GRAND FORKS, N.D. - After opening Great West play with three consecutive series on the road, the Fighting Sioux are now set to host three straight league series starting this weekend. UND will take on Northern Colorado in a four-game set starting Friday at 3 p.m. Saturday’s doubleheader starts at Noon and Sunday’s game time has been moved up one hour to also start at Noon.
Live Stats and Audio: www.FightingSioux.com (Free)
All-time: UNC leads 14-11
Last meeting: UND won 5-1 (GWC Tournament; 5/24)
UND head coach Jeff Dodson vs. UNC: 3-6
UNC head coach Carl Iwasaki vs. UND: 4-1
PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS
Game One - Friday, April 27, 3 p.m. CT (Kraft Field)
Northern Colorado - RHP Jess Amedee, Fr. (2-1, 3.94 ERA)
North Dakota - RHP Andrew Thome, Fr. (0-1, 4.76 ERA)
Game Two - Saturday, April 28, 12 p.m. CT (Kraft Field)
Northern Colorado - RHP Chris Hammer, Fr. (2-1, 2.75 ERA)
North Dakota - RHP Tyler Ruemmele, Fr. (0-1, 4.85 ERA)
Game Three - Saturday, April 28, 2 p.m. CT (Kraft Field)
Northern Colorado - LHP Joe Willman, Sr. (1-1, 5.59 ERA)
North Dakota - LHP Ben Clark, Fr. (0-2, 5.93 ERA)
Game Four - Sunday, April 29, 4 p.m. CT (Kraft Field)
Northern Colorado - TBA
North Dakota - RHP Jeff Campbell, Fr. (1-2, 6.33 ERA)
* Great West stats
IN THE DUGOUT
• The Sioux carry a four-game home winning streak into their first Great West Conference series at Kraft Field this season.
• UND is coming off a doubleheader sweep of Valley City State where the Sioux held on for a 7-6 victory in game one, then pounded the Vikings 21-10 in the night cap.
• The Sioux clubbed five home runs in the twin bill, including a season-high four in game two. The 21 runs and 20 hits in the night cap were also season highs for the offense.
• Freshman Jeff Campbell (Clearwater, Fla.) hit two of those home runs in the second game to give him a team-leading six on the season. He also had a single in the opener to extend his hitting streak to 12 games. That is the longest streak by a Sioux player this season. Campbell also equaled his season-high with four RBI and leads the team with 29 on the season.
• Classmate Tyler Follis (Bemidji, Minn.) went 7-for-9 in the twin bill, including a 5-for-5 effort in game two. Follis pushed his hitting streak to 10 games, which is the second time this season he has put together such a streak.
• Follis raised his average to .397 on the season, which is tops among all freshman in NCAA Division I baseball entering the weekend.
• Leftfielder Padraic Getchell (Stillwater, Minn.) accounted for seven RBI in the doubleheader sweep of Valley City State. His fourth-inning grand slam in game two was the first home run of his career and first bases-clearing long ball of the season for the Sioux. He finished that game with a career-high five RBI.
• Getchell had five RBI in his first 20 collegiate games entering the doubleheader.
• Senior Kyle Bolander (Hermantown, Minn.) homered and drove in three runs in each game of the VCSU doubleheader. His two-run homer in game one proved pivotal as it put the Sioux ahead 7-3 in a game they would go onto win 7-6.
• Bolander was also hit by a pitch three times in the night cap, which tied a UND single-game record. He leads the team with 12 HBP’s this season, which is the eighth most in a single season.
• UND enters the series with Norther Colorado riding a three-game winning streak.
• The Bears swept the regular-season series last year in Greeley, but the seventh-seeded Sioux upset the second-seeded Bears in the opening round of the GWC Tournament at Kraft Field in late May.
• The squad won its first GWC game in the series final at NJIT behind Campbell, who tossed his third complete game of the season. The victory was his team-leading second of the season. Campbell fanned a career-high seven Highlanders in the 6-3 victory, allowing only seven hits.
• Campbell and the rest of the UND pitching staff had its best weekend of the season, allowing only 11 earned runs in the 34 innings of baseball in New Jersey (2.91 ERA). Seven UND hurlers combined for 29 strikeouts, while walking only six.
• Freshman Andrew Thome (St. Cloud, Minn.) registered his second complete game of the season in a 7-5 loss in the night cap of Friday’s doubleheader. He struck out six Highlanders and allowed only three earned runs in eight innings.
• Classmate Tyler Ruemmele (Eden Prairie, Minn.) struck out a career-high nine is six innings of work in game one of Saturday’s doubleheader.
• Freshman Alex Twenge (Minnetonka, Minn.) led the Sioux with a .429 average in the series at NJIT. Twenge, who made his first 10 appearances for UND as a relief pitcher this season, started all four games behind the plate vs. the Highlanders.
• Twenge is filling in for sophomore Zack Trygstad (Wayzata, Minn.), who will be relegated to designated hitter duties the rest of the season.
• Twenge was one of four Sioux players to register three RBI in the NJIT series.
• Follis went 7-for-17 to hit .417 against NJIT and raise his team-leading average to .368. Follis scored a team-high five runs in the series.
• Follis, Bolander and junior Riley Beck (Munich, N.D.) also had three RBI vs. NJIT.
• Follis has reached base in 19 straight, while Campbell’s streak is up to 17 straight.
• Beck stole three bases against VCSU and is now 9-for-9 on the season in that category.
• Fourth-year head coach Jeff Dodson’s 27-man roster is filled with 10 returning letterwinners, three redshirt freshmen and 14 newcomers (11 true freshmen). Two of those 14 newcomers will be sitting out due to NCAA transfer rules.
SCOUTING THE BEARS
Head coach Carl Isawaki has the Bears off to a 17-22 start overall and 7-5 mark in GWC play during his second season at the helm of the program. He guided UNC to a second-place finish in the GWC standings last season with a 19-7 record. The Bears’ overall record was 24-32.
After losing three of four to NJIT in their opening GWC series, the Bears swept NYIT and split a series with Houston Baptist. UNC took all four games from UND in a wild regular-season series last year by the scores of 17-6 (7), 11-9 (7), 19-18 and 14-13.
Shortstop Adam Hilker is the team’s top hitter with a .390 average, but he is not one of three Bears hitting over .400 in GWC play. Leftfielder Jensen Park leads that trio with a .432 clip in league play. He is one of the top hitting freshmen in the country with a .359 overall batting average. First baseman Casey Coy is batting .404 in league play and leads the team with 15 RBI in those contests. Right fielder Adrian Schenk tops the team with 30 RBI, while third baseman Tony Crudo has three of the team’s eight home runs.
Freshman Jess Amedee has been the team’s top pitcher and will start Friday afternoon. He is 4-2 with a 4.58 ERA and also has a team-best two saves. He is 2-1 in GWC starts with a 3.94 ERA. Sophomore Chris Hammer is also 2-1 in league play and boasts a 2.75 ERA. Left-hander Nate Steinmetz has 21 punchouts in 15 innings, but has allowed 15 earned runs (9.00 ERA).
GLANCE AT THE GREAT WEST
The Fighting Sioux will be embarking on their third season in Great West Conference play in 2012. Utah Valley won the league’s inaugural regular season and tournament titles in 2010 and 2011. The conference season will culminate in Orem, Utah with the GWC Tournament May 22-26 at Brent Brown Ballpark. The other six members of the league are Chicago State, Houston Baptist, New York Tech, NJIT, Northern Colorado and Texas-Pan American. The Great West is the second conference affiliation for UND in program history. UND spent its Division II years playing in the North Central Conference. New York Tech and Northern Colorado are associate members for baseball.