The calendar turns to March, the month were winter sports see championships, and spring sports look for warm places to play. This is the case for North Dakota State athletics, where the competition is just heating up.
The Bison are at the Easton Crimson Classic in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. They opened play with a 3-2 win over DePaul in extra innings Friday afternoon. Logan Moreland tripled in the eighth inning to bring home Maritza Lopez-Portillo to win the game. Jacquelyn Sertic was the winning pitcher.
The Bison played the Alabama Crimson Tide Friday evening, falling to the second ranked team in the nation 15-2. Saturday would see another doubleheader of games. The Bison would get back at the Tide, with a 2-1 upset win. Sertic would pick up her second win of the tournament, going seven innings, striking out three and only giving up four hits.
The momentum would continue into the final game of the day, as the Bison would down Louisiana-Monroe 9-1. The Herd were led by Jenna Isbel who went 3-for-3 at the plate with an RBI. The Bison would score three in the fifth and add another four in the sixth to close out the game. The Bison moved to 10-8 on the season.
The Bison were in Port Charlotte, Florida at the Snowbird Baseball Classic. The Herd won its only game on Friday, beating Maine 4-3. The Black Bears held the lead going into the eighth inning, but Brayden Resch hit an RBI double to plate Alec Abercrombie to tie the game at three before Juan Gamez hit a sacrifice fly to score Resch. Reilver Luke Lind was credited for his second win of the season, after a solid effort by starter Zach Mayo striking out a career-high eight batters in 4.2 innings of work. Sean Terres would claim the save, his third of the year.
The first game of a Saturday doubleheader saw the Bison lose to St. Bonaventure 6-1. The Bonnies got going early, scoring three in both the second and third innings. The Bison could only muster one hit in the contest.
The hitting woes continued for seven innings in the afternoon matchup with Boston College. Trailing 1-0, the Bison got baserunners and a pair of hits. Pinch hitter Taylor Sanders picked up the team’s first hit after Jeron Terres was hit by a pitch. Back-to-back walks by Abercrombie and Resch would score Terres, before a Mason Pierzchalski would hit a bases clearing double give the Bison a 4-1 lead. Boston College would get one back in the ninth, for a final score of 4-2.
Hayden Zimmer will be fighting for a Big 12 Crown Sunday afternoon. Zimmer will fight Oklahoma State’s Nolan Boyd in the 184 finals after moving past Iowa State’s Dane Pestano in the semifinals. Zimmer improved his record to 30-3 on the season. Four other Bison will have to go through the consolation semifinals. Josh Rodriguez, Mitch Bengtson, Clay Ream and Ben Tynan all suffered a loss, but are still alive in the consolation brackets.