USD baseball opens conference play this weekend

USD baseball opens conference play this weekend The South Dakota baseball team will open North Central Conference play this weekend as it hosts St. Cloud State Saturday and Sunday at Prentis Park.

The two teams will play a pair of seven-inning games each day starting at 1:30 p.m.

USD (12-8) will be looking to extend its seven-game winning streak this weekend. The Coyotes will also attempt to stay perfect at home as they are 5-0 this season when playing inside the friendly confines of Prentis Park.

As a team over the last seven games, South Dakota is hitting .359, while the USD pitching staff is holding opponents to an average of just .193.

Setting the pace for the Coyotes at the plate during the streak has been senior Horace Lawrence, who over the seven-game stretch is hitting .536 (15-of-28) with two home runs and 10 runs batted in. Lawrence, who was drafted in 1998 by the Arizona Diamondbacks out of El Cerrito High School (Richmond, CA) in the 33rd round, is leading South Dakota this season in batting average (.457), at bats (70), runs scored (23), hits (32), doubles (7), home runs (5), runs batted in (22) and total bases (56).

On the mound, senior righthander John Brunswold has been nothing less than dominating. The Apple Valley, MN, native has not allowed a run his last 20 1/3 innings pitched, helping earn the honor of NCC Pitcher of the Week the past two weeks. Brunswold, who is USD's career leader in wins (23) and strikeouts (242), is 5-1 this season in eight appearances and owns a 2.36 ERA. He has 46 strikeouts in 45.2 innings pitched.

The Coyotes will close out their 10-game homestand Wednesday, April 2, against Wayne State starting at 1:30 p.m.

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