North Dakota State baseball hosted the Western Illinois University Leathernecks Friday, despite the series taking place at Seymour Smith Park in Omaha, Nebraska. The unusual location was due to the past weather not allowing the field to be ready in time.
The Leathernecks took game one of the three-game series Friday, 7-2.
Western Illinois put up five runs in the third inning. The Leathernecks led off the inning with back-to-back triples from Dillion Sears and Steve McShane. A pair of RBI singles from Deion Thompson and Bailey Montgomery preceded a two-run home run off the bat of Alex Dorethy.
The Bison were able to get some runs back in the bottom of the seventh. Tucker Rhode led off the inning, reaching and advancing to second on a fielding error by first baseman Bailey Montgomery. Rhode advanced to third on a groundout by Sean Noel. NDSU got the egg off the scoreboard on a wild pitch that scored Rhode.
Alec Abercrombie followed with a single to right and moved to second after a bunt single from Matt Elsenpeter. Abercrombie came into score after Bennett Hostetler singled through the right side.
UWI scored one more run in each of the eighth and ninth innings to make the score 7-2.
Riley Johnson took the loss on the hill for the Bison and fell to 3-5 on the year after giving up six earned runs on nine hits and eight strikeouts and one walk in 7 1/3 innings.
Elsenpeter and Hostetler led the Bison at the plate, each connecting for two hits, and Hostetler driving in one run.
Ryan Dunne earned the victory on the mound for the Leathernecks, giving up two runs, one earned, on six hits with eight strikeouts and four walks in seven innings. Dunne improved to 2-5 on the year.
Sears led the Leathernecks at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a triple and two runs scored.
The Bison bounced back Saturday to take the second game.
NDSU took an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Drew Fearing drew a one-out walk, and Jayse McLean connected for a two-run home run over right field. The blast was McLean’s team-best fifth home run of the year.
The Bison extended their lead to 3-0 with a run in the bottom of the sixth inning when Rhode hit a two-out RBI single through the right side of the field to bring in McLean.
The Leathernecks were able to cut the deficit to 3-1 with a run in the top of the ninth when Mitch Ellis homered to right field.
Blake Stockert improved to 4-1 on the season after picking up the win for the Bison, allowing no earned runs on five hits and recording one walk to go with tying his career-high of nine strikeouts.
Kevin Folman picked up his team-best fifth save after allowing one run on one hit and three strikeouts in 2 1/3 innings.
McLean led the Bison at the plate with two RBIs and two runs scored.
Javin Drake fell to 1-4 on the season as he suffered the loss on the mound for the Leathernecks, giving up three runs on three hits with two walks and nine strikeouts in seven innings.
Ellis led the Leathernecks at the plate with two hits, including a solo home run.
The final game of the series took place Sunday after press time. NDSU is scheduled to play in Fargo against Dakota State 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. The first Summit League series at Newman Outdoor Field starts 6:30 p.m. Friday against Omaha.