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South Dakota baseball inks five top prospects


Brookings, S.D. (KWSN-AM) — South Dakota State University baseball coach Dave Schrage announced Wednesday that five high school standouts have signed a National Letter of Intent during the November signing period, indicating they will enroll at SDSU in the fall and compete for the Jackrabbit baseball program.

The signees are Philip Jacobson, outfielder, Dakota Dunes, Newt Johnson, third baseman, Rapid City,Thomas McMacken, first baseman, Brookings, Luke Ringhofer, catcher, Cottage Grove, Minn., and Anthony Schneider, shortstop, Altoona, Iowa.

   “We covered all our bases in what is an outstanding, well-rounded class,” Jackrabbit head coach Dave Schrage said. “We feel like every guy we are signing will contribute in a big way. The credit goes to Coach (Brian) Grunzke and our entire coaching staff to not only bring in quality players, but quality students.”

Jacobson has been a four-sport standout at Bishop Heelan High School in Sioux City, Iowa, earning a total of 16 varsity letters while competing in baseball, football, basketball and track and field. In helping lead Heelan to back-to-back state semifinal appearances, Jacobson has gone a combined 34-of-35 on stolen base attempts over the past two seasons, while hitting .331 his junior season with team highs of three home runs and 39 runs batted in.   Jacobson, who will join his older brother, Paul, on the Jackrabbit roster, is coming off a fall in which he earned all-state honors in football and tied a record with five touchdowns in the Class 3A state championship game.  

Johnson has played on two state championship teams for the storied Post 22 American Legion baseball program in Rapid City. During the 2013 season, he batted .406 with 11 home runs and 78 runs batted in. He added 11doubles and 16 triples for a .782 slugging percentage, while adding 21 stolen bases.   Johnson also has played on two state Class A boys’ basketball state championship teams at St. Thomas More High School in RapidCity and has been honored as an all-state defensive back in football. In addition, he has been an honor roll student.

 McMacken earned first-team all-state honors as a first baseman from the South Dakota High School Baseball Coaches Association last spring after batting .426 with eight doubles, one home run and 19 runs batted in. During the past two American Legion seasons with the Brookings Bandits, McMacken batted a combined .335 with five home runs and 73 runs batted in, helping lead the Bandits to their first-ever state championship in 2012.   He will follow in the footsteps of his father, Billy McMacken, who was a three-time Division II All-America selection for the Jackrabbits from 1988-90. An honor student, he plans to major in business economics.  

Ringhofer was an all-Suburban East Conference selection during his sophomore and junior seasons at East Ridge High School in the Twin Cities Metro Area. He also has lettered in hockey. A three-time academic letter recipient, he plans to major in engineering.

Schneider earned first-team all-division and second-team all-district honors for Southeast Polk High School after batting .333 with team highs of four home runs and 21 stolen bases while batting out of the leadoff spot during the 2013 season. He added a team-best .550 slugging percentage as he recorded 12 doubles and a triple among his 40 hits. Schneider also played for the Perfect Game Iowa Select Black club team in 2013, leading the squad in batting average (.343), slugging percentage (.500) and on-base percentage (.512).   A member of the National Honor Society, Schneider plans to major in biology/pre-medicine.

The South Dakota State baseball team made its first NCAA Tournament appearance at the Division I level during the 2013 season, finishing the season with a 35-24 overall record. The Jackrabbits recorded a second-place finish in The Summit League regular season before securing the postseason bid by winning the conference postseason tournament.

Courtesy of USD Athletics