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Somsen Sharp As Jacks Win Opener

Layne Somsen, South Dakota State Jackrabbits
South Dakota State University

BROOKINGS, SD — South Dakota State’s Layne Somsen limited Fort Wayne to one run on two hits over eight innings, leading the Jackrabbits to a 6-2 victory in the opening game of a four-game Summit League baseball series Friday afternoon at Erv Huether Field.

SDSU improved to 26-17 overall and 11-6 in league play. The Mastodons dropped to 21-24 overall, 8-13 in The Summit League.

A senior right-hander from Yankton, Somsen struck out nine batters, walked two and hit a batter as he recorded his 10th consecutive quality start this season and lowered his earned run averaged to a paltry 1.49. He improved to 4-3 on the year.

The Jackrabbits took advantage of a Fort Wayne error to score twice in the bottom of the third inning. Eric Danforth led off with a base hit, moved to second on a sacrifice and took third on the first of two costly Mastodon miscues on the day. Paul Jacobson plated Danforth with the first run of the game on a sacrifice fly and Nick Andrews followed with a two-out single to score Scott Splett.

SDSU added a run in the fourth as Andrew Melton led off with a walk and scored on Aaron Machbitz’s double to the left-center gap.

Somsen, who retired 10 consecutive batters in one stretch, gave up the lone run of his outing in the top of the fifth. Caleb Fenimore singled to lead off the frame, advanced to second on a fly ball and scored on Malcolm White’s single to center field. The singles by Fenimore and White would be the only Mastodon hits on the afternoon.

The Jackrabbits tacked on three runs in the eighth. Danforth doubled in the first two runs of the inning before scoring on an error.

Fort Wayne scored a run against Jackrabbit closer J.D. Moore in the ninth without a hit. The first two batters walked, with Kristian Gayday scoring on a groundout.

Danforth and Daniel Marra each tallied two of the Jackrabbits’ 11 hits. All nine players in the SDSU lineup notched a hit in the contest.

Jason Kalber, who shut out the Jackrabbits in an April 12 matchup, took the loss Friday despite allowing only one earned run in seven innings. He struck out four, walked one and gave up 10 hits.

The two squads are scheduled to play a doubleheader Saturday, starting at noon.

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Courtesy:  South Dakota State University

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