BROOKINGS, S.D. (SDSU) – South Dakota State outfielders Landon Badger and Logan Holtz each hit two-run home runs to lift the Jackrabbits to a 7-4 victory over Purdue Fort Wayne in Summit League baseball action Saturday afternoon at Erv Huether Field.
With their fourth consecutive victory, the Jackrabbits improved to 23-17 overall and 15-8 in league play. Purdue Fort Wayne dropped to 5-38 overall and 0-23 in The Summit League.
SDSU jumped out to a 2-0, first-inning lead against Mastodon starter Garrett Hill. Drew Beazley led off with a single, moved to second on a walk to Nick Smith and scored on Gus Steiger’s single up the middle. Smith later scored on a groundout off the bat of Josh Falk.
Badger continued to pound Mastodon pitching this season as he connected on his second home run of the season in the second inning off reliever Chase Phelps, scoring Matthew Krambeck ahead of him on his blast over the fence in right-center field.
Phelps settled in after that for the Mastodons, keeping SDSU off the board for the next four innings. Meanwhile, Purdue Fort Wayne scored the next four runs to tie the game, starting with a Brandon Yoho RBI double to right-center in the third.
PFW drew to within a run at 4-3 an inning later as Jacob Dickson launched a two-run homer to left-center off SDSU starter Ryan Froom.
Froom walked the leadoff man to open the seventh, exiting with one out in favor of Bret Barnett. Pinch-runner Austin Wilkie stole second, advanced to third on a groundout and scored the tying run on a passed ball.
The Jackrabbits regained the lead for good in the home half of the seventh when Badger, who was 2-for-4, led off with a single against Phelps, advanced to third on a double by Smith and scored on a sacrifice fly to right by Steiger.
Holtz provided extra cushion with his two-run shot to left-center in the eighth. It was Holtz’s fourth home run of the season.
Barnett made the lead stand up as the sophomore left-hander notched strikeouts on six of the eight outs he recorded to pick up his fifth win of the season. He and Froom combined to limit the Mastodons to only three hits.
SDSU finished with 11 hits, including two each by Steiger, Holtz and Krambeck.
The series finale is slated for 1 p.m. Sunday. Freshman right-hander Nic McCay is the scheduled starter for the Jackrabbits.
The Jackrabbits lead the season series, 5-0, and have won 15 of the last 16 games versus Purdue Fort Wayne
Steiger reached base safely for the 35th consecutive game and posted his team-leading 18th multi-hit game of the season
Steiger regained the team lead in runs batted in with 36
SDSU starting pitchers had their streak of scoreless innings end at 23 when PFW scored in the third inning
Barnett lowered his earned run average to 1.67 and has limited the opposition to a .140 batting average this season
Froom recorded two strikeouts to take over sole possession of seventh place on the Jackrabbit career strikeouts chart with 168, breaking a tie with Blake Treinen (166 K’s from 2010-11)
Smith drew his 36th and 37th walks of the season to rank in a tie for seventh on the SDSU single-season charts with three other players
Smith also moved into sixth place on the Jackrabbit career charts for bases on balls with 102, passing both Ryan Krogman (100 from 1991-94) and Kurt Augustin (101 from 1985-87)
Krambeck is a combined 5-for-8 at the plate in his last two starts at third base
SDSU homered for the first time in five games and hit two or more home runs as a team for the 10th time this season