The North Dakota State baseball team swept a weather-induced doubleheader Saturday against Indiana Purdue-Fort Wayne at Newman Outdoor Field, winning by scores of 7-1 and 18-6.
The matchup featured the two bottom teams in the Summit League standings as the Bison had a conference record of 2-7, while the Mastodons’ came in with only one win in its first nine Summit league matchups.
The Bison came into the game after a sloppy win over the Minot State Beavers earlier in the week, where they had to come from behind in order to secure the victory.
Game one started with a bang for the Bison as they jumped to an early 2-0 lead off catcher Juan Gamez’s two RBI single in the second inning, which scored Jayse McLean and Mason Pierzchalski. The Bison bats didn’t cool down as the team tallied five more over the remaining seven innings.
IPFW had no answer to Bison pitching. Starter Zach Mayo and reliever Brian VanderWoude combined for seven strikeouts, giving up one run on 10 hits. Mayo got the win, his third of the season.
The second game of the doubleheader saw more of a fight out of IPFW as they got on the board early with a lead-off solo home run by centerfielder Brandon Soat off of Bison starter Reed Pfannenstein. The lead would go back and forth over the next few innings until the seventh inning where the Mastodons would score four runs to take a 6-2 lead.
The Bison continued to fight back in the game as they matched IPFW’s huge seventh inning with two runs of its own. Then, when the eighth inning came around, NDSU snatched the game right from under IPFW. The Herd put eight runs on the scoreboard behind Gamez’s three RBI. NDSU would hold onto its lead and win the game 16-8. Chris Coles would picked up his second win of the season for the Bison while Jake Weber (2-3) was marked with a loss for IPFW.
With the win, NDSU head coach Tod Brown won his 200 career game, an accomplishment he said he really didn’t know about until last week.
“It really is a credit to those guys out there — those teams back in 2012, 2013 and 2014 — those really good teams that made good runs. It’s a credit to them,” Brown said.
Senior catcher Gamez, who had five RBI between the two games, had plenty of praise for his coach.
“He’s been doing it for quite a few years,” Gamez said of his coach. “And this definitely won’t be his last, he’ll break a few more records, that’s for sure.”
With the wins, NDSU improves to 4-7 in conference and get over .500 overall at 14-13. The Bison will host the University of Mary on Tuesday and rival University of North Dakota on Wednesday.