Jacks end series against Oral Roberts with two wins


Carson Herbert, Sports Reporter

The South Dakota State baseball team won two games out of three on the road against the defending Summit League champion Oral Roberts this past weekend in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The Jackrabbits and Golden Eagles participated in three one-run games as the top two teams in the Summit League.

In the series opener March 22, the Jackrabbits were shut out for the first time in 2019, despite 6.2 strong innings by junior right-handed pitcher Tyler Olmstead.

Unfortunately for the Jacks, a second-inning RBI single from Oral Roberts’ junior centerfielder Hunter Swift was enough run support to give senior starting pitcher Josh McMinn the win. The right-hander threw eight shutout innings while striking out six Jackrabbit hitters.

South Dakota State junior infielder Braeden Brown singled down the right field line for his second hit of the game in the top of the ninth to force a Golden Eagle pitching change, but the rally came up short after back-to-back strikeouts and a lineout to end the game.

Another pitchers’ duel took place Saturday. This time, it was the Jacks edging Oral Roberts by a final score of 2-1.

Freshman infielder Drew Beazley’s first home run of the season in the top of the ninth inning broke a 1-1 tie and would be the deciding factor in Jackrabbit win.

Senior right-hander Ryan Froom threw 6.2 innings of one-run ball, including getting out of a jam with runners on second and third with nobody out in the bottom of the third with two strikeouts and a flyout to center. The only Golden Eagle run to cross the plate came on a wild pitch by Froom in the fourth inning.

The rubber match of the series Sunday was much more of an offensive game than the two previous contests for both Oral Roberts and the Jacks in South Dakota State’s 9-8 win.

A three-run second inning for the Jacks, which included a two-run home run by junior infielder Josh Falk, gave the Jacks an early 3-0 lead. Sophomore infielder Gus Steiger’s fifth-inning RBI single stretched the lead to 4-0 before the Golden Eagles scored four runs in the bottom half of the inning.

The teams continued to score runs in the following innings. Freshman third baseman Luke Ira provided late-game heroics with an RBI double in the top of the ninth inning to give the Jacks a one-run advantage and eventually the 9-8 win.

The Jacks will play one last road series March 29-31 before their home opener against Dakota State on April 3.