Baseball claims four-game sweep over Northwestern

Todd Nicks homered and picked up the win in game one of Saturday's twin-bill
Todd Nicks homered and picked up the win in game one of Saturday's twin-bill

OMAHA, Neb. -- The No. 18 Bellevue University baseball team picked up two more wins on Saturday afternoon at Westgate Field to secure a four-game non-conference sweep of Northwestern College. The Bruins cruised to an 11-1 win in the opener before pulling out a 2-1 win in game two.

The Bruins improve to 18-6 overall and are currently riding an 11-game win streak while Northwestern falls a game under .500 at 9-10 on the season.

Bellevue is scheduled to be back on the diamond on Tuesday, Mar. 21 when they host Doane University at 4 p.m. at Roddy Field.

Game One: Bellevue 11, Northwestern 1

Todd Nicks had a big day on the mound and at the plate as he did a little of everything in leading Bellevue to an 11-1 over Northwestern in game three of the four-game series.

At the plate Nicks opened the scoring with his team-leading fifth home run in the first inning, a three-run shot, to left center. It was part of a five-run inning which also saw Lumus Russell and Diego Iribarren come through with RBI-singles.

BU added two more runs in the third when Evans reached on a fielding error that saw Miles Campbell and Brandon Salmon come in from second and third, respectively.

Two runs in the fourth, courtesy of a Derik Bontempo RBI-groundout and a Riley Baasch double  saw the Bruins stretch their lead to 9-0.

Bellevue scored a 10th run in the fifth on a wild pitch and another in the sixth with a sac fly from Hunter Kelly.

Northwestern avoided the shutout with a ninth inning run on Mark Primrose's run-scoring double.

On the hill Nicks (W, 4-2) threw six shutout innings in which he allowed just four hits. He struck nine Red Raider batters and issued just two walks.

Dylan Thorp and Blake Phelps combined to throw the final three innings and allowed just one run on three hits.

Alec Rickabaugh (L, 2-1) took the loss for Northwestern. He was chased after just 1.1 innings where he was charged with allowing five runs on six hits.

Game Two: Bellevue 2, Northwestern 1

The Bruins overcame totaling just five hits and stranded 13 Northwestern base-runners as they earned the series sweep with a 2-1 victory.

After being no-hit through three innings, BU broke through in the bottom of the fourth with the game's first run. Riley Baasch drilled a one-out double down the left field line and came around to score a batter later when Todd Nicks blooped a single into center field off the handle of the bat.

NWC struck back immediately with a run in the fifth. AJ Nitzschke singled with one out and, after advancing to second following a hit batter, came in to score on Joe Done's single into shallow right.

Bellevue regained the lead in the bottom half with a little two-out magic. Matt Evans singled through the hole on the left side ahead of Derik Bontempo who hit a line drive double that sliced away from center fielder Reed Smith and into the gap to plate Evans for a 2-1 lead.

Northwestern threatened in each the sixth and seventh innings but the Bruin bullpen was up to the task and held the narrow one-run lead as Bellevue picked up their 11th-straight win.

Max Dwyer (Save, 4) stranded the tying and go-ahead runs on the corners in the seventh inning when he struck out Dustin Gaither to end the game.

Anthony Contonio (W, 3-0) picked up the win in relief of starter Zach Wilson who limited the Red Raiders to just one run while scattering six hits over 4.1 innings. Contonio tossed 1.2 innings of one-hit relief and struck out three batters.

Isaac Horigan (L, 4-1) was dealt his first loss of the season despite a solid outing. He tossed six innings and limited the Bruins to just two runs on five hits. He struck out four and walked two.