MACOMB, Ill. (SDSU) — Drew Beazley opened the scoring for South Dakota State with a two-run home run and ended a Western Illinois comeback bid with a diving catch for the final out as the Jackrabbits prevailed, 8-6, in the decisive game of a Summit League baseball series Sunday afternoon at Alfred D. Boyer Stadium.

In winning two out the three games in the series, SDSU improved to 8-17 overall and 4-5 in league play. Western Illinois dropped to 4-22 on the season, including 1-5 in The Summit League.

Beazley’s home run came with Adam Benes aboard in the top of the second inning, a blast that was tucked just inside the left-field foul pole.

WIU came back to take a 3-2 lead, scoring its first run on a Max Slavens RBI double in the home half of the second, followed by a two-run homer by Jack Sievers in the fourth.

The Jackrabbits reeled off the next six runs, regaining the lead at 5-3 with a three-run top of the fifth. Ryan McDonald sandwiched the go-ahead RBI double around sacrifice flies by Jess Bellows and Dawson Parry, the last of which scored Beazley.

SDSU added a run in the sixth and two more in the seventh — all of which were unearned. Luke Ira plated the first run of the seventh with an RBI single, while Benes notched the Jackrabbits’ third sacrifice fly of the game later in the frame.

The score remained 8-3 until the bottom of the ninth, when Western Illinois scored three times on only one hit. The Fighting Leathernecks filled the bases with one out on a hit batter, error and walk before Adam Juran was hit by a pitch to force in the first run. Sievers followed with the lone hit of the frame for his third RBI of the contest and Slavens walked with the bases loaded to force in another run.

Brady Hawkins, the third Jackrabbit pitcher of the inning, then entered and proceeded to strike out Nick Mitchell before Beazley’s diving catch on a liner to the right-center gap by Derek Botaletto for the final out.

Freshman Jack Kruger worked the first three innings for the Jackrabbits, allowing three runs on five hits while walking three and striking out two. Dylan Driessen and Eli Sundquist then followed with a combined 4 2/3 innings of scoreless relief, with Driessen being credited with his team-leading third victory of the season.

SDSU held a 7-6 advantage in hits as Ira and Cade Stuff each collected two hits.

The Jackrabbits’ game scheduled for Tuesday against Briar Cliff has been moved to the Chargers’ home field in Sioux City, Iowa. First pitch is slated for 2 p.m.

SDSU’s other mid-week game, Wednesday against Dakota Wesleyan, also has been moved to a new site. The 3 p.m. contest is now slated to be played at the Sanford Diamonds in Sioux Falls.


  • SDSU leads the all-time series, 42-30
  • The Jackrabbits claimed their first series win of the season
  • Beazley’s home run was his second of the season and 15th of his career
  • Ira finished the three-game series with eight RBIs
  • McDonald ended the series with a .733 on-base percentage after drawing a total of eight walks, including three on Sunday
  • McDonald moved into a tie with Zach Briggs (2009-12) for sixth place on the all-time SDSU charts with 107 bases on balls
  • Driessen also leads the Jackrabbit pitching staff with 11 appearances
  • The game, which featured a combined 22 walks and six hit batters, took four hours and 10 minutes to play