OMAHA, Neb. – Braeden Brown's fourth hit of the game, a single through a drawn-in infield in the bottom of the 10th inning, plated the winning run as South Dakota State escaped with a 10-9, back-and-forth victory over North Dakota State in a Summit League baseball series finale Sunday afternoon at J.J. Isaacson Field.
By winning the series two games to one, the Jackrabbits improved to 16-14 overall and retained sole possession of second place in the league standings at 9-6. NDSU dropped to 9-17 overall and 7-8 in The Summit League.
NDSU grabbed a 9-7 lead in the top of the 10th on a two-run home run by Jayse McLean before the Jackrabbits put together one final rally. Drew Beazley and Nick Smith drew back-to-back walks to open the home half of the 10th. Gus Steiger followed by bouncing a single through the right side to score Beazley.
Josh Falk, who hit a two-run homer to tie the game at 7-all with one out in the bottom of the ninth, again came through in the clutch by lining a single to center to plate Smith with the tying run and advance Steiger to third. Two batters later, Brown lined a single off the first baseman to drive in Steiger with the winning run.
SDSU led 5-3 after Smith delivered a two-run single in the bottom of the seventh, only to see NDSU take the lead with a three-run eighth. Sean Noel singled in the first run of the eighth and later scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch. The Bison built their lead to 7-5 in the ninth on a sacrifice fly by Peter Brookshaw that scored Jake Malec.
The Bison put together a pair of two-out rallies in the first two innings, sandwiched around a three-run bottom of the first by SDSU. Jack Simonsen drove in the first run of the game with an RBI single, while Bennett Hostetler connected on a two-run homer to left in the second. Both rallies started with two-out walks.
All three Jackrabbit runs in the bottom of the first scored with two outs as Luke Ira doubled in the first run and Brown knocked in two on an infield single behind second base in which both NDSU middle infielders collided.
Both starters settled in from there as Jackrabbit freshman Nic McCay struck out seven over seven-plus innings. NDSU right-hander Ben Smith struck out three, walked one and scattered six hits in six innings.
SDSU matched a season high with 16 hits and was led by Brown, who was 4-for-6 with three runs batted in. Landon Badger and Falk each finished with three hits, while Smith added two hits.
Noel and Simonsen each tallied two of NDSU's 10 hits.
The Jackrabbits are scheduled to return to action Tuesday at Minnesota. First pitch is slated for 6 p.m. at Siebert Field in Minneapolis.
SDSU leads the all-time series, 119-70
The Jackrabbits previously posted 16 hits in the Feb. 15 season opener against UT Martin and in the first game of a March 9 doubleheader at UA Little Rock
Austin Suhr made his first appearance of the season and was credited with the win after recording the final out in the top of the 10th
Brady Stover came on in relief in the ninth inning for his first appearance since a March 1 start at Central Arkansas
McCay took over the team lead in strikeouts with 55
Jackrabbit starters have pitched five or more innings in 21 of 30 games this season, including 12 of 15 games in Summit League play
Steiger has reached base safely in 25 consecutive games
SDSU notched double figures in hits for the 12th time this season
Falk's home run was his team-leading sixth of the year