Courtesy: Eric Classen,
Baseball notes: Non-conference finale Tuesday
Courtesy: Mitch Wigness, UND Media Relations
Release: 05/06/2013
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South Dakota State (25-15) at North Dakota (16-18-1)
Kraft Memorial Field- 3 p.m., May 7th
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North Dakota closes out its non-conference schedule Tuesday with a single game against former North Central Conference foe South Dakota State. UND is in the midst of a 13-game homestand to conclude the regular season slate.

Tuesday’s game vs. SDSU was to be the fourth tilt between the schools but the only one that will be played this season. The teams were forced to cancel April games in Brookings, S.D. due to snow and an April 23 game at Kraft also got wiped off the books due to the prolonged winter conditions.

The series with the Jackrabbits is a hotly contested one as SDSU owns a slim 68-63-1 edge in the all-time series. In each of the last two seasons, UND has split with the Jacks, 1-1, with both teams winning home games. Since moving to NCAA Division I, North Dakota is 4-8 against SDSU.

South Dakota State comes into Tuesday’s meeting with a 25-15 overall record, 10-6 in Summit League play. SDSU is led by senior Daniel Telford, who is hitting a robust .507 with five dingers and 28 RBI. The Jacks hit .292 as a team and feature six regulars with .300 batting averages or greater.

Junior catcher Taylor Petersen has been on a tear, reaching base 22 times in his last eight games. He recorded six hits on Friday alone last week vs. UTPA and ended that four-game series 8-for-12 with four BB and a .833 OBP. His two-out single in the ninth inning of Friday’s thrilling comeback ignited a rally that saw UND score four runs in that final frame (all with two out) to beat the Broncs, 6-5. Petersen leads UND with 52 total bases, a .500 slugging percentage, 23 runs, 30 walks and three HRs. He’s hitting .327 for the season and has a current streak of reaching base in 14 straight contests.

With solid numbers this past week vs. UTPA, several UND players have achieved season-long hitting streaks going into Tuesday’s game. Jacob Threlkeld and Tyler Follis each have current nine-game streaks, tied for the longest this season by any UND player (Kris Kwak). Taylor Petersen also has a seven-game hitting streak going.

With a walk in the opener of the UTPA series, senior Kris Kwak tied the career mark for base on balls in UND history. His 106th walk tied former standout Carter Rogalla (1994-98). Kwak owns the single-season record for walks with 38 last year and he has 28 this season with nine games still remaining in the regular season.

North Dakota has gotten a nice lift from sophomore Alex Twenge, who has settled into his role in the starting rotation. After filling in behind the plate last year and out of the bullpen, Twenge has inked his name into the rotation with a 5-1 mark and a 2.27 earned run average this season. UND has won six of the eight games he’s started and his ERA is a miniscule 1.69 since his second start of the season. His lone loss was a 1-0 decision vs. North Dakota State in which he threw 6.1 innings and allowed just one run. His five wins this year lead the team and his next win this season would tie him for seventh for wins in a single season all-time at UND.
Zack Trygstad has generated four triples this season, which ranks third in the conference and is already in the top 10 all-time in a season in school history. His four triples are tied with seven other players-- including current assistant coach Brian DeVillers (2003)-- for third place on that list. He is chasing the record holder of seven set by Josh Ray two seasons ago.

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

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 has six batters hitting over .300 led by Ryan Reese’s .347 clip. Luis Calvo is hitting .333 in seven games played while Zack Trygstad moved to .330 over the weekend. Taylor Petersen is up to .327 with Patrick Vandoorne at .319 and Tyler Follis at .300.
Taylor Petersen reached-base streak has ballooned to 14 straight.
• Junior Jacob Threlkeld is the only player to play every game at his position (35- CF). Taylor Petersen has caught 33 of 35 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 21 career starts, Thome has completed 10 of those including four of his nine 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.

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.

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.

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