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Freshman Tyler Follis (left) broke UND's single-season hits record in what would prove to be his final at-bat of the season. He finished his rookie campaign with 74 hits.
Sioux season ends with setback to HBU
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Updated: Wednesday 05/25/2012 23:13:25 (ET)
by UNDsports.com
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OREM, Utah - No. 5 seed Houston Baptist scored seven first-inning runs and the Huskies would need every one of them to post a 13-8 victory over No. 6 seed North Dakota Friday in an elimination game at the Great West Conference Tournament. That seven-run frame would prove to be the difference in the contest as the Sioux (19-36) outscored HBU the rest of the way, but could never get closer than a five-run deficit.

The Huskies (28-32) won two games on Friday to advance out of the loser's bracket to Saturday's Championship Game against top-seed Utah Valley. It was the second straight season HBU defeated UND in an elimination game to reach the title game.

Freshman Tyler Follis (Bemidji, Minn.) went 2-for-6 and his RBI-single in the ninth inning set a UND single-season record for hits as it was his 74th of the season. Classmate Jeff Campbell (Clearwater, Fla.) finished with three hits to fall one short of Follis' mark that eclipsed the old record set of 73 by Jake Magner in 2010.

Junior Kris Kwak (Maple Grove, Minn.) went 3-for-3 and reached base all six times that he came to the plate. Kwak closed out the season with a 13-game hitting streak and scored half of UND's runs in the contest.

A quartet of HBU errors also aided UND in its comeback attempt, but even though the offense mustered 15 hits in the contest the club could never climb all the way back from what turned out to be a 9-0 deficit after the Huskies scored two more in the second.

"We got off to a bad start with that seven-run first inning," UND head coach Jeff Dodson said. "It's really hard to come back from that kind of deficit, especially in college baseball, but throughout the rest of the game we outscored 8-6. So, if we had not gotten behind them early like we did, I think we would have had a shot to win it.

"We did give ourselves a chance at the end by stringing some hits together and taking advantage of some of their errors, but by the end, we had just run out of outs."

The Sioux would finally get a little rally brewing in the fifth as they scored twice on four singles. Sophomore Zack Trygstad (Wayzata, Minn.) and senior Kyle Bolander (Hermantown, Minn.) both delivered RBI singles in that frame.

UND scored at least a run in its final five at-bats, but could never get closer than a 12-7 deficit after scoring twice in the eighth. Those two runs came on a throwing error by third baseman Curtis Jones. HBU's David Pfunter put the finishing touches on an 18-hit attack by the Huskies with a solo home run in the bottom of the eighth.

Follis broke Magner's record in the ninth with a RBI single to left field after tying it with a single in the sixth. Campbell would fly out to deep right, however, to end his chase of Follis and the contest. Kobie Hajdik got the final five outs in relief of starter Ross Kennell (5-4), who scattered 11 hits and yielded three earned runs in 7.1 innings of work.

Trygstad and freshman Sam Alt (Lino Lakes, Minn.) also added two hits apiece for UND. Alt's 2-for-5 effort pushed his season average over the .300 mark to .302.

- UND -

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