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Freshman Zach Muckenhirn leads the WAC in Ks/9.
Baseball headed to Creighton for three
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Updated: Monday 04/03/2014 16:22:02 (ET)
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North Dakota at Creighton
Saturday-Sunday, April 5-6
2:00 p.m. (DH) Saturday
1:00 p.m. Sunday
TD Ameritrade Park (Omaha, Neb.)

North Dakota steps out of conference play this weekend, traveling to Omaha, Neb. for what is scheduled to be a four-game series with Creighton. The series will be played at the home of the College World Series, TD Ameritrade Park.

UND will attempt to open its true home schedule April 11 with the beginning of four games with New Mexico State at Kraft Field. The teams will play the normal three WAC games Friday through Sunday and will tack on an additional non-conference tilt on the back end of a Sunday doubleheader.

North Dakota moved its home-opening series with Northern Colorado to Bismarck, N.D. and the all-turf field at Shiloh Christian. UND swept all three games from the Bears and improved to 6-3 in the Western Athletic Conference with the wins.

As of Thursday morning, just seven NCAA Division I players have hit a homerun and won that same game on the mound. UND junior Jeff Campbell turned the trick in a March 16th 10-4 win at Utah Valley.

Win/Homer in Same Game 2014
Louie Lechich          San Diego                 Feb. 16, vs. New Mexico
A.J. Reed                   Kentucky                    Feb. 21, vs. St. Joseph’s (2HR)
Aaron Brown (2x)    Pepperdine               March 1, vs. Hawaii
                                                                      March 23, vs. Santa Clara (2HR)
Brad Burcroff            Northeastern            March 5, vs. Presbyterian
Jeff Campbell           North Dakota                        March 16, at Utah Valley    
Alex Abrams             Furman                      March 29, vs. Samford
Zack Tillery                Florida Gulf Coast   March 30, vs. Stetson   

UND’s three-game sweep of UNC marked a first for North Dakota in its Division I era. Since the transition to D1, UND had never before swept a conference series in four years in the Great West and this first year in the WAC. North Dakota also won its fourth straight conference game, a first in the D1 era.

Jeff Campbell, with his 8.1 IP performance Sunday, won his third straight start and now leads the club with a 3-2 record. Over those last three starts, Campbell has thrown 26.1 innings, allowing just eight earned runs (2.73 ERA) with 14 strikeouts against three walks. At the plate in those three games, Campbell is 4-for-10 with 5 RBI and a HR.

Junior Andrew Thome got off the schneid Saturday, winning his first game of the 2014 season by going the distance in a 3-1 win over Northern Colorado. It was his 12th win of his career and 11th complete game already.

Senior Patrick Riewer had a weekend to remember in Bismarck in a three-game series with Northern Colorado. He reached base in nine of 10 plate appearances, accouting for five of UND’s seven runs including game-winning RBIs in Saturday’s opener, the game-winning run in the second game and another late-game RBI to help win Sunday’s contest.

Campbell has whacked four homers this season and despite playing in just 18 games, is second in the Western Athletic Conference in that category. Campbell had three HR in a two-game span when he left the yard on March 16 at Utah Valley then homered twice on March 19 at UNLV.

Freshman Zach Muckenhirn leads the WAC in Ks/9 inn. with 28 strikeouts in his 27.2 IP (9.11 K/9). That average is more than a full punchout better than the rest of the league.

Senior Taylor Petersen is tied for third in the WAC in doubles with eight so far this season. Most league schools have played many more games than UND in the early going and North Dakota has just three “home” games played thus far.

Junior Ryan Reese has now reached base in 15 straight ballgames, dating all the way back to the first day of the season. He went 0-for-4 in the second game of the day (vs. Illinois State) but has gotten aboard in every game since then. He’s hitting .360 (18-for-50) in this 15-game stretch.

Junior Ryan Reese hit .500 (6-of-12) with a pair of doubles and five RBI in a series win at Utah Valley Mar. 14-16 to net him Western Athletic Conference Player of the Week honors. He had a hit in all three games and extended his streak of reaching base to eight straight. He becomes the first North Dakota player to earn this award.

North Dakota has scored 10 runs three times this season. UND is 2-1 in those games with the only loss a slim 11-10 setback at Bakersfield.

Senior Zack Trygstad has 10 career triples to his credit, putting him into second place all-time at North Dakota. He is just one shy of the career mark held by Josh Ray (11).

Freshman Zach Muckenhirn had a college debut to remember, twirling 6.2 innings without allowing an earned run in a no-decision against Central Arkansas on Mar. 1. He left with a 3-1 lead in the seventh, settling in after two base hits to start the game, squandering just four total hits for the game.

Four UND athletes took home All-Great West Conference honors at last season’ pre-tournament banquet. Headlining the group was first team catcher Taylor Petersen who was part of a first team that had 10 new honorees from a season ago. Three UND players were second team members led by SP Andrew Thome, who was the only repeat all-conference member on the second team. He was joined by SP Alex Twenge and 3B Ryan Reese.

North Dakota got a nice lift from sophomore Alex Twenge last season, who  settled into his role in the starting rotation. After filling in behind the plate as a freshman and out of the bullpen, Twenge inked his name into the rotation with a 6-1 mark (4-0 in conference) and a 2.52 earned run average in 2013. UND won eight of the 11 games he started. His six wins tied him for seventh in UND’s single-season record books.
North Dakota joins fellow former-Great West Conference members Chicago State, Northern Colorado, Texas-Pan American and Utah Valley as additions to the WAC this season.

UND already has a relationship with the WAC as the women’s and men’s swimming teams are affiliate members 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.

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