NDSU Tops Western Illinois to Capture Summit League Regular Season Title
FARGO, N.D. (NDSU Athletics) - The North Dakota State baseball team topped Western Illinois, 8-3, and 7-3 in a doubleheader at Newman Outdoor Field on Friday afternoon to secure its first Summit League regular season title in program history.
With the wins, NDSU improves to 30-16 (17-4 Summit) on the season and has secured the No. 1 seed in the Summit League Tournament. The Bison also reached the 30-win mark for only the seventh time program history.
In game one, NDSU ran out to a 4-0 edge after Calen Schwabe sent an RBI single into center field. Western Illinois (7-44, 4-19 Summit) cut the deficit in half in the fourth frame, 4-2, following an RBI single off the bat of Jack Sievers. Calen Schwabe and Brock Anderson answered in the fifth after they each blasted RBI singles into center field to extend the lead to 6-2.
Charley Hesse followed it up in the sixth with an RBI single into center field to make the score 7-2. One inning later, Anderson put the game out of reach, 8-2, with his fifth home run of the season to right field in the seventh. The Bison closed out the final two innings to pick up the 8-3 win.
NDSU totaled 12 hits as a team with five different players contributing two or more. Calen Schwabe paced the Bison going 3-of-4 at the plate with two RBI and one run.
Max Loven (7-4) earned the win on the mound tossing a game-high four strikeouts over 6.0 innings. Tristen Roehrich notched his sixth save of the season with two strikeouts over the final 3.0 innings.
In game two, Western Illinois grabbed the early lead, 2-1, after Nick Mitchell stole third and then was able to advance home on throwing error. Peter Brookshaw responded for the Bison with an RBI ground out to second to lock the contest, 2-2. Following a scoreless fourth, Brookshaw once again sparked NDSU sending an RBI single to center field to steal the lead, 3-2.
The Leathernecks answered in the sixth after Sievers scored a run following a caught stealing attempt. Druw Sackett then cracked game open for NDSU with a bases clearing two RBI double into deep center to steal the lead, 5-3. NDSU tacked on two more runs in the eighth after Sackett blasted an RBI double into right field and Brookshaw added an RBI single into right field to secure the 7-3 win.
Sackett led the way for the Bison posting four hits, including two doubles and one triple. He also added three RBI and two runs to his stat line.
Cade Feeney (6-3) earned the win on the hill tossing a game-best five strikeouts with no walks over 6.0 innings. Jake Drew finished the final 2.0 innings and earned his eighth save of the season, which ranks tied for third on the NDSU single-season list.
NDSU also set the program record for stolen bases in a single season with 81 after the Bison combined for five in the doubleheader.
NDSU will close out the regular season against Western Illinois tomorrow. First pitch is set for 1:00 p.m. at Newman Outdoor Field.
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