Opening Summit League play, North Dakota State tallied 44 runs over three games, earning their sixth win in a row as well as first place in the Summit League standings.
After ending their 20-game non-conference stint, NDSU traveled to Greeley, Colo. this past weekend to take on the Bears of Northern Colorado. The Bison, who took home the Summit League Championship last season, heading into this season with high expectations and hopes of repeating as champions. The Herd showed Northern Colorado their A-game, with wins of 20-3, 9-5, and 15-1 setting several records in the process.
In Friday’s game one, junior Jack Simonsen (2-4, 5 RBIs) lit the scoreboard up for the Bison, as he launched a solo shot in the second inning and a grand slam in the third. Simonsen’s RBIs provided some insurance in the bottom half of the third as Northern Colorado tacked on two runs of their own. However, from there on out, it was all NDSU.
In the fifth, the barrage kept coming, as Peter Brookshaw (2-4, 3 RBIs) and Druw Sackett (1-3, 1 RBI) each hit solo home runs of their own to push the lead to 7-2. Following a scoreless inning from the Bears, the Bison put the game away for good with a 10-run sixth inning highlighted by home runs from Logan Williams and Will Busch. RBI doubles from Cadyn Schwabe (2-5, 2 RBIs) and Brock Anderson (3-3, 1 RBI) added to the barrage.
Later, North Dakota State was able to get three more runs from miscues by NCU, which pushed the score to 20-3. In only seven innings of baseball, the NDSU’s 20 runs were the most since 2019, when they also scored 20 runs versus Purdue-Fort Wayne. The six home runs are one shy of the team record set back in 1998.
With multiple players contributing to their offensive attack, the Bison continue to provide multiple threats at the plate. With a career-high five RBIs Jack Simonsen lead the way for the Bison, as his two early home runs set the tone for the game.
On the mound, Max Loven (3-1), went a solid six innings and pitched four strikeouts. Closer Shea Zetterman wrapped up the game in the final inning, picking up two KOs.
Continuing their success from the first game, the Bison used a late rally sparked by junior Terrell Huggins to take game two, 9-5, on Saturday.
Northern Colorado, who only has six wins on the season thus far, grabbed the early lead by scoring in the first and third innings. With the score at 2-0, Logan Williams punched a solo shot to give the Bison a run of their own in the fourth inning. Moments later, Terrell Huggins roped a three-run homer to left field to give the Herd their first lead of the game.
Northern Colorado came back and tied the game up thanks to Shayden Kubo, whose infield single scored Chase Cromer. However, the Bison grabbed the lead back, as Terrell Huggins’ two-RBI double made the score 5-4. Later in the inning, the Bison were able to put the game out of reach, as they tacked on four more runs, highlighted by Brock Anderson’s home run to secure the 9-5 win.
At the plate, North Dakota State collected 11 hits and three home runs. Leading the way was Terrell Huggins, whose two hits were good for a season-high five RBIs.
Flamethrower Cade Feeney got the start for the Bison and tied his career-high in strikeouts with seven. Tristen Roehrich (3-1) notched his third win of the year, as he mowed down five batters over the final 3 2/3 innings of work.
On Sunday, in another shortened contest, the Bison ran rampant over Northern Colorado again, collecting 15 runs and 15 hits, to pace themselves to the series sweep.
For the Bears, Shayden Kubo homered to left field to give the Bears their only run of the day. A few innings later, Charley Hesse cranked his first home run of the season to even the contest at 1-1. Following up on his performance in game one of the series, Jack Simonsen delivered a two-RBI double to expand the lead 3-1.
NDSU kept the pedal to the metal in the fourth frame and grabbed an 8-1 led by Logan Williams’s grand slam. One inning later, Williams bolstered his impressive outing and hit another grand slam to make the score 12-1. Ultimately, the Bison ended up winning 15-1, starting Summit League play with an impressive sweep.
Leading the charge at the plate was Logan Williams, who went 3-5 with two grand slams and a career-high eight RBIs. Joining Williams, Peter Brookshaw went 3-3 with four runs and one RBI.
On the hill, Evan Sankey tossed a season-high six strikeouts and no walks in his outing. To close the contest, Joey Danielson retired the side in the bottom of the seventh, capping off a weekend where the Bison pitchers absolutely dominated NCU batters.
Next week, the Bison (15-8, 3-0 Summit) head to Macomb, Ill. to take on Western Illinois (2-19, 0-3 Summit) for a three-game series.
Logan Williams named Summit League Player of the Week
Following his superb weekend in Colorado, catcher Logan Williams was named the TicketSmarter Summit League Player of the Week for the first time in his career on Monday.
Williams was a large contributor in this weekend’s series against Northern Colorado, as he totaled a team-high 11 RBIs and four home runs. With that effort, he now has 10 homers on the year, good enough to lead the Summit League and 10th place in the nation. The Kailua, Hawaii native had a blistering .429 average at the plate while collecting 18 total bases on six hits and scoring five runs in the series.