Bison Close Senior Day With Walk-Off Walk
NDSU sweeps series with South Dakota State to clinch the three seed in conference tournament.
FARGO, N.D. (NDSU Athletics) – Jayse McLean worked a bases loaded walk in the bottom of the ninth inning to help the North Dakota State University baseball team earn a 6-5 walk-off win over the South Dakota State University Jackrabbits in the final game of the regular season Saturday, May 19, at Newman Outdoor Field.
With the victory, North Dakota State (25-22, 15-13 Summit League) completed a three-game series sweep against the Jackrabbits (16-30, 14-13 Summit League) and clinched the number three seed in The Summit League Baseball Championship. The Bison will face second-seeded Western Illinois in the opening game of the tournament Wednesday, May 23, at noon at J.L. Johnson Stadium in Tulsa, Okla.
NDSU scored four runs in the seventh inning to rally from a 5-1 deficit and tie the game. Matt Elsenpeter started the scoring in the frame for the Bison, plating Carter Thompson on an RBI fielder’s choice before Drew Fearing smacked an RBI single up the middle, scoring Nick Emanuel for the second run of the inning. McLean plated Fearing and Elsenpeter with a two-run single through the right side to knot the game up, 5-5.
Emanuel reached first base after a Jackrabbit error to lead-off the bottom of the ninth, prior to Elsenpeter putting down a bunt single to the catcher that allowed pinch-runner Alec Abercrombie to advance to second. Bennett Hostetler moved the runners to second and third with a ground out, before Fearing was intentionally walked to load the bases and bring McLean to the plate. The redshirt junior from Great Falls, Mont., brought in the winning run after drawing a walk on seven pitches.
Fearing went 2-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored, leading North Dakota State at the plate.
Freshman reliever Zach Smith (3-0) earned the victory on the mound after throwing 2 2/3 hitless innings with four strikeouts and one walk.
Tony Kjolsing homered, scored two runs and compiled a pair of RBI to pace the Jacks in the batter’s box.
SDSU reliever Derek Feige (2-1) took the loss after giving up one unearned run on one hit with two strikeouts and two walks in 1 1/3 innings.