LAWRENCE, Kan. – Four Fighting Sioux freshmen came through with consecutive one-out hits in the ninth inning to propel North Dakota to a 12-9 victory over Kansas on Wednesday at Hoglund Ballpark. The win over the Jayhawks (6-6) was the first for the Sioux (1-5) in four previous meetings with KU and the first over a BCS Conference school since transitioning to the Division I level in 2009.
The four clutch hits by the Sioux rookies led to a four-run ninth inning as UND picked up its first win of the season. Freshman Jeff Campbell (Clearwater, Fla.) came through with what would prove to be the game-winning hit, lacing a single down the left field line to score Tyler Follis (Bemidji, Minn.).
Follis had tied the game at 9-9 with his third hit of the game, doubling home Padraic Getchell (Stillwater, Minn.), who got the rally started with a single. Redshirt freshman Mark Bearmon (St. Louis Park, Minn.) added a RBI-triple before junior Riley Beck (Munich, N.D.) capped the scoring with a sacrifice fly.
The big inning came off KU reliever Tanner Poppe, who struck out the side for the Jayhawks in the ninth inning of Tuesday’s 7-4 victory over UND.
Redshirt freshman Brock Johnson (Detroit Lakes, Minn.) picked up his first collegaite win in relief, tossing two scoreless innings and allowing only one hit to the Jayhawks. He pitched around a leadoff walk in the bottom of the ninth to seal the victory.
“We executed well all day and were able to put some good swings on some good pitches there in the ninth inning,” UND head coach Jeff Dodson said. “Their closer has All-American type stuff. We just did a better job of timing him up today.”
The Jayhawks had scored six unanswered after falling behind 8-3 to regain a one-run cushion going into the late innings.
It was not the first multiple-run lead of the game for KU, who had built a 3-0 lead in the first when Alex DeLeon cleared the bases with a double. UND reeled off eight straight runs, however, and senior Kyle Bolander (Hermantown, Minn.) was a big reason for that.
He had a career-high four hits and three RBI in the contest, including his second home run of the season giving UND its five-run cushion in the fourth. That came after a five-run third inning that was the highest scoring frame of the campaign for the Sioux.
UND would go scoreless over the next four frames, however, as the Jayhawks’ bullpen settled down and allowed the home team’s offense to chip away at the deficit. KU found itself back in the lead at 9-8 after plating two runs in the seventh.
Both teams went scoreless in the eighth before the Sioux erupted for four tallies in their final at-bat. Bolander led the season high 15-hit attack for UND, while Follis added three hits. Getchell and Bearmon contributed with two hits apiece.
UND will continue its road trip with a three-game series starting on Friday at Saint Louis. The Sioux and Billikens will open the series at 3 p.m., which is two hours later than originally scheduled.
– UND –