BROOKINGS, S.D. (SDSU) — Northern Colorado right-hander Dylan Smith tossed a complete-game, five-hit shutout to lead the Bears to a 3-0 victory over South Dakota State in the opening game of a Summit League baseball series Saturday afternoon at Bob Shelden Field.
The Bears, who improved to 9-31 overall, kept their Summit League playoff hopes alive by improving to 6-13 in league play. SDSU dropped to 19-23 overall and 10-9 in The Summit League.
UNC took advantage of leadoff walks issued by Jackrabbit starter Blake Kunz in each of the first two innings. In the first inning, Jake King walked and later scored on a passed ball. Austin Bunn walked to open the second frame and later came around to score on the second SDSU error of the inning.
The Jackrabbits put the leadoff batter on base in four innings, including a double by Dagen Schramm in the third inning, but couldn’t break through against Smith, who struck out five, walked three and scattered five hits.
Kunz settled into a groove of his own for SDSU, completing a career-best 6 2/3 innings with eight strikeouts.
Northern Colorado added an insurance run in the eighth against the Jackrabbit bullpen on a sacrifice fly by Bunn that plated Craig Kenny after Kenny started the inning with his second hit of the day, an infield single. Caden Wagner also tallied two of the Bears’ seven hits.
Nic Nelson was the lone player for the Jackrabbits with two hits.
The series is scheduled to conclude with a doubleheader Sunday afternoon in Sioux Falls. First pitch is slated for noon at Karras Park at Ronken Field on the Augustana University campus. Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for children up to age 18.
- Northern Colorado leads the season series, 3-1
- SDSU leads the all-time series, 38-28
- Nelson posted his 12th multi-hit game of the season
- Jackrabbit shortstop Luke Ira played in his 200th career game and made his 156th consecutive start
- SDSU dropped its first home game of the season