North Dakota sweeps UNC in WAC doubleheader
Courtesy: Mitch Wigness, UND Media Relations
"It doesn't matter how you win when you get a doubleheader sweep, it's always a good thing," UND head coach Jeff Dodson said. "We had timely hitting, we had tremendous pitching and brilliant defensive plays. We've got to get ready for tomorrow. It's a huge percentage-points swing if we can come out and take care of business."
Andrew Thome (1-2) threw a complete game in the opener, allowing one earned run while striking out six. He got the lead early thanks to a solo homer by Zack Trygstad to leadoff the second inning and Thome took it from there. The junior had his best outing of the season, working around seven hits and continually getting out of any trouble.
His offense would get him two more insurance runs in the fourth inning when Trygstad walked to open the inning and Ryan Reese followed with a single to right. After two outs, Patrick Riewer ripped a shot up the middle that score them both and had UND leading 3-0 at that point.
The score would remain there until the seventh when UNC pushed one across on an RBI groundout. But Thome stranded another runner at third to end the threat. He would punchout the final two batters in the final inning to grab his first win of the season.
Sam Alt, Tyler Follis and Jeff Campbell each chipped in hits for North Dakota as well in game one.
Zach Muckenhirn also struck out six in his start, going 5.2 innings of shutout ball before giving way to Tyler Ruemmele (1-2), who earned the win, throwing the final 3.1 innings with four strikeouts and an earned run.
North Dakota (5-12, 5-3) got just five hits in the second game but they were timely ones with the last three all contributing directly to runs.
It was scoreless until the sixth when UND posted two runs. It started with a long triple to the gap in left-center by Riewer and he scored a batter later on a ball in nearly the same part of the park for an RBI double by Jacob Threlkeld. He would later came across on a wild pitch for a 2-0 UND lead at that point.
UNC countered in the top of the next inning with a run and tied the score in the eighth with another tally. But, UND again had a well-placed hit as Riewer scored on Threlkeld's double down the right-field line with one down in the bottom of that inning.
Ruemmele went 1-2-3 in the ninth with a pair of strikeouts to finish the game and earn his first win on the mound as well. Follis and Campbell had the other two UND hits in the nightcap.
UND will go for the series sweep Sunday when the teams meet again at noon at Shiloh.
Note: These games were once scheduled to be home games but were moved to Bismarck due to field conditions and weather.