OAKDALE, N.Y.-- Sophomore Andrew Thome fired a complete-game shutout as UND blanked NYIT Friday morning in the opener of a four-game Great West Conference series. Thome allowed just five hits in garnering his sixth career complete game without an earned run.
"Thome was the story today," UND head coach Jeff Dodson said. "We scored five in the second inning to get him the lead and neither offense mounted much after that. Both pitchers cruised from there on out. We managed to get out of some situations, including a double play to end the game.
"We've got some little things to keep working on. Our frequency of play has caused some issues with consistency. It's good to get our first win in the opener of a conference series."
Jeff Campbell had a key two-run single in that second inning for North Dakota (12-15-1, 3-6 Great West) as it sent 10 men to the plate in that frame. Zack Trygstad led off with a walk, followed by a hit batter and a bunt single by Matt Wehrli. A Jacob Threlkeld sacrifice fly produced the first run and an RBI single by Kris Kwak made it 2-0. Another run scored on an error and with two down, Campbell pushed home the final two runs of the inning to run his hitting streak to five straight and stake Thome to a big lead.
Thome was in control, going the minimum three batters in five of the final eight innings. The biggest threats came in the first and last innings. In the first, NYIT (5-34, 3-10 GWC) had runners at the corners with just one out until the right-hander got a flyout and a groundout to end the threat. IN the ninth, a single and a walk had two runners on base for the first time since that opening inning. He started a 1-6-3 double play to wrap-up the shutout and the win.
Thome's final line had four strikeouts and two walks in going the distance. He has now finished the job in half of his eight starts this season. Wehrli had a pair of hits to pace the UND offense which produced seven hits Friday.
The teams will move the rest of the series to St. John's College in Patachogue, N.Y. with 11 a.m. Central time starts on both Saturday (doubleheader) and Sunday.
Notes: UND beat NYIT 5-0 last season in the first game of the series behind a complete three-hitter by Thome ... In his two career starts against NYIT, Thome is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 18 IP and just eight hits allowed with 15 Ks ... Four of his eight career wins are complete-game shutouts.