North Dakota makes its final regular season road trip this weekend with a four-game slate at NYIT Friday through Sunday. The Bears’ home field is not yet complete, so all four games have been shifted to other locations. Friday’s opener has been moved to Dowling College at 9:00 a.m. Central and the final three at St. John’s College at 11:00 a.m. Saturday (DH) and Sunday.
North Dakota has now had nine games canceled this season due to weather, including five scheduled home tilts last week. With the cancellations, UND will play its first 31 games on the road (12 at neutral site) and then close the regular season with 13 straight at home.
The series finale at Northern Colorado was full of highlights. UND had an eight-run inning and a 12-run frame as well in a 23-7 rout of the Bears on April 14.
*It was a UND season high for runs.
*It’s the first time UND has scored 10+ runs in an inning in its NCAA Division I era.
*The win marked the most runs in a game for UND since a 29-4 win at Minnesota-Crookston in 2005.
*UND set Great West Conference season highs in runs (23), hits (24) and total bases (30).
*Coming into the contest, UND had 12 different multi-RBI performances (7 different players had more than one RBI Sunday).
North Dakota is off to a good start, garnering its 10th win of the season in an April 5 win at Houston Baptist. That win came well before the 10th win in its previous Division I campaigns:
Year- Date of 10th win
2013- April 5
2012- May 4th
2011- May 20th
2010- May 1st
2009- April 24th
ALL-TIME VS. NYIT
This weekend’s series will be just the second all-time series between the schools. Last year, UND took three of four at Kraft Memorial Field. A 5-0 win in the opener-- backed by a three-hit gem by Andrew Thome (11 K)-- was followed by a 13-8 loss in game two. UND took the final two games, 8-5 and 10-2.
UND currently leads the Great West Conference in batting average, hitting .275 as a team. North Dakota-- despite playing eight fewer games than either team-- is just one base on balls (125) behind Texas-Pan American and NJIT for the conference lead (126). UND raised its team batting average 12 points after the four-game series at Northern Colorado as it collected 48 hits in that series alone.
VS. THE BEARS
In last season’s 3-1 series in Grand Forks over NYIT, several current UND players had fine weekends.
*Tyler Follis collected seven hits, part of five North Dakota returning starters that hit over .300.
*Jeff Campbell hammered three homerun balls in the series and hit .429.
*Andrew Thome threw a nine-inning complete game shutout, allowing just three hits with 11 strikeouts.
*North Dakota hit .359 as a team in that series (May 4-6, 2012).
THE SCOUT ON THE BEARS
NYIT has five wins on the season, three of those coming in Great West Conference play ... The Bears are last in the league in pitching with a combined 6.56 ERA ... Dan Lackner (14), Joe Daru (12) and Ali Rodriguez (11) are 1-2-3 in the Great West in stolen bases ... The Bears had lost 20 of its last 21 before a two-game sweep over Chicago State in an April 21 doubleheader in their last action ... Nearly a quarter of its season total for runs (104) came in that doubleheader (24) ... Rodriguez leads the team with a .294 batting average while Daru hits .287 with a team-best 16 RBI ... James Bulva leads the starting pitching staff with a 3.35 ERA in seven starts.
• North Dakota has four starters batters hitting over .300 led by Daniel Lockhert’s .400 in his five games back. Ryan Reese sits at .345 with Riley Beck at .318 and Zack Trygstad at .313.
• Kris Kwak’s reached-base streak has ballooned to 12 straight.
• Junior Jacob Threlkeld is the only player to play every game at his position (CF). Taylor Petersen has caught 25 of 27 games this year to solidify the backstop position for UND this season.
• Jacob Threlkeld tied a UND single-game record with four stolen bases in a 10-6 win over Mount Marty on Feb. 18. He leads UND with seven steals in eight tries this season.
• Sophomore Andrew Thome’s no-hitter to open the season was the sixth in UND history. He notched his sixth career game going the distance without allowing an earned run (four shutouts).
• In his 19 career starts, Thome has completed eight of those including two of his seven starts this season.
• Sophomore Jeff Campbell earned his first career shutout with a 2-0 blanking of St. Cloud State on Feb. 25. Campbell’s first career win came in a nine-inning complete game win at Creighton, allowing a single unearned run with 4 strikeouts (Mar. 16, 2012).
• Sophomore Tyler Follis set a UND single-season record with 74 hits in his freshman campaign.
• The North Dakota pitching staff returns 85.3 percent of its innings pitched from last season. Sophomores Andrew Thome and Jeff Campbell made up 168.2 innings (37.3%) of the team’s total (452.2) in 2012.
GLANCE AT THE GREAT WEST
North Dakota will be playing its fourth and final season in the Great West Conference in 2013. Utah Valley has won each of the league’s regular season and tournament titles. The conference season will culminate in Newark, N.J. May 21-26.
The other six members of the league are Chicago State, Houston Baptist, New York Tech, NJIT, Northern Colorado and Texas-Pan American. The Great West is the second conference affiliation for UND in program history. UND spent its Division II years playing in the North Central Conference.
OFF TO THE WAC
In February, the Western Athletic Conference announced that an invitation for affiliate membership has been issued to and accepted by the University of North Dakota to join the conference in baseball starting with the 2013-14 academic year.
North Dakota will join fellow current-Great West Conference members Chicago State, Northern Colorado, Texas-Pan American and Utah Valley as additions to the WAC for next season.
UND already has a relationship with the WAC as the women’s swimming team is an affiliate member in its second season 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.