Jacks carry seven-game winning streak


Joclyn Haven

Reece Arbogast pitches in the Jacks’ 8-4 win over Omaha last Friday at Erv Huether field in Brookings, SD, picking up his first win of the season.

Evan Patzwald, Co-Sports Editor

SDSU’s baseball team has won seven straight games and will look to carry that momentum into its matchup with Waldorf  on Wednesday and its series with St. Thomas this weekend. The Jacks swept their series with Omaha last weekend and won 19-11 over Northwestern (Iowa) Tuesday. 

The Jacks (14-17, 7-5) currently sit at third place in the Summit League standings behind Oral Roberts, who is undefeated in conference play and NDSU, who sits at 6-3 in the Summit League. St. Thomas is fifth in the league at 3-6 in league play and 5-20 overall. 

Their series with the Tommies will be the Jacks’ sixth, seventh and eighth game in a row at home at Erv Huether field. After that, they will be on the road until May 12-14 for a conference series with Northern Colorado. 

“Every conference series is big, but I think specifically the home series are really big,” coach Rob Bishop said. “You need to do your job when you’re playing at home.”

SDSU catcher Ryan McDonald was named the Summit League Peak Performer of the Week after performing well over the week with Dakota Wesleyan and Omaha. McDonald homered in all four of the Jacks’ games last week, batting .500 and compiling a 1.438 slugging percentage. McDonald is leading the conference in home runs with 16 and he is three away from tying the SDSU single-season record held by Jesse Sawyer twice in 2009 and 2010. 

“Ryan has big power but the thing about him is he’s a really good hitter that happens to have a lot of power,” Bishop said of McDonald. “He doesn’t strike out a lot, he’s on base if teams pitch around him, he takes his walk and lets the rest of our offense do their job.”

The Jackrabbits had 15 home runs in their three-game series with Omaha and have hit 58 total through 31 games. SDSU’s bullpen had 20 strikeouts over 12 innings combined in the Omaha series. 

SDSU won Friday’s game 8-4 and won its double header Sunday 9-3 and 12-9. Reese Arbogast and Ryan Bourassa combined for 12 strikeouts in Friday’s game and SDSU jumped out to its lead in the sixth inning after scores from Luke Ira and Drew Beazley. 

The double header was supposed to be played Saturday but was moved because of weather. When they did play both games Sunday, SDSU hit 11 home runs between both games and in game one of the doubleheader, Jake Goble struck out four hitters over five innings to give him his third win of the season. 

“We’re kind of like the Minnesota Twins of college baseball,” Bishop said. “I mean if we get five or six (innings), we’re in a really good spot. Arbo[gast] gave us six and Goble gave us five and really just let our bullpen pitch in the roles that we would like to have them in and we’re pretty good when we’re playing from ahead.”

SDSU had a high-scoring win over NAIA opponent Northwestern (Iowa) Tuesday. The Jacks won 19-11, with 11 of SDSU’s runs coming in the fourth inning. The seventh inning had 13 total points scored, six from the Jacks. McDonald hit a homerun in his fifth straight game, tying Sawyer for the second-longest home run streak in program history. 

The Jacks are back in action Wednesday at 3 p.m. against Waldorf and play St. Thomas three days in a row with no double headers. They play the Tommies Friday at 3 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. in an effort to improve their spots in the Summit League standings with about a month left in the regular season. 

The Summit League Baseball Championships take place May 24-27 in Fargo and the top four teams in the tournament will qualify with a spot in the NCAA Tournament berth on the line.