Jackrabbits top Lancers in home opener

John Green

In baseball, two clear paths to winning exist. Either get the bats talking, or win the game with defense and a solid game from the mound.

The SDSU baseball team chose the latter of those two options as they a cruised to a 3-1 victory over Mount Marty College in the home opener at Erv Huether Field. The Jacks improve to 9-17-1 on the season, while the Lancers slide to 14-19.

“The freshman arms made the difference for us today,” head coach Dave Schrage said. “Our hitting wasn’t great, and they were able to pitch us out of some tough innings.”

The set of freshman arms Schrage is referring to is a trio of underclassmen including Talon Jumper, Aaron Klatt, and J.D. Moore. Jumper pitched seven shutout innings, giving up five hits. Klatt followed with one inning of two hits, before Moore closed out the game for SDSU, giving up two hits and one run.

“Our pitchers were great,” freshman center fielder Eric Danforth said. “We need to be able to move runs better, and until that comes around for us, our pitchers will keep putting us into position to win games like this one.”

Danforth lead a trio of Jackrabbits that went 2-4 at the plate Tuesday, capped off with a RBI single in the eighth to drive in the third and final run of the afternoon. SDSU built up a 2-0 lead by the bottom of the fourth, after scoring one run in both the third and fourth innings.

Mount Marty’s lone run came in top of the ninth at the head of a potential rally. The Lancers scored once when Justin Kemp hit an RBI single. With two outs left and two runners in scoring position, Derrik Nelson grounded out to second to kill the MMC comeback and seal the win for the Jackrabbits. Freshman Talon Jumper was the winning pitcher for SDSU. Nelson received the loss for Mount Marty, while J.D. Moore was credited with the save for the Jacks.

The Jacks will look to continue their success at home on April 11th against the University of Minnesota. The Golden Gophers come into the match at 17-16 (3-3), off of a three game slide in a Big Ten conference series against Ohio State University. The Jackrabbits lost their previous meeting with Minnesota earlier this season in a 9-3 contest at the Metrodome. The Jacks will have to try to improve on offense in addition to continuing their performance from the mound if they are going to upset the Gophers.

“Our hitting will come around,” Schrage said. “We need to be able to drive in runs better than we are right now. We’re thinking too much.”