College Baseball: NDSU’s Johnson Tosses School’s First No-Hitter Since 2004

Riley Johnson has thrown the first no-hitter in the 2018 college baseball season

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. (NDSU Athletics) – Riley Johnson tossed the first solo no-hitter of the 2018 college baseball season as the North Dakota State University baseball team posted a 2-0 shutout victory over the Central Connecticut State University Blue Devils Friday, Feb. 23, at South County Regional Park in the opening game of the Snowbird Baseball Classic.

A sophomore right-hander from Apple Valley, Minn., Johnson became the first Bison to throw a solo no-hitter since Jay Mitchell accomplished the feat against Augustana (S.D.) during the 2004 season. Former NDSU baseball players Chad Berg and Chris Paterson pitched a combined no-hitter at Creighton in 2008.

Johnson struck out a career-high eight batters and tallied just one walk in his nine, no-hit innings, improving to 2-0 on the season.

The Bison (3-2) and Blue Devils (0-1) were locked in a defensive battle until Drew Fearing broke through for NDSU in the bottom of the third inning.

Matt Elsenpeter reached on an error with one out in the inning, before advancing to second on a walk issued to Alec Abercrombie. Fearing scored Elsenpeter on a two-out RBI single, giving North Dakota State a 1-0 lead.

NDSU doubled its advantage to 2-0 in the bottom of the eighth when Elsenpeter worked a bases loaded walk, plating Jayse McLean.

Johnson capped-off the game with a strikeout, foul out and ground out, sealing the win for the Bison.

The victory marked the 250th career win for 11th season NDSU head coach Tod Brown.

North Dakota State is scheduled to face Central Connecticut State in game two of the three-game series Saturday, Feb. 24, at 3 p.m. ET at North Charlotte Regional Park in Port Charlotte, Fla.

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