BROOKINGS, S.D. -- The Omaha baseball team dropped its series opener at South Dakota State Thursday afternoon, falling 5-3 at Erv Huether Field. The Mavericks are now 12-38 (9-17 Summit League) on the year, while the Jackrabbits improve to 23-22 (16-12) and push their win streak to six games.
Tyler Olmstead (2-0) earned the win on the mound, holding Omaha to two runs on four hits and two walks with four strikeouts over 4.0 innings. Sam Murphy (3-8) was tagged with the loss, surrendering three runs on six hits with five walks and four strikeouts in his six-inning outing. The save went to Chris Halbur (8), who allowed one hit and a walk in a scoreless ninth inning.
Murphy, making the final start of his five-year Maverick career, cemented his place as Omaha's all-time leader for career mound appearances (64).
Grant Suponchick (2-for-4, two RBI), Jack Kalina (2-for-4, one RBI) and Cole Thibodeau (2-for-4, one run) all had multi-hit performances on the day.
Omaha opened the scoring in the top of the first inning with a one-out double by Suponchick to drive in Thibodeau. The Jacks then took the lead in the home half of the frame thanks to Luke Ringhofer's two-run homer down the right field line.
The Mavericks tied the game at 2-2 in the second, as Cole Patterson led off the inning with a full-count walk, advanced with a sacrifice bunt by Nate Mallott and scored via Kalina's RBI single down the right field line.
The game stayed locked at 2-2 until the fourth, when Landon Badger drew a two-out walk, stole second and came in on Skyler Wenninger's double through the left side past a diving Sam Palensky to put the Jacks ahead by one.
SDSU then added to its lead with a pair of insurance runs in the seventh. Matt Johnson singled in Tony Kjolsing, and Ringhofer crossed when Newt Johnson reached on a fielder's choice to make it 5-2.
Omaha managed its final run in the eighth, opening the frame with three consecutive singles from Palensky, Thibodeau and Suponchick, the last of which drove in Palensky to cut SDSU's lead to 5-3. With runners in scoring position and one out, the Jacks worked around the jam with a flyout and a strikeout to end the Mavericks' threat.
Inclement weather in the weekend forecast has forced Omaha and South Dakota State to adjust their remaining games, and the two teams will complete the series on Friday, May 19 with a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. Links to live stats and audio will be available on OMavs.com.