NDSU Baseball Scores Four in the Seventh to Defeat Fort Wayne
Bison improve to 20-22 on the season.
FARGO, N.D. (NDSU Athletics) – The North Dakota State University baseball team defeated the Fort Wayne Mastodons, 7-2, in the opening game of a three-game Summit League series Friday evening, May 11, at Newman Outdoor Field.
North Dakota State (20-22, 10-13 Summit League) and Fort Wayne (10-32, 6-19 Summit League) are scheduled to play game two of the series Saturday, May 12, at 1 p.m.
With the victory, NDSU has won at least 20 games for nine consecutive seasons.
Senior infielder Mason Pierzchalski went 2-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored, while Drew Fearing and Sean Noel added a pair of hits to lead the Bison at the plate.
Sophomore right-hander Riley Johnson (5-6) earned the win on the mound after allowing one unearned run on three hits with three walks and three strikeouts in six innings of work. Chris Choles secured his second save of the season after throwing three innings in relief.
Pierzchalski got the scoring going for North Dakota State in the bottom of the third inning, scoring Bennett Hostetler and Matt Elsenpeter with a two-run single up the middle, putting NDSU in front, 2-0.
Fort Wayne trimmed the advantage to 2-1 in the top of the third with a run, but the Bison responded with a run in the bottom of the fifth when Hostetler crossed home plate on Jayse McLean‘s sacrifice fly to left center.
The Mastodons cut the NDSU lead to 3-2 in the top of the seventh, and nearly tied to game, but McLean, Hostetler and Noel teamed up to throw a runner out at the plate, preserving the Bison lead.
North Dakota State exploded for four runs in the bottom-half of the seventh. Hostetler scored on a Logan Busch sacrifice fly to left field for the opening run of the frame, prior to Carter Thompson‘s two-RBI single to left that allowed Pierzchalski and McLean to cross the plate for two more NDSU runs. Thompson came around to score on Tucker Rohde‘s RBI single to second base for the fourth and final run of the inning.
Shannon Baker, Brady Hettinger and Jack Lang each compiled two hits, leading the Mastodons in the batter’s box.
Fort Wayne starter Brandon Phelps (4-6) suffered the loss after giving up seven earned runs on 10 hits with five walks and five strikeouts in seven innings.