SDSU bobbles away chance to beat Bison

John Green

In an afternoon of errant play and disappointing results, the SDSU baseball team absorbed its 20th loss of the season to NDSU 6-1. SDSU(11-20-1) committed four errors to allow the Bison (25-9) to pick up the win, which will not count in the Summit League standings. Both teams will be seeing a lot of each other in the next few days, with SDSU traveling to Fargo for a four-game series starting Friday.

“It was one extreme to the other,” head coach Dave Schrage said. “We went from the Minnesota game, to this performance today.”

The Jacks soundly beat the University of Minnesota last Wednesday in what was among the top SDSU performances this season, but it looked like a different squad on Tuesday afternoon to the nearby Bison. The Jacks gave up three runs to open up the game, setting the stage for what would be a long afternoon for the SDSU faithful.

The Bison added one more to their run total at the top of the second inning to firmly dig the Jacks into a hole. At that point in the game, SDSU was out hitting the Bison, but the Jacks left three of those men on the bag to close out the first two innings, while NDSU scored all runners that made a base. The Jacks managed to stop the bleeding, keeping the score locked at 3-0 through the bottom of the third. Then the lid blew off for the Jackrabbits.

The Bison started the fourth inning off with a Wes Satzinger double down the left field line. A ground out single advanced him over to third and placed him firmly in scoring position. Michael Leach then singled to right field to score Satzinger. A hit batter moved Leach into scoring position, with another man on first. A single by Max Casper drove in Leach, but a wild throw advanced John Skrbec to third, while Casper advanced to second. In the process, Skrbec ran home and a throw from Jackrabbit shortstop Eric Cain was off the mark, moving NDSU’s commanding lead to 6-0.

“When something like that happens, you just have to stay positive and refocus,” junior SDSU catcher Nick Andrews said.

SDSU was able to add a run of their own in the bottom of the fifth to avoid the shutout. The Jacks then tightened the loose ends, keeping NDSU scoreless for the remainder of the game.

Jackrabbits freshman starter Talon Jumper gave up six runs in four innings pitched, taking the loss and moving to 1-2 on the season.

Schrage felt that despite the many disappointing moments for the Jacks in the game, a few aspects of their performance were positive.

“We had good relief pitching today,” said Schrage. “It’s something we can take with us going forward.”