MINNEAPOLIS-- Behind an eighth-inning rally in the second game, North Dakota earned a doubleheader sweep over arch-rival North Dakota State Saturday on Mall of America Field at the Metrodome. UND won the first game, 8-2, but needed a five-run eighth to take a 7-4 win in the nightcap.
"Amazing pitching performance by Tyler Ruemmele in game one," UND Head Baseball Coach Jeff Dodson said. "In game two, a huge five-run eighth highlighted by Jacob Threlkeld's double clearing the bases, Reid Jungling's amazing performance out of the bullpen and Patrick Riewer doing his thing throwing strikes in the eighth and ninth innings. Great team wins for us and a great rebound after a tough day yesterday."
UND (9-9-1) used two big innings to post an 8-2 win in the opener. After NDSU (12-11) scored the first run in the fourth frame, UND responded with a four-spot in the fourth and poured-on four more in the fifth to cruise to the victory.
That fourth frame featured some wackiness that led to a prolonged inning. Zack Trygstad singled to lead it off, followed by singles by Sam Alt and Threlkeld book-ending a Riewer walk. With the bases loaded, an error produced a run and a double by Ryan Reese plated another and UND staked itself to a 4-1 advantage.
In the top of the next inning, the Bison got a single run on an RBI single with one out, but it would be the second-to-last hit allowed by UND starter Ruemmele. The sophomore went the distance to earn his first win of the season, scattering six hits and allowing just a pair of runs.
His offense would give him plenty of cushion in the fifth as UND batted around and plated four more. The big blow was a two-run triple by Threlkeld, who had five runs batted in Saturday.
Eight UND starters had at least one hit in the opener with Reese, Patrick Vandoorne and Threlkeld each registering two hits.
In the nightcap, NDSU took command early, leading 3-0 through two innings, knocking out UND starter Trent Egan in the third inning. Jungling would come on to slam the door, allowing just one earned run in five full relief innings, throwing 91 pitches out of the pen to allow for a team comeback.
The rally would start in the fourth as UND grabbed two on back-to-back run-scoring singles by Vandoorne and Alt. The score would remain 3-2 in favor of NDSU until the eighth when the Bison finally scratched across a run on Jungling to lead 4-2 through seven-and-a-half.
In the bottom of the eighth, Trygstad's single to center-- his fourth hit of the contest-- scored the first UND run. Alt was later walked intentionally to lead the bases and it back-fired when Riewer also drew a free pass to tie the score. A batter later, Threlkeld put the exclamation mark on the win with his bases-clearing double down the left-field line.
Riewer came on to get the final two outs of the eighth and worked out of a small jam in the ninth to earn the win and improve to 2-0 on the season. The UND offense generated a dozen hits in the second game with Tyler Follis and Alt each chipping-in a pair of hits for North Dakota.
UND will open Great West Conference play next weekend when it travels to Houston Baptist for a four-game set beginning Friday.