EDINBURG, Texas – Texas-Pan American put together a 10-run seventh inning to ignite a big rally in a 14-8 victory over North Dakota in the Great West series opener on Friday at the Edinburg Baseball Stadium.
The Broncs (17-7, 5-0 GWC) scored those 10 runs in the seventh on eight singles and three walks after being held to just three runs in the first six innings by UND starter Andrew Thome (St. Cloud, Minn.). The loss was the 11th straight for the Sioux (2-21, 0-5 GWC), who held leads of 4-0 and 7-3 in the contest before the Broncs rallied for the win.
“They had a huge seventh inning. We didn’t pitch terrible, just created some opportunities for them and they took advantage of it," UND head coach Jeff Dodson said. "I thought our offense was a lot better tonight. We executed well and battled until the end there in the ninth. Sam Alt had a big night for us with four hits. We just have to keep going and find a way to play a complete game.”
Three Sioux players combined for nine of the team’s 10 hits as they touched up UTPA starter Colby MacCasland for four runs on five hits in the first five innings. Freshman Sam Alt (Lino Lakes, Minn.) had career-highs of four hits and four RBI to pace the offense, while junior Kris Kwak (Maple Grove, Minn.) added his first three-hit game of the season.
Sophomore Zack Trygstad (Wayzata, Minn.) added two hits. Trygstad put the Sioux on the board in the first with a RBI double and scored in the third after hitting a one-out triple. Trygstad’s run put the visitors ahead 4-0 before the Broncs’ offense finally scored three in the fourth.
UTPA threatened for more, but Thome was able to induce an inning-ending double play to escape with his team still in the lead at 4-3.
Alt appeared to be an insurance provider late for the Sioux, pushing the lead to 5-3 with a solo home run in the sixth and a two-run single in the seventh. His home run was the second of the season for the Sioux right fielder, but the Broncs, who came into the contest as the fifth best hitting team in the nation (.323), really got their bats going in the home half of the seventh.
UND would use four pitchers in the inning that saw the Broncs register eight singles, draw three walks and take advantage of two wild pitches to move ahead of the Sioux for the first time in the game. Freshman Alex Twenge (Minnetonka, Minn.) faced two batters, allowing a walk and a single. Twenge (0-1) ended up being the pitcher of record, taking his first loss of the season.
UTPA finished with 15 hits in the contest, which were all singles. The Broncs tacked on one more run in the eighth to close out their scoring. Alt added his fourth hit and RBI of the game with a run-scoring single in the ninth.
Designated hitter Chris Torres went 4-for-4 to lead the home team’s offensive effort. He also scored three runs, while third baseman Brandon Roush added two hits and a team-high three RBI.
The teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday at 1 p.m.
– UND –