South Dakota State scored multiple runs in each of the first three innings and went on to complete a three-game sweep of Purdue Fort Wayne with a 12-2, seven-inning victory Sunday afternoon at Erv Huether Field.
In winning for the fifth consecutive game, SDSU improved to 24-17 overall and 16-8 in The Summit League. The Mastodons fell to 5-39 overall and 0-24 in league play.
After Purdue Fort Wayne scored a run on three hits in the top of the first inning, the Jackrabbits responded with a four-run home half. Drew Beazley led off with a single and later scored on Gus Steiger's infield single behind second base. Josh Falk gave SDSU a lead it would not relinquish with an RBI double to right and Braeden Brown followed with a two-run single as each of the first five Jackrabbit batters reached safely against PFW starter Justin Miller.
The Mastodons scored an unearned run in the bottom of the second to draw to within 4-2, but SDSU put together another four-run frame in its half of the inning. Three consecutive walks to open the inning loaded the bases for Steiger, who plated two with a double to right center. Nick Smith scored on a passed ball, while Logan Holtz added a run-scoring single later in the inning.
SDSU tacked on three more against the Mastodon bullpen in the third inning, highlighted by a sacrifice fly by Smith and an RBI single by Falk. Brown drove in his third run of the game with a groundout.
Jackrabbit starter Nic McCay settled in after the second inning as he did not allow a hit the rest of the way. The freshman right-hander needed only 72 pitches to record his second complete game and fifth win of the season as he struck out three and did not walk a man.
Falk, who was 3-for-3 to lead the Jackrabbits' 11-hit attack, capped the scoring with a single in the fifth for his third RBI of the game. Steiger was 2-for-3 with three runs batted in as he extended his streak of reaching base safely to 36 games.
The Jackrabbits close out the nonconference portion of their schedule Tuesday with a game at Minnesota. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. at Siebert Field in Minneapolis.
SDSU swept the season series from Purdue Fort Wayne, 6-0, and leads the all-time series, 58-14
The Jackrabbits' five-game winning streak matches their longest of the season
SDSU improved to 8-1 in games played on Sundays in 2019
Steiger's reached-base streak of 36 games is tied for fourth-longest in the Division I era of Jackrabbit baseball with Eric Danforth (2015)
Steiger took over the team lead in doubles with 13
Smith walked twice to up his season total to 39, which ranks fifth on the SDSU single-season charts
Smith also moved into fifth on the Jackrabbit career bases on balls list with 104, passing Jesse Sawyer (103 bases on balls from 2009-11)
McCay upped his season strikeout total to 74, one behind Tyler Olmstead for the team lead
McCay's 74 strikeouts currently rank 10th on the Jackrabbit single-season charts
McCay's other complete game was a nine-inning shutout against Purdue Fort Wayne on March 31