SDSU baseball earns big conference win at Omaha

OMAHA, Neb. – Three South Dakota State pitchers combined on a five-hit shutout as the Jackrabbits evened their Summit League baseball series at a game apiece with a 3-0 victory Saturday at Seymour Smith Park.

The Jackrabbits improved to 20-17 overall and 12-8 in league play. League-leading Omaha dropped to 25-12-1 overall and 17-3 in The Summit League.

Senior right-hander Ryan Froom pitched the first five innings for the Jackrabbits, striking out five and walking three as he improved to 5-3 on the season. Froom allowed only three hits, but worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the fifth to exit with a 2-0 lead.

Brett Mogen followed with 1 2/3 scoreless innings, while Bret Barnett did not allow a hit in recording the final seven outs for his team-leading fifth save of the season. Barnett struck out two and walked two.

SDSU got on the board with a run in the fourth. Josh Falk singled with one out, advanced to third on a base hit by Gus Steiger and came home when Luke Ira reached on an error.

The Jackrabbits added another run off Omaha starter Payton Kinney an inning later as Landon Badger led off with a double, took third on a sacrifice bunt by Drew Beazley and scored on a sacrifice fly by Nick Smith. Kinney suffered his first loss of the season, falling to 8-1 after giving up the first two Jackrabbit runs. He struck out four and walked one.

An unearned run in the ninth gave SDSU an insurance run for a 3-0 lead. Steiger, who reached base safely for the 32nd game in a row, led off with a walk and advanced to third on a throwing error after stealing second. Ira then delivered his second RBI of the game with the team's second sacrifice fly.

Steiger, who doubled in the first inning, recorded two of the Jackrabbits' four hits. Omaha's five hits were scattered among five different players.

The two teams are scheduled to play the decisive third game of the series at noon Sunday.

Omaha leads the season series, 4-1
SDSU shut out an opponent for the second time this season
Steiger's double was his team-leading 12th of the season, while his stolen base was his team-best 13th
Steiger also took over the team lead with his 15th multi-hit game
Barnett lowered his earned run average to 1.85
Barnett has pitched two or more innings to record each of his last three saves
Falk extended his hitting streak to seven games