CHICAGO – After being held to two runs in a 10-inning loss to Chicago State yesterday, the North Dakota offense erupted for 25 runs on 25 hits as the Sioux pounded the Cougars twice on Friday to earn a doubleheader sweep at Brooks Field.
With a 9-2 victory in game one and a 16-10 victory in game two, UND (16-35, 9-18 GWC) pulled even with Chicago State (12-37, 9-18 GWC) in the Great West Conference standings. The winner of Saturday’s series finale will earn the No. 6 seed at the GWC Tournament next week in Orem, Utah, while the loser will be the No. 7 seed.
“We bounced back and swung the bats a lot better to get these two wins today,” UND head coach Jeff Dodson said. “It was a total team effort throughout both games, but we have to keep this momentum going into tomorrow and try to get another series win.”
Game One – UND 9, Chicago State 2 (7 innings)
Freshman Tyler Ruemmele (Eden Prairie, Minn.) picked up his first collegiate win in the opener as the Sioux offense scored nine runs on nine hits to even the series at a game apiece.
Ruemmele limited the Cougars to just two earned runs on five hits in 5.2 innings pitched. His offense staked him to a big lead early in the contest as the Sioux bats pushed across six runs in the third after scoring one each in the first two frames.
In the third, sophomore Zack Trygstad (Wayzata, Minn.) led off with a single and capped the scoring with a two-run double. CSU pitchers hit three Sioux batters and freshman Tyler Follis (Bemidji, Minn.) also had a RBI-single in the big inning.
Ruemmele allowed just one more earned over the next 4.2 innings as he finished with two punch outs. Freshman Chris Knoll (Minnetonka, Minn.) tossed 1.1 innings of hitless relief to finish out the game.
Trygstad had those two third-inning hits and equaled his season high with three RBI and Follis went 2-for-4 to pace the offense.
Game Two – UND 16, Chicago State 10
The Sioux bats kept their momentum from the opener, scoring a season-high 16 runs in a GWC game on 16 hits. Senior Kyle Bolander (Hermantown, Minn.) homered and doubled twice as he equaled his career high with four RBI in the night cap, while junior Kris Kwak (Maple Grove, Minn.) and freshman Alex Twenge (Minnetonka, Minn.) also had three hits each in game two.
UND wasted little time surging ahead as the visitors plated five runs in the first and three in the second to quickly build an 8-1 lead. Bolander mashed a three-run homer and Trygstad and freshman Sam Alt (Lino Lakes, Minn.) both added RBI singles in the team’s opening at-bat. Bolander’s home run was his eighth of the season, which ranks third among GWC hitters.
The Cougars got to Sioux starter Ben Clark (White Bear Lake, Minn.) in the third, plating three runs to make it an 8-4 contest, but the home team would never get closer than that.
Freshman reliever Brett DeGagne’ (Sauk Rapids, Minn.) came in for Clark and worked 3.2 innings in place of the left-hander. He scattered six hits and allowed two runs to pick up his third win of the season.
The teams traded three runs over the next two innings before Twenge belted his second home run of the season in the sixth to push UND’s lead back to six at 13-7. The Sioux catcher finished with a season-high three RBI. Trygstad had two more hits and two more RBI in game two.
Bolander added a RBI-double in the seventh, while Kwak had a RBI-double in the fourth. The Sioux added two more in the eighth and added a single tally in the ninth to cap the scoring.
Follis had two hits in each game as well to push his team-leading total in multiple-hit games to 21.
The series finale is set to start at 12 p.m. on Saturday.
– UND –