OMAHA, Neb. -- The No. 5 Bellevue University baseball team matched a program record with their 22nd-straight regular-season victory by defeating visiting Midland University by a score of 6-2 in a non-conference affair on Wednesday evening at Westgate Field.
The 22-straight regular-season victories match the record set by the 2004 team and it is the third-longest win streak in program history all-time. The all-time record for consecutive wins is 27 (also set by that 2004 team and included five post-season victories). The second-longest streak was 25-straight victories by the 2006 team.
With the victory BU ended a run of three-straight Midland victories in the all-time series between the two schools. The Bruins improve to 29-6 overall on the year while Midland dips to 24-10.
Bellevue's 22-game win streak is the longest in the country this season among NAIA, NCAA Division I, NCAA Division II, and NCAA Division III schools. Oregon State's current 20-game win streak is second on that list.
Midland jumped on the board first in opening half inning. Robert Cummins reached on a two-out double to center field before Chris Foster followed that up with a double of his own down the right field line to chase in Cummins with the game's first run.
Bellevue used a four-run third inning to seize control of the game. Jake Browne got the offense rolling when he singled through the left side to score John King who led off the inning with a base hit. Matt Evans followed up with a sac fly to score Miles Campbell from third. Derik Bontempo then drilled a line-drive home run to right center to score to more runs and increase Bellevue's lead to 4-1.
Jake Browne added to the Bellevue lead an inning later with his third home run of the season, a high fly ball over the fence in right-center.
Midland threatened to pull closer in the seventh inning when they loaded the bases with two outs but reliever Dylan Thorp caused Conlon McKenzie to ground to short for a fielder's choice to end the inning. The three runners on base were part of eight left on by the Warriors in the ballgame.
Bellevue seized on the momentum gained in the top half of the inning when Bontempo led off the bottom half with his second long ball of the day and seventh of the season, a mammoth fly ball over the left center field fence.
The Warriors got a run back in the eighth on an RBI-single from Foster but, once again, left runners on base and Bellevue escaped the inning with a comfortable 6-2 lead in tact. Sidewinder reliever Robbie Ayres came on in relief to get a popup and a weak dribbler off the bat of Nate Calles that turned into a 2-3 double play.
Bruin starter Reid Feeley (W, 5-0) earned the victory with another quality start. In 6.2 innings on the hill Feeley held the Warriors to just one run on five hits. He struck out six batters to go along with three walks on the evening.
Despite it not being a save situation, BU closer Max Dwyer came on in the ninth to get the final three outs.
Shea Bennett (L, 4-4) took the loss in relief for the Warriors after being tagged for four runs on four hits in just one-third of an inning of work.
Bellevue returns to action this weekend when they welcome Dakota State University to town for a four-game NSAA series. The Bruins and Trojans will play a double-header on Friday at 1 p.m. at Westgate Field before reuniting for a twin-bill on Saturday at noon at Roddy Field.