Bison baseball drops a back-and-forth contest to Gophers 12-9

NDSU bullpen surrenders four runs in late innings

In a contest that saw five lead changes through the first seven innings, the North Dakota State University baseball team gave up three runs in the seventh and another in the eighth and fell to the Minnesota Golden Gophers 12-9 in non-conference action on Tuesday night in Minneapolis, Minn.

            The Bison carried a slim 9-8 lead heading into the Gopher half of the seventh inning. However, NDSU’s bullpen could not hold that lead giving up three runs when the Gophers’ catcher, Riley Swenson, hit a three-run homer to give Minnesota the lead at 11-9.

            NDSU opened the scoring in the top of the first bringing four runners across the plate. Cadyn Schwabe led the game off with a single, then advanced to second on a passed ball. Next, Schwabe advanced to third when the Gophers misplayed Druw Sackett’s grounder. With the bases loaded, following a walk to Peter Brookshaw, Schwabe scored on a wild pitch by Minnesota starter Cam Blazek. The Bison then connected on three consecutive singles by James Dunlap, Davis Hamilton and Will Busch each driving in a run to give the Bison a 4-0 lead after a half inning of play.

            The Gophers then cut the Bison lead in half at 4-2 in the bottom half of the second. But the Herd responded in the fourth by getting one of those runs back when Terrell Huggins collected one of his four RBIs on the night driving in Cadyn Schwabe to make it 5-2 NDSU.

            Then, the Gophers erupted for four runs in the fifth. A groundout scored one, Gopher first baseman Weber Neels hit a solo homer for another run and finally, Sam Hunt’s double to right field scored Ike Mezzenga and Boston Merila. After the final out of the fifth, the Bison were now behind 6-5.

   Minnesota’s Kris Hokenson celebrates his double while North Dakota State’s James Dunlap (#6) covers second base at Siebel Field in Minneapolis. The Gophers defeated the Bison 12-9 in non-conference play on Tuesday night.      Photo Courtesy | Bjorn Franke

The Bison responded with another four-run inning of their own in the sixth. The big blow for the Bison was Huggins’ three-run home run to left scoring himself, Brookshaw and Schwabe. Davis Hamilton later reached on a Minnesota error which allowed NDSU’s Jack Steil to score the fourth run of the inning. After five and a half, the Bison had retaken the lead 9-6.

            But the Gophers answered back yet again on Jake Larson’s pinch-hit two-run homer to left field to pull the Gophers within one at 9-8. The following inning, Minnesota regained the lead and never looked back when Riley Swenson delivered his fatal blow to make it 11-9 in favor of the Gophers. Another home run, a solo shot in the eighth by Minnesota’s Ike Mezzenga ended the scoring at 12-9.

            The Bison tried to mount a rally in the ninth as Cadyn Schwabe singled, but there were already two outs, and the next NDSU batter, Druw Sackett, was struck out by Minnesota’s Seth Clausen, who picked up his second win of the season (2-0).

            Bison reliever Nolan Johnson (1-2) took the loss for the Bison. Minnesota had three wild pitches, one passed ball and three fielding errors to add to NDSU’s 10 hits, but the Bison still could not squeak out a victory.

Feeney named TicketSmarter Summit League Peak Co-Pitcher of the Week –

            Feeney helped guide NDSU to an 8-1 upset win over No. 23 Texas Tech in last weekend’s series opener. He earned his third straight win on the mound tossing five strikeouts with one run over 6.0 innings. The Bismarck, N.D., native registered a 1.50 ERA and limited the Red Raiders to a .158 batting average. H shared the award with Northern Colorado’s Dylan Smith.

Next up for the Herd –

NDSU (8-23, 4-2 Summit) will now continue their Summit League schedule this weekend when they face the St. Thomas Tommies in a three-game set in St. Paul, Minn. The Tommies are currently 4-18 and 2-4 in the Summit League. The Bison are scheduled to open the home portion of their schedule when they host Mayville State University at Newman Outdoor Field on Tuesday, April 18th at 6:30 p.m. Student tickets are available at

Leave a Reply