Extra-inning rally gives UND another walkoff win
Saturday's game had a little bit of everything. A throwing error that gave CSU a late three-run lead, an attempted steal of home to end an inning and a substitution that never came to fruition were all standout moments in UND's 10th home win of the season. It was the latter that, although it didn't directly lead to runs, may have been the key ingredient to a recipe that UND has been cooking regularly-- late come-from-behind wins.
The Cougars (8-43, 5-23 GWC) got three runs in the seventh inning, two of those coming when UND looked to be out of the inning. Patrick Riewer came on in relief with one out and got a strikeout and a roller to shortstop that couldn't be dug up at first allowing both CSU runners to score for a 6-3 contest at that point.
UND (23-20-1, 13-11) got two back in the bottom of that frame as an RBI knock by Zack Trygstad and an error netted two runs to slice the deficit to one run. In the previous inning, CSU attempted to move its designated hitter to first base but after a confab with the umpires later decided to put pinch-hitter Nathan Parade de la Feraude at first. The move would prove to be a factor in North Dakota's 10th-inning rally as Parade de la Feraude played just his second game all season at first.
After UND had tied it in the ninth on Jeff Campbell's double down the left field line, the home team got the leadoff batter aboard in the 10th. With one down, Riley Beck set down a good bunt that was fielded but no one was covering first base and UND got its eventual-winning run in scoring position. Jacob Threlkeld then laced a 1-1 pitch to the leftfield gap to win it and send the home fans home happy.
CSU had its opportunities-- it's biggest coming in the ninth with the bases loaded. A single and two walks had the sacks packed for the Cougars but a attempted steal of home was thwarted to kill the rally. The bottom of that frame would also end at the plate when Campbell was thrown out trying to score after he had just tied the game two pitches earlier.
The teams were neck-and-neck through most of the early innings as CSU got a single run in the first and UND countered with one in the second on a Patrick Vandoorne sacrifice fly. When the Cougars scored two in the third, UND again answered with two of its own in the bottom of that inning, this time on a run-scoring Trygstad triple and an RBI single by Campbell.
The score stayed there until that pivotal seventh inning. UND starter Ben Clark had settled in by retiring nine straight Cougars heading into that frame until a leadoff double and later a triple to right-center gave way for Riewer to come on in relief. Riewer got the game to the ninth before he yielded to Campbell to end it. He induced a popup and got the caught stealing to end the ninth and went 1-2-3 through the 10th for his third win of the season.
North Dakota tallied 13 hits in the win, three apiece from Trygstad and Vandoorne. Threlkeld, Tyler Follis and Campbell all had two hits as well in the victory that clinched a winning record for UND.
The Great West Conference Tournament begins Tuesday in Newark, N.J. The eight-team, double-elimination tourney runs through next Saturday.
Notes: UND has clinched the 5-seed in the upcoming GWC Tournament against No. 4 Utah Valley (unofficially) ... Game time to be announced ... Trygstad's triple in the third tied him for third place in both the UND single-season (4) and career triples (9) list ... UND honored its four seniors playing in their final home game (Riley Beck, Pete Gagne, Kris Kwak and Jake Swift).