Somsen stops SDSU skid at nine

Spencer Chase

The SDSU baseball team gave head coach Dave Schrage a birthday present that keeps them alive in the chase for the Summit League tournament with a 3-1 win over Oral Roberts.

The win snapped a nine-game losing streak in the Summit League and marks the last time that Oral Roberts will make the trip to Brookings for any Summit League competition.

The Jacks jumped out to an early 3-0 lead after two innings, but that would prove to be the last scoring until a fielders choice brought Jose Trevino across the plate for Oral Roberts, their first and only run of the game. The game started out as an offensive showcase for the Jacks, and Schrage said that was necessary against Oral Roberts’ veteran pitcher Drew Bowen.

“We had talked to our guys about how we got to get to (Bowen) early because once he settles in, he gets tougher. Over half his pitches are sliders. Sometimes early in the game, he doesn’t have command until he settles in,” Schrage said.

Perhaps the biggest key of the Jackrabbit victory was the pitching performance by Layne Somsen. Somsen(1-5, 2.73 ERA) gave up only two hits, three walks, and no runs through 8.0 innings. Somsen carried a no-hitter through three and one third and struck out eight to pick up his first win since 2009.

“It felt pretty good. I thought I had my stuff going early in the count, I was throwing all three of my pitches that I threw for strikes, and I think I kept them off balance for the most part of the game,” Somsen said. “Overall, I’m pretty happy with how I pitched.”

After Somsen’s eight inning performance, Shane Kraemer pitched the ninth inning and was credited with the save and allowed one hit and one run with one strikeout.

With the exception of a misplayed pop fly by Andrew Melton, the Jacks were able to play a clean game defensively, which Somsen said was a big part of the victory.

“They made a lot of plays for me in the field today. I thought I pitched well enough to get the win, and my defense backed me up,” Somsen said.

With each game now that much more important in terms of potential post-season play, Schrage said that a win over the perennial power in the conference will be key for this weeks preparation for their next opponent.

“This was kind of a must win for our guys. We were so close yesterday, and it was good to get this win because we got three more conference series to go and we want to get to the tournament. We needed a victory today to get some momentum for Oakland,” Schrage said.

The Jacks will return to action with a home series at Erv Huether Field against Oakland May 4-May 6.