NDSU Baseball Sweeps Western Illinois

Bison pick up conference win number 17, clinch spot in conference tournament.

FARGO, N.D. (NDSU Athletics) – The North Dakota State University baseball team completed a three-game sweep of the Western Illinois University Leathernecks with a 6-3 win on Sunday, May 14, in the final home game of the season at Newman Outdoor Field.

With the win, the Bison improve to 27-22 on the season and 17-10 in Summit League play, while the Leathernecks fall to 18-28 overall and 12-13 in league action.

Senior JT Core went 2-for-4 with a double and run scored, while Bennett Hostetler, Drew Fearing and Matt Elsenpeter each tallied a pair of hits to lead North Dakota State at the plate. Logan Busch added a double, and Mason Pierzchalski drove in a team-high two runs.

NDSU sophomore right-handed pitcher Jordan Harms (3-7) earned the victory on the mound after giving up three earned runs on six hits with five strikeouts and two walks in 5 2/3 innings of work, while redshirt junior closer Kevin Folman secured his eighth save after tossing a scoreless ninth inning.

North Dakota State tied the NDSU single-season record for double plays (45) after turning two in the fourth inning.

The Leathernecks took a 1-0 lead after scoring a run in the top of the second, but the Bison were able to tie the game, 1-1, after Busch scored on a WIU fielding error in the bottom of the fourth.

North Dakota State took the lead for good with three runs in the fifth inning. Alec Abercrombie was hit by a pitch to leadoff the frame, before Hostetler singled up the middle and Fearing hit a sacrifice bunt, bringing Pierzchalski to the plate with runners on second and third. Pierzchalski belted a 0-1 pitch into centerfield, allowing both Abercrombie and Hostetler to cross home plate to put NDSU in front, 3-1. Busch increased the North Dakota State advantage to 4-1 after hitting an RBI double to right field.

Western Illinois trimmed the lead to 4-3 with two runs in the top of the sixth, but the Bison scored a run in the bottom of the sixth on a Hostetler RBI single through the left side, and another run in the seventh on an Elsenpeter RBI single down the right field line, building the advantage to 6-3.

Catcher Adam McGinnis and infielder Mitch Ellis both tallied a pair of hits to pace WIU in the batter’s box.

Left-handed pitcher Pete Minella (3-1) suffered the loss after surrendering three earned runs and one unearned run on eight hits in 4 2/3 innings pitched.

North Dakota State is scheduled to wrap up the regular season with a three-game Summit League series at Fort Wayne May 18-20.

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