North Dakota opens its final homestand of the year Wednesday, a five-game stretch that includes non-conference tilts against North Dakota State (May 7) and South Dakota State (May 12) with a three-game WAC series vs. Grand Canyon (May 9-11) in between.
UND will close its 2014 regular season with a three-game set at Sacramento State, May 15-17, in a series that looms large in terms of qualifying for the postseason WAC Tournament. The Hornets currently hold down the top spot while North Dakota is currently just one game back of the sixth and final playoff seed.
ABOUT NORTH DAKOTA STATE
NDSU is 17-21 overall and 8-10 in Summit League play. The Bison are led offensively by Tim Colwell, who sports a .397 batting average and 14 stolen bases. He leads the team with 19 multi-hit games and carries a 15-game hitting streak into Wednesday’s contest.
UND took a 4-3 win in Fargo, N.D. on April 29, thanks in part to a complete-game effort on the mound from senior Patrick Riewer. In his first start on the mound in a UND uniform, Riewer threw 135 pitches and did not allow a run past the third inning to earn his first of the season. Taylor Petersen collected three hits in the win for North Dakota.
COPE WELL GAME
Wednesday’s game will be the 3rd annual Cope Well Cancer Awareness Game. We invite Cope Well Members, along with EVERYONE in the community, to join us at Kraft Field to help us cheer on the guys while they honor those in the community whose lives have been affected by cancer. FREE Admission for ALL, plus, stop by the Cope Well table to receive a FREE hot dog and bag of chips! The team will be wearing special purple T-shirts during batting practice and wristbands for the game to help promote awareness. See the booth located right inside the entrance to see how to go home with an autographed t-shirt signed by the entire team!
GOING DEEP AND GRABBING A “W”
As of Tuesday morning, just eight NCAA Division I players have hit a homerun and won that same game on the mound. UND junior Jeff Campbell turned the trick in a March 16th 10-4 win at Utah Valley.
THE BUCK STOPS HERE
UND head coach Jeff Dodson is one win away from catching former coach Gene Roebuck in terms of career victories at UND (99). Roebuck coached the team from 1990-93 and led the team to the 1993 NCAA North Central Regional. Roebuck was also a Hall of Fame women’s basketball coach at UND (1987-2012).
All-time winningest UND baseball coaches
COACH WINS YEARS
Kelvin Ziegler 326 1994-2007
Pinky Kraft 207 1956-81
Gene Roebuck 99 1990-93
Jeff Dodson 98 2009-pres.
EXTRA-BASE FEATS FOR TAY PETE
Senior Taylor Petersen has come on strong with the bat of late, with 11 hits in his last 30 at bats (.367). In that stretch, Petersen has five doubles and a walk-off dinger to give him a team-high 14 extra-base hits for the season.
Patrick Riewer made his first start on the mound in a UND uniform a memorable one. After making just three appearances for a combined total of three innings on the season, Riewer threw a complete game, helping UND past North Dakota State on April 29. The senior did not allow a run after the third inning and struck out six in the win.
WINNER IN THE CLASSROOM, TOO
Riewer’s achievements also extend to the classroom, where he is a 4.0 GPA student in chemical engineering. He was recently named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District team and will advance to the All-America ballot.
Freshman Zach Muckenhirn has flirted with a no-hitter twice already this season, taking a no-no into the fifth on April 26 at Chicago State and etching a perfect game until two down in the sixth on May 3rd at UTPA. He continues to lead North Dakota regular starters with a 3.07 ERA and 43 strikeouts.
Four different UND players have put together reached base streaks of 12 or more this season. Ryan Reese had a season-high 19-game streak earlier in the season. Daniel Lockhert owns the second-longest at 14 while Taylor Petersen (13) and Jeff Campbell (12) also joined the mix.
Freshman Zach Muckenhirn turned in the longest outing by a UND starter in two seasons in his April 19 win at Chicago State. The lefty fired a no-hitter through four and had a one-hitter into the ninth inning. After giving up a run in that ninth, the game went extras and he got an out in the 10th to go 9.1 IP, longest since Trent Egan threw 9.2 IP against Minot State in 2012.
North Dakota moved its home-opening series with Northern Colorado to Bismarck, N.D. and the all-turf field at Shiloh Christian. UND swept all three games from the Bears and improved to 6-3 in the Western Athletic Conference with the wins.
HOW SWEEP IT IS
UND’s three-game sweep of UNC marked a first for North Dakota in its Division I era. Since the transition to D1, UND had never before swept a conference series in four years in the Great West and this first year in the WAC. North Dakota also won its fourth straight conference game, a first in the D1 era.
REESE NABS FIRST WAC HONOR
Junior Ryan Reese hit .500 (6-of-12) with a pair of doubles and five RBI in a series win at Utah Valley Mar. 14-16 to net him Western Athletic Conference Player of the Week honors. He had a hit in all three games and extended his streak of reaching base to eight straight. He becomes the first North Dakota player to earn this award.
North Dakota has scored 10 runs three times this season. UND is 2-1 in those games with the only loss a slim 11-10 setback at Bakersfield.
GETTING TRYGGY WITH IT
Senior Zack Trygstad has 10 career triples to his credit, putting him into second place all-time at North Dakota. He is just one shy of the career mark held by Josh Ray (11).
WATCH IT LIVE
Watch any of the remaining home games live on UND Insider on UNDsports.com. Tim Hennessy has the call.
TUNE IN ON 1440-AM
Select UND home games are also available locally on KKXL 1440-AM in Grand Forks. Wednesday’s rivalry tilt with the Bison will be the first opportunity to hear UND baseball on the radio and the home finale with South Dakota State on Mon., May 12 will alos be available.
Freshman Zach Muckenhirn had a college debut to remember, twirling 6.2 innings without allowing an earned run in a no-decision against Central Arkansas on Mar. 1. He left with a 3-1 lead in the seventh, settling in after two base hits to start the game, squandering just four total hits for the game.
ALL-GREAT WEST PERFORMERS LAST SEASON
Four UND athletes took home All-Great West Conference honors at last season’ pre-tournament banquet. Headlining the group was first team catcher Taylor Petersen who was part of a first team that had 10 new honorees from a season ago. Three UND players were second team members led by SP Andrew Thome, who was the only repeat all-conference member on the second team. He was joined by SP Alex Twenge and 3B Ryan Reese.
OFF TO THE WAC
North Dakota joins fellow former-Great West Conference members Chicago State, Northern Colorado, Texas-Pan American and Utah Valley as additions to the WAC this season.
UND already has a relationship with the WAC as the women’s and men’s swimming teams are affiliate members in the league. The addition will give the WAC a total of 10 teams for baseball as North Dakota will join CSU Bakersfield, Chicago State, Grand Canyon, New Mexico State, Northern Colorado, Sacramento State, Seattle U, Texas-Pan American and Utah Valley in 2014.