Bison Bring out the Brooms against the Mastodons

North Dakota State welcomed visiting Fort Wayne with a series sweep over the weekend.

Friday night saw the Bison rally back in the bottom of the eighth. Trailing by one, NDSU scored three runs to take a 6-4 lead.

With the Bison down 4-3 entering the inning, Ben Petersen and Logan Busch hit consecutive one-out singles to give the Bison runners on first and second. JT Core hit an RBI single to right and advancing to second on a throwing error, allowing Busch to advance to third.

Matt Elenspeter hit a sacrifice fly to center, allowing Busch to score giving NDSU a 5-4 lead. Jake Malec, pinch running for Core, then scored on a Mastodon wild pitch for the third run of the inning.

Core led the Bison in hitting, going 3-for-4 with an RBI. Elsenpeter and Alec Abercrombie each drove in two runs.

Left-handed reliever Chris Choles earned the win after allowing no earned runs on three hits with three strikeouts and two walks in three innings of relief. Right-handed closer Kevin Folman closed the game for his Summit League-high sixth save of the season.

“When you are at home, you got to win games like that,” Core said after the game. “Coach was talking about that in the huddle over there and we had to come out and do what we were supposed to do. And I think we came out and did it.”

If the Bison were up for late heroics on Friday, Saturday was even later. The Bison would this time need 11 innings to knock of the Dons.

With the score tied 1-1, entering the bottom of the 11th, Mason Pierzchalski led-off the inning with a double.

Malec entered the game to pinch run for Pierzchalski, before a ground out, intentional walk and a fly out brought Elsenpeter to the plate.

Elsenpeter hit a 1-2 pitch into right field, allowing Malec to score from second to win the game for the Bison in a 2-1 walk-off.

Pierzchalski, Elsenpeter and Petersen each recorded two hits to lead the Bison offensively.

Folman earned the win on the mound after giving up zero runs on one hit with three strikeouts and one walk in three innings of relief.

Right-handed starter Reed Pfannenstein pitched eight innings, allowing just one run on seven hits with two strikeouts and three walks. He also forced a season-best four double plays in the contest.

The Bison finished the series sweep in a 12-2 victory in seven innings. NDSU bats were hot, with the Bison getting a season high 17 hits.

Petersen led NDSU at the plate, matching his season-high with three hits to go with a double, home run, three runs scored and two RBIs.

Core added three hits and recorded two doubles. Drew Fearing added two more hits, two runs scored, two RBIs and two walks.

Right-hander Jordan Harms earned the victory allowing two runs on six hits with three strikeouts and four walks in 5 1/3 innings pitched.

The Bison scored five runs in the seventh to end the game. Danny Palmiscno crossed home plate on a wild pitch to open the scoring in the inning. Pierzchalski hit an infield single to score Abercrombie. Busch hit a two-run single to right field, scoring Pierzchalski and Fearing.

Pinch-hitter Tucker Rohde tallied the final run of the game for NDSU after he plated Petersen on a single to right field.

After the game on Sunday, head coach Tom Brown had this to say.

“Right now we are back to ground zero,” Brown said. “We got swept by ORU, we sweep at home and now we’ve won some series in a row. That’s how good teams move up in the standings.”

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