OREM, Utah - Freshman Jeff Campbell (Clearwater, Fla.) tossed a complete game and drove in a career-high six runs to lead North Dakota to an 18-7 victory over Texas-Pan American in day two of the Great West Conference Baseball Tournament. After posting a 1-0 win over NJIT in the opening round, the Sioux (19-35) broke a tournament record with their 18-run outburst in the seven-inning, run-rule win over the Broncs (30-21).
The win was a season-high fifth straight for UND, who will now await the winner of the Utah Valley/Houston Baptist game on Thursday at 7 p.m. CT. This is the second straight season the Sioux have won their half of the bracket and advanced to the semifinals.
"It was a totally different game from the one we played yesterday," UND head coach Jeff Dodson said. "We came out early and took advantage of some of their mistakes. That's a testament to our kids to how hard they have been working and how well they are playing at this point of the season."
Campbell went 4-for-5 at the plate with two doubles and a home run to help his own cause on the mound where he went all seven innings, finishing off his sixth complete game of the season.
"I just came out and threw strikes early," Campbell said. "We had the lead coming out (and I was just) trying to get ahead and have our defense make some plays. At the plate, I was trying to help myself out and get some runs across. I had guys on base in front of me almost every bat and was just trying not to do too much."
The Broncs swept a four-game series from UND in the regular season, but the outcome was different today and the bats were a big reason why. Freshman Mark Bearmon (St. Louis Park, Minn.) added three hits and sophomore Zack Trygstad (Wayzata, Minn.) and senior Kyle Bolander (Hermantown, Minn.) each had two hits to pace a 14-hit attack by the Sioux. Campbell and Trygstad both scored four runs in the contest.
Of Campbell's four hits, his first-inning double seemed like the most harmless, but it led to a three-run frame for the Sioux. After he got the first two hitters out, UTPA starter Colby McCasland surrendered the double to GWC Newcomer of the Year, then walked sophomore Zack Trygstad (Wayzata, Minn.) and hit senior Kyle Bolander (Hermantown, Minn.) to load the bases.
The Broncs' right-hander would walk the next three Sioux hitters before being replaced by Luis Flores. McCasland left with his team down 3-0, but Flores came in and righted the ship as he retired the first 10 batters he faced.
Campbell was sharp early, limiting the Broncs to just an unearned run through the first four innings. Both teams' bats woke up in the fifth as the Sioux took advantage of a pair of UTPA errors and got RBI singles from Campbell and Bolander to move ahead 7-1.
The Broncs put together four hits in their half of the fifth and scored three runs, but Campbell was able to get a double play to avoid further damage. And, in his next at-bat, Campbell promptly got those three runs back by launching his 12th home run of the season in the sixth. UND would score five runs in the frame as freshman Sam Alt (Lino Lakes, Minn.) also added a RBI-single.
After plating four runs in the fifth and those five in the sixth, the Sioux offense continued its torrid pace, adding six more runs in the seventh. Campbell had a two-run double with the bases loaded, Trygstad had a two-run single and Bearmon and Alex Twenge (Minnetonka, Minn.) had run-scoring singles to make it an 18-6 contest.
The Broncs got one run back in the seventh, but needed two more to stay alive as the 10-run rule is in effect for all tournament games except the championship game. Campbell (4-7) yielded 12 hits and walked four, but his defense turned a trio of double plays behind him to help keep the Sioux in front the entire game.
Junior Kris Kwak (Maple Grove, Minn.) singled in the sixth to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. Kwak and freshman Tyler Follis (Bemidji, Minn.), who walked three times, both scored three runs from the top of the order.
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