The North Dakota State Bison had five home games either cancelled or moved before finally getting to play at Newman Outdoor Field. If the first Summit League series is any indication, the Bison are looking to make up for the lack of runs scored in Fargo.
NDSU put up nine Friday night against Omaha, but the Mavericks put up four more than that Saturday to split the first two games of the series.
On Friday, it took a while for the Bison bats to warm up. Bennet Hostetler finally broke through in the third. The sophomore lifted a 2-2 pitch to right-center for a triple that scored Matt Elsenpeter. Hostetler came in one batter later on Drew Fearing’s double.
NDSU took little time to extend the lead even further in the fourth. Tucker Rohde knocked in Jayse McLean with an RBI single to start the four-run inning.
Nick Emanuel made it 4-0 two batters later with a single to right field to bring in Logan Busch. Hostetler added another RBI with a single, and Emanuel scored on a wild pitch in the inning.
The Bison put up three more in the fifth to finish the three-inning explosion.
Elsenpeter hit a sharply hit ball that made it to left field to score McLean.
Emanuel picked up his second RBI of the day, taking the next pitch through the right side of the infield to bring in Rohde.
Hostetler brought home his third Bison of the evening with a sacrifice fly to score Elsenpeter.
All of this offense came while Riley Johnson stifled Omaha batters. The Bison pitcher went five innings, striking out four, giving up two hits and walking five.
Chris Choles pitched two innings of scoreless relief for the Bison. Jake Drew finished the final pair of innings, but gave up a run as the Bison took the 9-1 victory.
As fruitful as the Bison offense was Friday night, the hitting prowess switched dugouts overnight. Omaha used a trio of four-run innings to pull away from NDSU.
Omaha’s Ben Palensky opened the scoring in the second. The Maverick right fielder took Blake Stockert’s offering over the wall down the left field line for a solo home run.
The Mavericks made it 5-0 in the third. Thomas DeBonville knocked in the first run of the inning with a single to left center.
Keil Krumwiede got credit with an RBI with a ground ball that scored Cole Thibodeau. Braden Rogers singled to right field to score DeBonville. Adam Caniglia made it three straight Omaha hitters with an RBI with a double to score Rogers.
The Bison made it a game in the fourth off the bat of Carter Thompson. The sophomore lifted a home run to left-center to make it 5-2. It was the first home run in Thompson’s career at NDSU.
Any good feelings were quickly scattered in the sixth for the Bison. The Mavericks roughed up Bison relievers Hunter Koep and Kyle Ferderer. Thibodeau chalked up his second RBI of the day with a single through the right side.
Thibodeau scored on a wild pitch from Ferderer to make it 7-0. Caniglia was hit by a pitch to bring in a run and then scored on a passed ball.
Omaha tacked on four more runs in the ninth for good measure to take the game 13-2.
At the plate, Hostetler and Mason Pierzchalski both chalked up a pair of hits to lead the Bison.
NDSU moved to 16-18 (8-10 in the Summit) and faced off with Omaha Sunday afternoon. The Bison return to action on Tuesday against Mayville State.