SACRAMENTO, Calif.-- Sacramento State clinched at least a share of a regular season league championship with a 6-5 win over North Dakota Saturday in Western Athletic Conference action. Hornet center fielder David Del Grande just cleared the fence for a leadoff homer in the bottom of the ninth to notch the walk off win.
"We battled until the end with our guys. Our seniors, especially, played well in their final game," UND head coach Jeff Dodson said. "They took the early lead and we never gave up and took the lead. Dalton Parrott nearly got a glove on that final hit but it was just out of his reach. I'm proud of our effort today."
SAC (35-21, 21-6 WAC) scored single runs in each of the first three innings to grab the early advantage. UND (10-29, 8-16 WAC), however, had the answer in the top of the fourth inning, erupting for three runs to tie the score.
The rally started with Tyler Follis reaching on an error and Taylor Petersen singling to put runners at the corners with no one out. Zack Trygstad delivered the first run with a double down the right field line. After Parrott walked to load the bases, Daniel Lockhert hit a sacrifice fly and Ryan Reese, in his first start since May 3, tied the score with an RBI single to right field.
UND would go in front in the next frame with Follis extending his hitting streak to 16 straight to start the inning. Jeff Campbell walked and Trygstad reached on an error allowing Follis to score for a 4-3 North Dakota edge.
That lead would hold until the seventh when the Hornets scored a pair to reclaim the advantage at 5-4. But, again, UND would rally to tie the score.
Trailing by that same margin to start the final inning, Petersen lifted his team-high-tying fifth homer of the season over the left centerfield wall to re-square things at 5-apiece. Del Grande jumped on a 2-0 pitch from Alex Twenge to start the home half of the inning to give the win to the Hornets.
Twenge (0-4) took the loss for UND, coming on to start the ninth inning in a tie game.
Petersen, Reese and Trygstad each recorded a pair of hits for UND, who totaled eight as a team.
North Dakota concludes its 2014 season.
Notes: Petersen finished tied with Jeff Campbell for most homers on the team (5) ... Petersen led the squad in hits (46), runs (27), RBI (26), doubles (15), total bases (76) and slugging (.503) ... Follis' 16-game hitting streak was the longest of the season by any UND hitter and he led the squad with a .331 batting average ... Freshman Zach Muckenhirn's 3.44 ERA led all North Dakota starters.