielbar recorded six strikeouts with no walks in six innings of work. Sophomore Isaac Johnson earned his third save of the year, striking out two Bison in two innings of relief.

The Jackrabbits continue their season this weekend with a three-game series against Utah Valley State at Sioux Falls Stadium. The first pitch of the series opener is slated for 3 p.m. April 13.