Bison win fifth league series and 8th straight game in final road trip
Coming off of a nice non-conference win at Nebraska on Wednesday, the North Dakota State University baseball team, (aka ‘The Road Warriors’) looked to continue their winning ways upon resuming their league schedule in Greeley, Colo., where a three-game series with the Bears of Northern Colorado awaited the second-place Bison.
The Herd did not disappoint as they swept the series held at Jackson Field by winning Friday’s opener in extra innings 7-5 (10) while games two and three were Bison victories shortened by the 10-run rule, 18-3 and 10-0. The Bison (19-26, 13-5 Summit) have now extended their season-best win streak to eight games and solidified their hold on second place in the Summit League.
Herd sneaks past Bears in extras, 7-5 –
The Bison struck first in this contest when Stephen Lund hit a solo home run top left to put the Bison up 1-0. In the fifth, with two outs, four singles by the Bison would extend the lead to 3-0. Will Busch started with a single to center. He advanced to third on Cadyn Schwabe’s single to right field. Peter Brookshaw’s single scored Busch and Druw Sackett’s single scored Schwabe.
UNC answered with two of their own in the bottom half. Jackson Romero tripled with one out and scored on Jake King’s fielder’s choice groundout to first base. Hayden Heinze then hit the first of three Bears’ singles, the third of which brought Heinze across the plate to bring UNC within one at 3-2.
Cade Feeney took the hill for the Bison going for his sixth win in his last seven starts. Through the first four innings, he did everything he needed to accomplish just that. After surrendering the two earned runs to Northern Colorado in the fifth, he shut the Bears out in the sixth and left the game with win number six, if the bullpen could hold.
In the sixth, UNC’s top of the order took that win away from Feeney courtesy of the Bison bullpen. King led off with a double off NDSU’s Joey Danielson and Heinze singled to right scoring him. Craig Kenny then singled to score Heinze. Just like that, after three batters, the Bears now had a 4-3 lead.
The Bison returned the favor in the eighth. Druw Sackett drew a one-out walk. A fielder’s choice and an error got Sackett to third. Sackett eventually scored on Jack Steil’s sac fly to tie the game at 4-4. Terrell Huggins, who reached on the error, then scored on Stephen Lund’s double. Now the Bison had the one-run lead heading into the ninth inning.
Danielson got the first out in the Bears’ ninth. He was then pulled for Skyler Riedinger who promptly gave up the game-tying home run to UNC’s Hayden Heinze, who hit the NDSU pitching staff one more time.
Fortunately for the Bison, they quickly scored in the top half of the tenth on Jack Steil’s home run and Carson Hake’s triple which scored Stephen Lund who reached on a single. Riedinger now had a two-run cushion and another chance to close out the Bears.
After allowing two runners to reach, Riedinger struck out the last two batters he faced to put game one in the win column for the Bison. Riedinger (2-3) got the win while Bears’ reliever Kevin Sharp (1-1) took the loss.
Bison crush Bears in run-rule shortened game 18-3 –
NDSU scored in all seven innings, including six runs in the fifth, to crush Northern Colorado in game two of their Summit League series. Tristen Roehrich (5-5) pitched masterfully giving up two hits over his six innings of work.
NDSU’s bottom half of the order batted .461 in the game, scoring nine of the 18 runs and collecting seven RBIs. Stephen Lund led the way for NDSU going 2-of-3 at the plate to go along with two RBI and a season-high four runs. Davis Hamilton also went 2-of-3 at the plate with three RBI and one run. Amazingly, the Bison left 12 runners on base and did not hit a home run.
Trey Cruz (1-7) took the loss for the Bears. The UNC pitching staff gave the Bison plenty of help as they hit four Bison batters, walked another nine and the defense made two errors to assist the Bison in their win.
Bison sweep series with another shortened contest –
NDSU starter Parker Puetz led the Bison to another series sweep on Sunday with a seven-inning shutout of the Bears. Puetz (2-0) struck out five while spreading four hits across his seven innings of work. It was his first complete game win for NDSU.
The Bison at the plate were, for the second consecutive game, on fire. Terrell Huggins’ 3 for 4 performance to include a run scored and two RBI and Cadyn Schwabe’s 2 for 5 performance, also with a run scored and two RBI led the way offensively for the Herd. Eight players scored at least once for the Bison and only James Dunlap, of the starting nine, did not score for the Bison.
Peter Brookshaw hit his team-leading 12th home run for the Bison before leaving the game after being hit by UNC starter Murphy Gienger’s pitch in the third inning. Gienger received the loss for the Bears surrendering six earned runs on seven hits over his four innings pitched.
Bison at the Plate –
– The Bison recorded similar numbers to last week’s series against Western Illinois. The 35 runs and 36 hits are both more than last week’s “video game numbers” as NDSU Head Coach Tyler Oakes referred to them last week.
– Stephen Lund had a good weekend at the plate batting .454 and driving in five runs while scoring seven.
Bison on the Mound –
– NDSU’s starting three had another good weekend. Feeney did not get the win but had the lead when he left his game on Friday. Roehrich and Puetz won their contests handily while surrendering no earned runs.
Next up for the Herd –
The Omaha Mavericks come to Newman Outdoor Field next week to face the Bison. The Mavericks (18-22, 7-11 Summit) currently reside in fourth place in the Summit. The series is scheduled for Friday night, Saturday afternoon and Sunday afternoon. The first pitch Friday is at 6:30 p.m.