BAKERSFIELD, Calif.-- A ninth inning rally fell just short as visiting North Dakota dropped an 11-10 decision at Bakersfield Saturday in Western Athletic Conference play. UND had the bases loaded with one out in the top of the ninth, but the Roadrunners got out of the jam and snuck out the victory.
"We let one slip away, we battled back and stayed in the ballgame and did a really good job offensively of creating some opportunities," UND head coach Jeff Dodson said. "We had three bases loaded opportunities but had two double plays and a strike out. We've got to come up big on those if we're going to be a championship club.
"We had some crucial errors in certain spots that cost us some runs, especially late in the ballgame. We've got to be better, its a heart-breaking loss and with a quick turnaround tomorrow we've got to rally behind Jeff Campbell on the mound."
UND (2-12, 2-3 WAC) scored in seven of the nine innings Saturday and held a quick 3-0 lead in the first inning. Daniel Lockhert singled and Taylor Petersen drove him in with his team-leading seventh double of the season. North Dakota tacked on two more unearned to give freshman Zach Muckenhirn an early lead.
Bakersfield (10-11, 3-2) responded with one in the bottom of the inning and posted a four-spot in the second inning to take its first lead.
UND tallied single runs in each of the second, third and fourth and its was an 8-6 Runners lead through four frame. After the home team hung two more runs on the board UND faced a 10-6 deficit through seven. That's when the rally began.
A one-out walk by pinch-hitter Tyler Follis opened the eighth and later four straight UND batters reached to plate a pair. But, a strikeout ended the threat.
CSUB scored a run in the bottom of the inning to lead 11-8. UND again started a rally in the ninth with the first three batters reaching. A leadoff walk by Zack Trygstad followed by a double by Ryan Reese preceded an RBI single through the left side by Follis. After Patrick Riewer walked to load the bases, Jacob Threlkeld punched one up the middle for an 11-10 score with just one down and the go-ahead run at second. But, a ground ball double play helped Bakersfield hang on and take the second game of the series.
UND churned out 10 runs for the third time this season and had a dozen hits. Five North Dakota errors helped lead to key Roadrunner runs, including the final two.
The top three spots in the UND order each produced two hits, two runs and two more batted in. Reese had his second straight three-hit game for North Dakota and third in league play.
The teams conclude the series Sunday with a single game beginning at 3:00 p.m.
Notes: Reese already has seven multi-hit games this season ... Reese is now batting .404 on the year ... He has now reached base in 11 straight games ... Daniel Lockhert extended his hitting streak to seven straight Saturday.