Chicago State (7-40, 4-20 Great West) at
North Dakota (20-19-1, 10-10 GWC)
Thursday: 4:00 p.m.
Friday: 1:00 and 4:00 p.m.
Saturday: 1:00 p.m.
Live stats/audio/video: UNDSports.com
North Dakota closes its 2013 regular season this weekend when it hosts Chicago State for four games starting Thursday at Kraft Memorial Field. North Dakota has won seven of its last nine and is above .500 for the first time since March 14th.
Saturday is Senior Day at the ballpark. UND will honor its outgoing senior class as they play in their final home game. The four seniors on the UND roster are: Riley Beck, Pete Gagne, Kris Kwak and Jake Swift.
UND is taking an eraser to the record books in terms of runs scored in a game recently. Following a 23-run outburst on April 14 of this season at Northern Colorado, UND strung together 25 runs last Friday for two of the top eight highest scoring games in UND history. The record for runs scored happened way back in 1895 with a 33-11 win over the Grand Forks YMCA in 1895. The modern-day record (post WWI) is a 31-1 win over Dickinson State in the 1991 campaign. This season’s outbursts are easily the most in the school’s Division I era.
SCOUTING THE COUGARS
Chicago State comes into the regular season final series with a 7-40 overall mark and 4-20 in the conference. CSU has dropped 16 of its last 17 games and has just two road wins all season (2-26 in true away contests). CSU has a .204 team batting average and has struck out a league-high 384 times. Mattingly Romanin is the top hitter with a .282 average, 25 RBI and a .389 slugging percentage. Three different pitchers have two wins on the season with Andrew Wellwerts claiming the lowest ERA at 4.48.
ALL-TIME VS. CHICAGO STATE
North Dakota holds the distinct edge in the all-time series with the Cougars winning 10 of the 13 meetings. Last year, UND took 3-of-4 on the road, losing a 10-inning 3-2 decision before outscoring the Cougars 45-17 over the final three games. At Kraft, UND is 3-1 all-time against CSU (2011).
Taylor Petersen is approaching the UND single-season record for walks with 33 this year. The mark was set just last season by Kris Kwak with 38. Petersen has been on a tear in conference play, catching all 20 games and hitting .406 while slugging .578 with .523 OBP. He also has 21 RBI, 18 runs and 26 hits in league games to lead the team and has drawn 17 BB to just 4 Ks in 20 Great West play.
LOCKHERT LOCKED IN
Freshman Daniel Lockhert was locked in last Friday, going 5-for-6 with 10 RBI in the lopsided 25-5 win over NJIT. He had two singles, two doubles and a grand slam to help give him the UND single-game record for RBI (formerly 9 by Jake Magner in 2010). He came into the game with 4 RBI in 12 games.
Zack Trygstad had one of the most peculiar line’s in that 25-5 win last Friday, going 0-for-3 with 5 runs scored. He reached via fielder’s choice twice and an error along with a couple of walks but crossed home each time to tie him with three others for the UND single-game record for runs (Troy Wasiloski last to do it in 2005).
North Dakota has gotten a nice lift from sophomore Alex Twenge, who has settled into his role in the starting rotation. After filling in behind the plate last year and out of the bullpen, Twenge has inked his name into the rotation with a 6-1 mark (4-0 in conference) and a 2.59 earned run average this season. UND has won seven of the nine games he’s started. His six wins already rank him tied for seventh in UND’s single-season record books and his next win this season would tie him for third. (J.J. Scheving holds the record at 9 in 2004).
Zack Trygstad has generated four triples this season, which ranks tied for third in the conference and is already in the top 10 all-time in a season in school history. His four triples are tied with seven other players-- including current assistant coach Brian DeVillers (2003)-- for third place on that list. He is chasing the record holder of seven set by Josh Ray two seasons ago.
Despite losing nine games to weather this season and two weeks left in the season, UND has already set a new record win total in its Division I era (19). Both last year’s team and the 2010 squad posted 19 wins and the 2013 edition has the opportunity to finish above .500 for the first time since 2005.
GLANCE AT THE GREAT WEST
North Dakota will be playing its fourth and final season in the Great West Conference in 2013. Utah Valley has won each of the league’s regular season and tournament titles. The conference season will culminate in Newark, N.J. May 21-26.
The other six members of the league are Chicago State, Houston Baptist, New York Tech, NJIT, Northern Colorado and Texas-Pan American. The Great West is the second conference affiliation for UND in program history. UND spent its Division II years playing in the North Central Conference.
OFF TO THE WAC
In February, the Western Athletic Conference announced that an invitation for affiliate membership has been issued to and accepted by the University of North Dakota to join the conference in baseball starting with the 2013-14 academic year.
North Dakota will join fellow current-Great West Conference members Chicago State, Northern Colorado, Texas-Pan American and Utah Valley as additions to the WAC for next season.
UND already has a relationship with the WAC as the women’s swimming team is an affiliate member in its second season in the league. The addition will give the WAC a total of 10 teams for baseball as North Dakota will join CSU Bakersfield, Chicago State, Grand Canyon, New Mexico State, Northern Colorado, Sacramento State, Seattle U, Texas-Pan American and Utah Valley in 2014.