Offense backs Clark in 23-7 rout
Courtesy: Mitch Wigness, UND Media Relations
"The guys finally broke through today, " UND head coach Jeff Dodson said. "The biggest performance was Ben Clark, who gave us seven innings in his first start of the season. Our offense gave him plenty of run support and it was good to see our hitters swing it. I'm very proud of our guys after some tough, close losses early this weekend."
Clark-- originally scheduled to start in Tuesday's game at South Dakota State that was canceled-- got the nod Sunday to try to salvage a game from the series. He kept the Bears scoreless through two and after UNC scored three in the third, the UND offense took over.
North Dakota (11-15-1, 2-6 GWC) sent 14 batters to the plate and benefited from a pair of errors to score seven unearned runs and jump out to a 10-3 lead. From there, Clark allowed just one more run and left after the seventh with an 11-4 advantage.
UNC (15-15, 6-2) got three runs back in the eighth inning but an unbelievable ninth inning put the game well out of reach. The first 12 batters all reached for UND as the visitors nearly batted around twice in that final inning. After UND had already batted around once, back-to-back doubles by Taylor Petersen and Jeff Campbell helped four runs come across for the big hits of the inning.
Those were the final blows to big days for the heart of the UND order. Petersen collected a career-high five RBI with three hits and three more runs scored while Ryan Reese and Campbell each drove in three.
Every starter in the UND lineup had at least one hit and nine different players scored multiple times. Clark's final line read seven innings pitched with four runs on eight hits and two strikeouts for his first win of the season.
Tuesday's scheduled game at South Dakota State has been canceled, so North Dakota is scheduled to open its home schedule this weekend, hosting Utah Valley for a four-game set beginning Friday. Stay tuned to undsports.com for any schedule changes.
Notes: It was a UND season high for runs ... It's the first time UND has scored 10+ runs in an inning in its NCAA Division I era ... Sunday's win marked the most runs in a game for UND since a 29-4 win at Minnesota-Crookston in 2005 ... Coming into the contest, UND had 12 different multi-RBI performances (7 different players had more than one RBI Sunday).