bison baseball

Bison Lose First Home Game of Year

bison baseball
Infielder Drew Fearing, sophomore, concentrates at the plate.

The North Dakota State Bison came into the weekend with a perfect record at the friendly confines of Newman Outdoor Field and were looking to remain that way as they hosted their Summit League foe the Western Illinois Leathernecks.

Coming into the first game, the Bison sat in 5th place in the Summit standings and need to move up to at least to fourth place in order to qualify for the postseason tournament.

On Friday, the first game was a back and forth affair for much of the early innings. The Leathernecks would score a run on a fielders choice in the first then added two more on a home run in the third. That was the end of WIU’s offense, however.

The Bison would lay it on in the latter innings off clutch at bats by Danny Regan (3-5, 3 RBI) and Logan Busch (1-3, 3 RBI), who lead the Bison to eventually score 12 runs and win the game 12-3.

Blake Stockert (1-3) went 6 innings and only gave up two earned runs with six strikeouts. Aaron Mitchel (1-6) would be tagged with the loss for WIU.

Saturday saw a double-header matchup as Sunday’s bought was moved due to the threat of rain in the forecast.

The Leathernecks paid back the Bison for their Friday blow out with one of their own. Western Illinois struck early and often in game one as they already had 8 runs in the fifth inning. Right fielder Cord Church was a nightmare for Bison pitchers as he went 4-5 with 5 RBI. Western would add four more runs in the eighth inning to extend the team’s lead to 12-3.

NDSU would claw back; the Bison scored 5 runs over the next two innings, but it would not be enough to get back in the game. Ian Koch (2-5) would pick up the win for Western, as NDSU’s Parker Trewin (0-1) would suffer his first loss of the season.

The finale was a much more defensive compared to the earlier games in the series, as only 3 total runs were scored in it. Luckily for the Bison, all of those runs belonged to them.

Shortstop Paul Funk (1-4, 2 RBI) would be responsible for all the runs in the game. Funk would ground out in the bottom of the third but would score catcher Juan Gamez from third to put the first run of the game on the board. Later in the fifth, he would single up the middle scoring Gamez again.

On a throwing error by the Leatherneck catcher, Drew Fearing was able to score as well to swell the lead up to 3-0. Pitcher Jordan Harms (1-1) would slam the door shut on Western Illinois. He went 6 innings, giving up 5 hits, no runs and 6 strikeouts. Brian VanderWoude would pick up his third save on the year as the Bison picked up their seventh conference win of the year.

“We played a horrible game the first game and it was nice to come back and get a win in the second one,” coach Tod Brown said after the doubleheader. “We just need to start playing more consistent baseball; it all starts on the mound and playing defense. Plus getting hits at the right time.”

With the win, NDSU approved to 7-11 in conference and 20-18 overall. They still sit in fifth place in conference but are now just one game behind that fourth and final playoff spot.

NDSU has Minnesota and a three game series with Oral Roberts to look forward to this week. All four of those games will be at Newman Outdoor.

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