#SummitBSB Weekly Notebook: No. 14

SDSU shortstop Gus Steiger and the Jackrabbits are still in the hunt for a regular season title as the six Summit League baseball teams embark on their final series.
SDSU shortstop Gus Steiger and the Jackrabbits are still in the hunt for a regular season title as the six Summit League baseball teams embark on their final series.

WEEKLY NOTEBOOK: Vol. 14 (May 15)

AROUND THE SUMMIT LEAGUE ...
• All four seeds for the 2019 Summit League Baseball Championship are up for grabs as the final regular season series are set to start Thursday. League-leading Omaha and South Dakota State have secured a berth, so half of the four-team field is set entering the last stretch of games.
• The Mavericks and Jackrabbits are the only two teams still in contention for the top overall seed and the regular season championship. Omaha's only two regular-season titles came in back-to-back years (2013-14) while SDSU shared its only regular season title with Oral Roberts in 2010.
• Omaha (19-8) holds a one-and-a-half game lead on SDSU and with either two wins or a win and at least one SDSU (17-9) loss, the title will belong to the Mavericks, who play host to Oral Roberts in their final matchup of the regular season. Omaha has dropped four of its last five series. That stretch started in Tulsa where the Golden Eagles dealt the Mavericks their first two league losses of the season after a 12-0 start.
• The Jackrabbits are traveling to Fargo to take on North Dakota State in a series featuring two teams that have both won seven of their last 10 games. The Jacks took two of three from the Bison in a series played in Omaha earlier this season.
• Oral Roberts (15-11) is currently third in the league standings and owns a one-and-a-half game cushion on the Bison (14-13)   and Western Illinois (14-13). Those three teams are vying for one of the final two spots still up for grabs.
• The Golden Eagles could end up as high as the No. 2 seed or be left on the outside looking on a tournament they will host next week in Tulsa (May 22-25).
• The Fighting Leathernecks, who are coming off series wins over Oral Roberts and Omaha, are at home to take on Purdue Fort Wayne. The Mastodons earned their first league win of the season last Friday at NDSU. Western Illinois and NDSU could claim the No. 3 or No. 4 seed based on how things play out or be the odd team out.
• Western Illinois junior Javin Drake helped WIU to that series win over the Mavericks after tossing the first shutout of his career in game two. He scattered four hits and pushed his league-leading strikeout total to 101 with seven punchouts en route to earning his third Summit League Pitcher of the Week award of the season.
• NDSU shortstop Bennett Hostetler went 8-for-13 and homered in all three games against Purdue Fort Wayne last week, finishing the series with nine RBI. Those efforts earned him the first Player of the Week nod of his career.
• Oral Roberts' Spencer Henson is tracking towards his second-straight Summit League Triple Crown. He enters the final weekend leading the league in home runs (15), RBI (45) and batting average (.364). Western Illinois outfielder Drue Galassi is second to Henson in the power categories with nine home runs and 43 RBI. Omaha's Parker Smejkal is the closest in batting average, hitting at a career-best .339 clip for the Mavericks.

THIS WEEK IN THE SUMMIT LEAGUE
Thursday, May 16
Purdue Fort Wayne at Western Illinois
South Dakota State at North Dakota State
Oral Roberts at Omaha

Friday, May 17
Purdue Fort Wayne at Western Illinois
South Dakota State at North Dakota State
Oral Roberts at Omaha

Saturday, May 18
Purdue Fort Wayne at Western Illinois
South Dakota State at North Dakota State
Oral Roberts at Omaha
NCBWA rankings

RECENT RESULTS
Friday, May 10
Purdue Fort Wayne 6, North Dakota State 5
South Dakota State 5, Oral Roberts 4
Omaha 4, Western Illinois 3 (10)

Saturday, May 11
North Dakota State 20, Purdue Fort Wayne 7 (7)
Oral Roberts 5, South Dakota State 3 (5)
Western Illinois 5, Omaha 0

Sunday, May 12
North Dakota State 11, Purdue Fort Wayne 9
Western Illinois 8, Omaha 5 (8)
Oral Roberts, South Dakota State (canceled)

Tuesday, May 14
Creighton 13, Omaha 2
Iowa at Western Illinois (canceled)
Toledo 13, Purdue Fort Wayne 8
Wichita State 4, Oral Roberts 2
NCBWA rankings

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