The series win is fourth-in-a-row for Bison
The NDSU baseball team split a doubleheader and won a single game versus the St. Thomas Tommies in St. Paul, Minn., this weekend. After being shut out 6-0 in Saturday’s first contest, the Bison won 4-1 in the latter game to earn the split. On Sunday, the Bison won a back-and-forth battle, 8-7, thanks to a solid relief effort by Tristen Roehrich. The game was moved to Koch Diamond in St. Paul as the field at Newman Outdoor Field was unplayable.
In game one, it was all Tommies, as they scored six runs on 11 hits while NDSU managed just two hits. Early on, Kyle Halvorsen propelled UST to a two-run lead after he went the distance against Bison pitcher Max Loven. In the sixth inning, the Tommie’s Avery Lehman extended the lead with a sacrifice fly to make the score 3-0. In the bottom half of the inning, the Herd’s Calen Schwabe reached on a single, but the Bison could not muster anything else and left him stranded. St. Thomas would go on to add three more insurance runs in the last two innings, which was enough, as Bison bats were stifled by UST pitcher Graham Laubscher, who collected an impressive 15 strikeouts over 8.1 innings of work. For the Tommies, the 6-0 victory gave them their second Summit League victory and fifth of the year.
On the mound for NDSU, Max Loven (4-2) picked up the loss, tossing three strikeouts over seven innings of work. Reliever Joey Danielson made his sixth appearance of the year, striking out two batters over the final two frames.
In Saturday’s second game, the Bison bounced back as four runs fueled by six hits and a solid performance from pitcher Cade Feeney gave them the win on Saturday afternoon.
Sophomore Brock Anderson started the scoring in the third inning with an RBI single into centerfield that scored teammate Carson Hake. With the score at 1-0 heading into the sixth inning, St. Thomas knotted the contest up thanks to Brigs Richartz, who connected on an RBI double.
In the bottom half of the inning, Logan Williams, the Summit League Athlete of the Month for March, gave the Bison the lead back with an RBI single that scored Cadyn Schwabe. Following that, Jack Simonsen hit an RBI single of his own to score Peter Brookshaw and push the score to 3-1. Finally, in the eighth, Druw Sackett hit into a fielder’s choice, scoring Logan Williams from third base. In the top of the ninth, Bison Head Coach Tyler Oakes called on closer Jake Drew to put the Tommies away. Drew answered the call, fanning one batter while securing the 4-1 win.
At the plate, Simonsen led the way, going 2-3 with one RBI. Williams, Sackett, and Anderson also totaled 1 RBI each. On the rubber, Cade Feeney went eight innings, tossing five strikeouts and no walks in the outing. Feeney (4-1) is tied with Max Loven (4-2) for the team lead in wins. Closer Drew picked up his fifth save of the season, which also leads the team.
On Sunday, at Koch Diamond in St. Paul, Minn., the Toms jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning thanks to a home run from Brigs Richartz. However, Peter Brookshaw quickly responded in NDSU’s half of the inning with a two-run shot of his own to even the score at 2-2.
With the score now 3-2, St. Thomas tacked on three more runs off Bison pitcher Evan Sankey.
Entering the bottom of the fourth with the Herd down 6-2, Charley Hesse launched a three-run home run off pitcher Devon Schewe to give the Bison a spark and bring them within one run. In the very next at-bat, Calen Schwabe connected and hit his first home run of the season, tying the contest at 6-6. Druw Sackett gave the Bison an insurance run in the sixth with a homer of his own and NDSU’s third of the day. In the same inning, Calen Schwabe collected his second RBI and hit of the day when he singled to score Charley Hesse.
St. Thomas was able to get one more run in the outing thanks to Kyle Halvorsen’s second home run of the day, but reliever Tristen Roehrich had his way, shutting down the Toms in the eighth and ninth innings en route to his fourth victory of the season. Over six innings of work, Roehrich (4-1) collected a career-best eight KOs and zero walks.
Totaling nine hits in the outing, Charley Hesse (2-3, 2 RBIs) and Calen Schwabe (2-4, 1 RBI) paced the Bison in a game that featured several lead changes.
By winning the series finale 8-7 against the Tommies, the Bison have now won all three series to start Summit League play and sit with a one-game lead atop the Summit League standings.
The Bison (19-10, 7-2 Summit) are currently scheduled to square off against the Omaha Mavericks (14-15, 6-3 Summit) this upcoming weekend at Newman Outdoor Stadium. Sitting first and second, respectively, atop the Summit League standings, this series between the Bison and Mavs will be critical for seeding later in the season, as this is the only regular-season series scheduled between the two teams this year. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. on Friday evening, 2 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday.