Jacks Salvage Series Finale In Fargo
SDSU Wins 1-0 Pitcher's Dual Over NDSU
FARGO, N.D. – Ethan Kenkel pitched six-plus shutout innings and South Dakota State scored the lone run of the game in the third inning as the Jackrabbits salvaged the final game of a Summit League baseball series with a 1-0 victory Sunday afternoon at Newman Outdoor Field.
With the win, the Jackrabbits improved to 14-13 overall and took over sole possession of second place in the league standings with a 7-5 mark. NDSU dropped to 14-17 overall and 6-6 in The Summit League.
SDSU scored what proved to be the game-winning run with one out in the top of the third inning. Phil Velez led off the frame by being hit by a pitch. After Anthony Schneider flew out, Nick Smith slashed a double down the left-field line and into the corner. The ball was bobbled by the Bison outfielder, allowing Velez to score all the way from first base.
The Jackrabbits appeared on the verge of breaking the game open in the fourth, loading the bases with nobody out on a walk and back-to-back singles by Philip Jacobson and Landon Badger. However, NDSU starter Jordan Harms turned a line drive off the bat of Tony Kjolsing into a double play and then retired Velez to end the threat.
Meanwhile, SDSU starter Ethan Kenkel turned in his strongest performance in a Jackrabbit uniform. The senior right-hander from Storm Lake, Iowa, held NDSU to one hit through six innings, while striking out a career-best six batters. Kenkel came out to start the seventh inning, but exited after the first two men reached via a hit and hit batter.
Derek Feige worked out of the jam by striking out the first two Bison batters he faced, then, after an infield single loaded the bases, fanned Drew Fearing to strike out the side.
NDSU again placed two runners on the base in the eighth, but Feige, who ended his two-inning stint with four strikeouts, again prevented the Bison from scoring as a groundout ended the frame.
Chris Halbur pitched a perfect ninth inning to record his fifth save of the season.
Smith tallied a pair of doubles to be the only player with more than one hit. Each team finished with four hits.
Harms walked four, struck out three and gave up three hits in five innings. Parker Harm pitched the final four innings for NDSU, allowing only one hit and adding three strikeouts.
The Jackrabbits are scheduled to play a non-conference game Tuesday at Creighton. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha.
* SDSU won by a 1-0 score for the third time this season
* The Jackrabbits now have four shutouts in 2017, compared to one last season
* SDSU pitchers combined for 10 strikeouts, marking the eighth time this season in which the Jackrabbits have reached double figures for K’s in a game
* Kenkel’s six innings pitched marked his longest collegiate outing
* Halbur has not allowed a run in 13 appearances, covering 18 innings, this season
* Halbur’s five saves are tied with three other pitchers for 10th-most in a season by a Jackrabbit pitcher
* The two teams combined for only 11 runs (8 by NDSU, 3 by SDSU) and 27 hits (15 by NDSU, 12 by SDSU) in the three-game series
SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 1, NORTH DAKOTA STATE 0
SDSU 001 000 000 1-4-0
NDSU 000 000 000 0-4-1
SDSU: Ethan Kenkel, Derek Feige (7), Chris Halbur (9) and Luke Ringhofer. NDSU: Jordan Harms, Parker Harm (6) and Danny Palmsicno.
W-Kenkel (1-1). L-Harms (1-5). Save-Halbur (5).