BROOKINGS – The South Dakota State baseball team will face a challenging nonconference schedule in preparation for what is set up to be another competitive Summit League race during the 2020 season.
The Jackrabbits, who finished the 2019 campaign with a 28-22 overall record and a second-place mark of 19-10 in the Summit League, return seven all-conference performers from a year ago.
SDSU is slated to open the season with a three-game series Feb. 14-16 at defending Missouri Valley Conference regular season champion Dallas Baptist. The Patriots turned in a 43-20 overall record and advanced to the title game of the Lubbock Regional in NCAA postseason play last season.
Following a three-game series Feb. 21-23 at Pacific (Calif.), the Jackrabbits return to the Lone Star State for a four-game set Feb. 28-March 1 at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. A Feb. 29 doubleheader is the lone scheduled twinbill on the Jackrabbits’ 2020 slate.
The final weekend of nonconference play has the Jackrabbits playing a three-game series March 6-8 at Air Force.
The remainder of the nonconference ledger will consist of mid-week games. SDSU will make three separate trips to Minneapolis for single games against Minnesota. The first two contests (Feb. 26, March 4) are scheduled to be played at U.S. Bank Stadium, with an April 15 matchup on campus at Siebert Field.
A two-game series March 10-11 at Kansas State will be a part of the team’s Spring Break trip, while other mid-week road games are slated for April 1 at Creighton and April 8 at Iowa. Creighton won the Big East Conference championship and earned a berth in the championship game of the 2019 Corvallis Regional, finishing with a 41-13 record.
In all, five of the Jackrabbits’ eight Division I nonconference opponents posted winning seasons in 2019.
Summit League play begins March 13, when the Jackrabbits travel to Oral Roberts in the opening game of a three-game series. SDSU travels to Western Illinois the following weekend for a three-game set.
The home opener is scheduled for March 27 as SDSU welcomes defending Summit League champion Omaha to Erv Huether Field for the first game of a three-game weekend series. SDSU will then host Oral Roberts April 3-5.
SDSU will play the remainder of its April league games on the road with series at Purdue Fort Wayne (April 10-12), North Dakota State (April 17-19) and Omaha (April 24-26).
The Jackrabbits close out the 30-game Summit League schedule with home series versus Western Illinois (May 1-3), North Dakota State (May 8-10) and Purdue Fort Wayne (May 14-16). The top four teams during the regular season will advance to the Summit League Baseball Championship May 20-23 in Omaha, Nebraska.
Rounding out SDSU’s home portion of the schedule are nonconference games versus Sioux Falls (April 21) and Dakota Wesleyan (April 28).